The first rule of Heterodoxy is you do not talk about Heterodoxy.
Jessica Campbell’s exhibition, lecture and discussion series explores the complex personal, political and professional relationships facilitated by the twentieth century secret feminist debate club named Heterodoxy. Produced in collaboration with the FWM Studio, this presentation takes the form of a gathering space—an interpretation of Polly’s Restaurant in Greenwich Village, NY, an early meeting place of the group—with artworks relating to the club and its members, outfitted in an immersive tufted rug environment.
Operating between 1912–1940 in Greenwich Village, Heterodoxy gave its members a safe forum to confront issues relevant to their time and advocate for change with other passionate, thoughtful women. The club brought together members from diverse professional fields, political alignments and personal backgrounds to debate issues that remain remarkably relevant today such as voting access, the right to an abortion and access to birth control, sex education, universal child care, public health, and prison reform. No records were kept to allow members complete freedom to speak their minds.
As a visual artist and cartoonist, Campbell is interested in the ways in which combinations of seemingly disparate media, subject matter, and tone can act as tools for research and the production of knowledge. Her satirical textiles, drawings, and comics expose everyday experiences that reveal both current and historical misogyny. Campbell is particularly interested in how Heterodoxy’s strategy of interdisciplinary dialogue and the dissolve between the personal and professional could be implemented today as a way of generating creative solutions to vital social issues.
Jessica Campbell: Heterodoxy invites the public to engage with these issues through an exhibition and lecture series—holding space for the kinds of radical conversations that were Heterodoxy’s raison d’être.