Kiss & Tell Collective: Lesbian Imagery & Sexual Identities

Thu Jun 22 | 5:30pm

Or Gallery – 236 E. Pender St.

In this community presentation and Q&A, Dr. Kristen Hutchinson discusses the history and impact of the pioneering Vancouver-based Lesbian artist collective Kiss & Tell. Presented in partnership with Or Gallery.

Where do you draw the line between censorship and freedom of expression? Representation and exploitation? Art and pornography? In 1990, the pioneering Vancouver-based artist collective Kiss & Tell raised these provocative questions with Drawing the Line, a genre-defining and ground-breaking photographic exhibition about lesbian sexuality. With their radical images of women engaged in various erotic practices, from kissing to bondage to voyeurism, the collective—consisting of members Persimmon Blackbridge, Emma Kivisild, and Susan Stewart—not only drew attention to the lack of lesbian representation in Canadian art, but also used visual culture to address hotly debated questions within the queer community. Kristen Hutchinson’s research examines how Kiss & Tell created artworks, books and performances that allowed women to see themselves represented in art through a queer female gaze.

This presentation will include a conversation with Kiss & Tell collective member Susan Stewart,
followed by an audience Q&A.

Kristen Hutchinson is an adjunct professor of art history and women’s and gender studies and
an inaugural Redefining Canadian Art History Fellow at the Art Canada Institute where she is writing an online, open access book about Kiss & Tell. They received their PhD in the History of Art from University College London in 2007.