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andrea geyer / sharon hayes

Information Upon Request. 2000. installation with photographs, text, handmade carpet.

“Information Upon Request” is an installation in one room with the approximate dimensions of 6m x 8m (variable). The piece consists of a carpet depicting a fictitious floor-plan, floor-filling; 10 (or number according to room-size) photographs 100cm x 70 cm, mounted and 3 (or number according to room-size) photographs of text 100cm x 70cm, mounted.

“Information Upon Request” investigates ideas of feminism and gender in the context of the late 90’s and early 21st Century, lived and experienced by the generation of women born in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The piece employs an actual contemporary site of a residency for working women in New York City (founded in 1920) as a metaphoric space that houses different ideas and knowledge on this subject.

The information provided in this piece is composed from various sources. For the text, I recorded narratives from other women as well as my own experiences while I lived in this residency for two months in 1999. To those, I added fictional narratives. Some text pieces quote from the mandatory rules of various “women’s” institutions. Also included are fragments of feminist writing and cultural theory from the 80’s and the 90’s by writers who have been informative for my generation of women. The photographs that quote a documentary style are images describing a ‘gendered’ site. They are taken in various institutions for women in New York City. The layout of the carpet quotes architectural plans for institutions as well as children’s games associated with girls.

The three fragments of the piece: the carpet, the photos and the text, create a fictitious space of knowledge production in which the protagonists (the artist, the women depicted in the photographs and the viewer) are engaged in performing the provided fragments of information. “Information Upon Request” is therefore trying to position gender and feminism in the realm of the discourse itself, pointing to the various sites of knowledge which inform our perception.

read review by Nicolas Siepen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20.03.2001, S. BS6