‘Over the coming months, I will conduct regular online exchanges with a selection of the 18th Biennale’s artists, as well as periodic exchanges with the two curators.
I recently came up with the title Gleanings to describe these exchanges. In my tattered old dictionary, the definition of the verb ‘to glean’ reads:
- To pick up grain left by harvesters.
- To gather scraps of information.
In the local Northern California café that I go to daily, as I read the New York Times with its news of worldwide droughts, wars, economic crises and betrayals, it is hard not to feel despondent. But I know that my wonderful opportunity to follow – ‘gleaning’ as I go – the evolution of this visionary 18th Biennale will not only console me, but will inspire me and countless others with hope and energy. It will offer us both a tangible focus (‘all our relations’) and actual working models for achieving this in our own lives and creative processes through ‘inclusionary practices of generative thinking, such as collaboration, conversation and compassion.’
- Moira Roth
About Moira Roth
Born 1933 in London, England
Lives in Berkeley and works in Oakland, California, USA
Moira Roth, a seminal feminist art historian, poet and playwright,was born in London in 1933. She attended the London School of Economics, New York University, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her Ph.D. in 1974. Since the mid 1980s, she has held the Trefethen Chair of Art History at Mills College in Oakland, California. Over the years she has traveled widely, in Asia and North Africa as well as in Europe and the United States.
Roth has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of contemporary art. Since the early 1970s she has been interested in performance history and feminism, and from the 1980s onwards she has worked cross-culturally and internationally, becoming especially involved with Asian American art history.
Roth has written extensively on American performance art, editing two books on the subject – The Amazing Decade: Women and Performance Art in America (1983) and Rachel Rosenthal (1997) – as well as publishing many articles and interviews. For a number of years she also worked in video, producing Manuel Mendive (1990) and Two Quilts: Japanese American Women Remember (1991–92).
Her first volume of collected essays, Difference/Indifference: Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, was published in 1998, and she is currently at work on her second volume, Traveling Companions/ Fractured Worlds. This series addresses a wide range of geographical places, times, and histories, including astronomy, the atomic bomb, the Vietnam War, and ancient and modern Greece.
For the last ten years, in addition to two ongoing fictional narratives – about (1) Rachel Marker, a 110-year-old Czech Jew and (2) The Library of Maps and its inhabitants – Roth has also written plays. Among them are Amaterasu, The Blind Woman and Hiroshima, a collaboration with the dancer Mary Sano, and From Vietnam to Hollywood: A Play of Ebb and Flow, with artist Dinh Q. Lê. Currently Roth is working on another play, Through the Eyes of Rachel Marker, early versions of which have been staged in Hawaii, Germany, and California.