How Kleió Collective are activating marginalised histories

Through contemporary curatorial practice, they aim to highlight historically excluded voices


Who

are Kleió Collective?


Kleió Collective is the baby of five students who came together last year to create a curatorial collective, committed to working with contemporary artists and practitioners to address the historic exclusion of marginalised identities. Through events, exhibitions, and publishing and curatorial projects, they aim to bring neglected stories to the forefront. I spoke with the founders Rosa Abbott, Kat Christidi, Kana Higashino, Natasha Hughes, and Lucy Malone all about why Kleió was created and their recent digital exhibition.


Why

was Kleió Collective created?


Kleió: “We all came together on the MA Culture, Criticism and Curation programme at Central Saint Martins. While there, we worked together on a group project, Nothing In The Papers, developed in response to the archive of the Royal Female School of Art, a female-only art school operating in 19th-century London.

We chose to work with this archive out of a shared desire to uncover the kinds of narratives and stories traditionally ignored by museums. We wanted to find out about the women behind this progressive 19th-century art school.

And yet, when we consulted the archive documents, we found none of these stories.

We wanted to write women and non-binary artists back into art history. But there was nothing in the papers. So, we decided to invoke the past by turning to the present.

Working together on this project, we realised we shared similar values. After we finished the MA, we decided to form a collective to develop the ideas that rose out of this initial project, using contemporary curatorial practice to highlight and activate historically excluded voices.”


“Kleió believes that continual and inclusive collaboration is the key to addressing historical marginalisation.”

How

does the collective work with artists and practitioners?


Kleió: “Kleió believes that continual and inclusive collaboration is the key to addressing historical marginalisation. For each of our projects, we have utilised open calls, particularly encouraging submissions from early-career practitioners, female-identifying practitioners, marginalised identities, and groups who are underrepresented in the cultural sector, including working class people, disabled people, and people of colour.

Previously, we have asked such practitioners to respond to archival documents – inserting their own voice where their precursor’s is intentionally absent. For our recent digital exhibition, FEATHER DUSTING / FUTURE LUSTING, we created an archive of the present, thus ensuring that the voices and artistic expressions of those who may have been marginalised in the past were recorded for posterity during this unprecedented and life-changing time.”



What

is Kleió’s digital exhibition all about?

Kleió: “FEATHER DUSTING / FUTURE LUSTING is a digital exhibition in two parts, featuring work by 31 creative practitioners. Crossing multiple disciplines, the exhibition encompasses a variety of digital and non-digital media. The exhibition is accompanied by a digital events programme, featuring live performance, readings, discussion and an online workshop.

FEATHER DUSTING responds to feminism’s ongoing battle with domesticity and women's perceived role within the home. Feather Dusting encourages us to re-evaluate our relationship with the domestic: to come face-to-face once again with the feather duster.

FUTURE LUSTING invites artists to use speculation as a political tool as society as we know it grinds to a standstill. Future Lusting encourages us to utilise our new, slower pace of life to reflect, examine where we are and where we are heading, and envision how we can rebuild society. The work exhibited ranges from the fantastical to the factual, the personal to the political, and the hopeful to the critical.”


“...we created an archive of the present, thus ensuring that the voices and artistic expressions of those who may have been marginalised in the past were recorded for posterity during this unprecedented and life-changing time.”


Where

can you find more from Kleió?


Follow Kleió over on Instagram and check out their exhibition FEATHER DUSTING / FUTURE LUSTING on their website.