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Alex Martinis Roe

To Become Two

To Become Two is a theory-practice history project. It traces the genealogy of “feminist new materialism” and the thought of “sexual difference” by traversing a number of different feminist communities and political practices internationally. To Become Two is a series of six film installations, which can be shown individually or as a seven-channel film installation, including some sculptural, interior architectural and archival elements, as well as performances and workshops, and a book. For each of these six film installations, I have attempted to look simultaneously at collective and personal histories in order to explore what has been, and what could be, transferred into feminist collective practices now and in the future.

Each of the films explore the history and organisation of a particular group of feminists and its connections to the groups explored in the other films: the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective, Psychanalyse et Politique (Paris), Women’s Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, a network of people who were part of the Sydney Women’s Film Group and General Philosophy at Sydney University in the late 70s and early 80s and then a milieu in Barcelona including Duoda and Ca La Dona. I am working directly with these groups, and a younger generation around them, to performatively bring about new collective practices through the act of storytelling using various methods, including participant observation, oral history interviewing, archival research and collaborative social practices. In addition, each of these films explores the interior-architectural spaces that were used and created by these groups as a meditation on the materiality of each dispositif of their political practices. My hope is that the virtual futures that emerge through telling these histories become propositions for new collective practices.

I was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982 and have lived and worked in Berlin since 2009. I hold a PhD from Monash University Australia, which developed feminist artistic methodologies that attempt to contribute to a collective politics of difference. My current projects focus on feminist genealogies and seek to foster specific and productive relations between different generations, as a way of participating in the construction of feminist histories and futures. This involves developing research and storytelling methodologies, which employ non-linear understandings of time, respond to the specific practices of different communities, experiment with the dispositives of discursive encounter, and imagine how these entanglements can inform new political practices. In addition to my current research projects To Become Two, I am exploring these methodological concerns in collaboration with theorist Melanie Sehgal and a research group called FORMATIONS within the framework of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.