For the latest instalment of Creative Practises- creating space for female creativity, we talk to Grace Miceli, a multimedia artist and curator currently living in New York. Grace’s work, notably her T-shirts named Drizzy Inflammatory Essays, (where Grace prints Drake lyrics in the style of Jenny Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays), are all over the Internet right now. Along with the online exhibition space she runs, Art Baby Gallery, which includes names such as Molly Matalon, Beth Siveyer and Alexandra Marzella. Grace has created an online exhibition space for some of the most incredible digital artists of our time. Collective Practice is all about supporting one and other, and Grace knows the importance of this more than most.
How important is the idea of the collective, along with supporting and creating space for other women to the work that you do?
It’s so important to me. I graduated from a women’s college (Smith) about 4 years ago, which is where I learned the significance or working within and fostering a supportive artistic community. Out of school I had to look to the internet for that same collective space and now that I live in NYC I’ve found a successful balance of that community existing IRL as well as online. I’m not really sure I would still find myself as a practicing artist without the support I’ve had from my female peers.
In a movement such feminism, how important do you think collective practices are?
I think whenever you are involved in working against a pre-existing structure or powerful force (i.e. the patriarchy) you need strength in numbers. Unfortunately most females are not raised or taught to have the same confidence in themselves and what they are producing as men are. I think we need each other for that, to encourage and support each other collectively.
In the past collectives have often been used to bring local communities together. Do you think the internet has changed this idea of the ‘local’ collective? Do you think it has it changed for the better?
Definitely. Most people don’t have the privilege to live in places with resources or communities that are in line with their interests or goals, and access to the internet allows for that to happen despite physical location.
In a Western society, within Capitalism and Neo Liberalism, the individual rules, it is all about individual gain and power. What impact do you think this has on collective practices?
I think that sometimes competition can be healthy as a way to push yourself to be more productive. But often as females, in the art world or just in general, we are pitted against each other with the idea that there are limited or coveted spots to be the successful or featured female, which is bullshit. I think that individuals who choose to participate in collectives are able to navigate and balance their personal goals within the group that they’re working within.
What advice would you give to someone who maybe wants to start a collective or wants to be involved with one?
Seek out peers or already existing groups who are supporting ideas and values that matter to you. If you wish there was a specific community or publication or website that existed that doesn’t already, start it yourself! The internet is a powerful tool for making big things happen, so use it to your full advantage.
Words by Ella Sweeney.