Anohni and Collaborators Take the ‘Future Feminism’ Forum to Denmark
In her first public address after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Hillary Clinton spoke the phrase “The future is female,” a catchy, viral slogan that had made its way onto t-shirts and picket signs worldwide. While the New York Times has traced the phrase back to 1975, one group of artists claim to have brought it back into contemporary circulation, beginning with a 2014 exhibition and event series in New York City under the moniker of “Future Feminism.”
The exhibition was the culmination of more than three years of discussion-filled retreats taken by the artists and musicians Anohni, Kembra Pfahler, Johanna Constantine, and CocoRosie’s Bianca and Sierra Casady. The longtime peers spent hours sharing art ideas and comparing notes, eventually distilling them all into “13 Tenets of Future Feminism,” with “The Future is Female” as the final tenet. The exhibition was accompanied by a 13-day festival with performances, talks, and workshops by artists like Laurie Anderson, Juliana Huxtable, and Marina Abramović. Now, three years later, Future Feminism is getting a reprise, this time hosted in a less-expected city in Denmark.
Aarhus, Denmark is the 2017 European Capital of Culture, and for the year, Anohni is the city’s resident artist. From August 11 to September 3, she is using the opportunity to bring Future Feminism to Scandinavia. In advance of the exhibition and series of performances, workshops, and discussions, Anohni and Pfahler spoke with artnet News over Skype about the origins of Future Feminism, and what’s in store for its European debut.
Before writing the 13 tenets, which were eventually etched into slabs of pink marble as artworks, the artist-collaborators had circled around each other as friends and peers for years. Anohni is best known for her career in pop music, using dreamy, soulful sounds to advance ideas of social justice. For example, the 2016 song “Drone Bomb Me,” which appeared on Anohni’s first solo album, Hopelessness, was written from the perspective of a fictional, young Afghani girl, whose family was killed by drone strikes, and who, in desperation, longs to be killed the same way. A transgender woman, Anohni first rose to fame as the frontperson of musical group Antony and the Johnsons.