Aikens’ article describes a two year research project taken on by various artists that took on the manifesto of Dolores Hayden’s 1982 publication which research into a group of 19th Century feminists who wanted to prove that the unequal status of women due to their isolation within the domestic space. These women proposed communal kitchens. housewives co-operatives and new building types. This was a radical change. This project took on board this manifesto and ideology and challenged social design. The Grand Domestic Revolution was born.
The creators behind this project are Casco, an office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht. Casco’s aim just like the feminists was to challenge industrial capitalism and political economy.
In the Netherlands domestic space is considered sacred, during this project, Casco aimed to change the private space and make it ,more public. It addressed Utrecht and its wider political concerns in equality and workers rights.
The exhibition was staged across three venues: Volksbuurt Museum, De Rooie Rat (A leftist political bookshop) and Casco itself. The central theme of the pieces was the shift of feminist framework. Two of the pieces exhibited were will not ask anything about you, you will not ask anything about me (2011) by Matthijs de Bruijne who created four narratives showing domestic work through silhouetted protagonists and How Do We Know What Home Looks Like (1993) which showed interviews by residents in Le Corbusier’s flats in the South of France. The exhibition also included work by art students and theologists and regular talks by artists with a goal of changing the sphere of the domestic space. The work itself aspires to create new ways of living.
What caught my eye about this project was the ideology behind it. Casco has set up an exhibition based on a publication which is very relevant even in today’s world. Aiken’s takes on board the article and the many different layers proposed and how different people took these on board. He speaks highly of this project and what it stands for especially for women and moreover people of a certain era. It mirrors greatly the effects of immigration and contemporary feminism. As Aiken’s states ” The GDR’ was right to propose that revolution can and should start at home. ”