about our project

A Feminist Tea Party is an ongoing collaborative series by Caitlin Rueter and Suzanne Stroebe.

The project lies somewhere between a performance, an installation and a participatory event. Initially provoked by the Tea Party protests, A Feminist Tea Party recasts the “tea party” as a playful, progressive, inquisitive and inclusive space. Conceptually, it engages with the history of the tea party (from Boston to Beck) and feminism (from the suffragist movement to Lady Gaga). A Feminist Tea Party’s aesthetics are meant to mirror techniques of the Tea Party movement, which has effectively played on the concept of historical reenactment as a vehicle for political discourse.

We revisit the consciousness-raising groups of the 1970s in the set of a mid-century tea party. Dressed in 1950s costume and greeting guests in our “parlour”, we draw on the iconographic heritage of contemporary representations of women—sex and service, the consumer and the consumed. We create site-specific installations within each venue, building a set that recasts each space as a home and an open forum where essential and discomfiting issues can be discussed freely and with a sense of humor.

We invite viewers to join us for tea, sweets and conversation.

All are welcome to participate, regardless of your gender, your political persuasion, or whether you identify as feminist.

The project began in early 2010, as a one afternoon event within Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida’s project #class at Winkleman Gallery in New York City. Since then it has been exhibited in venues across the United States, adapting its installation to fit each venue and its content to suit each audience.  It has also been expanded to include side projects in alternative formats. Past venues have been:

4Heads Governors Island Art Fair, New York, NY

SEVEN Art Fair, Miami, FL

NYFA, Brooklyn, NY

Campbell Soady Gallery, LGBT Center, New York, NY

2011 College Art Association Conference, New York, NY

Winkleman Gallery, in collaboration with Jennifer Dalton, New York, NY

Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA

Scripps College, Claremont, CA

The Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

West Gallery, California State University, Northridge, CA

A. I. R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Alfred University, Alfred, NY

ArtScape, Baltimore, MD

O’Born Contemporary, Toronto, Canada

Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY

A Feminist Tea Party has been featured in The Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine, the James Kalm Art Review, and Hyperallergic, among other publications. We have written about the project for NYFA Current, M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online, 25th Anniversary Edition, and Emergency Art Index 2013.

NYFA, New York Foundation for Art, A Feminist tea party, caitlin rueter, suzanne stroebe


§ 8 Responses to about our project

  • Honored and enthusiastic!

  • ingenue says:

    Hi girls,
    I’m in Australia doing my Honours in Sculpture.
    I’ve been knit/crocheting tea cosies and doing the same for a lot of different types of food i.e. family meals with a French twist.
    I’m looking initially at tensions between labour/pleasure and the hysteria linked with Humour that i believe evolves from these tensions.

    Looking at doing some performance with the food, i’ve started by incorporating the Aussie BBQ- the only difference we wouldn’t be eating food, rather i would be interacting as cook engaging in the ritual of BBQ-ing. Involved would be some close friends and willing contenders.
    We would engage, as you do, conversationally and ordinarily, in the safe and comforting environment of a back garden in Canberra.
    The event would involve me turning faux- food sausages and lentils patties for example. Then sewing the food to tea cosies, handmade, which will be atop the participants heads. the intent is to create a sort of absurdity.

    I’m interested to see how it goes for you girls, perhaps I could help you try it in Canberra, Australia.

    Cheers,
    Heather

    • sstroebe says:

      Hi Heather, Thanks for contacting us. We’re excited to hear you’ve gotten word of our project on the other side of the world in Australia! You’re upcoming performances and projects sound really intriguing, please do keep in touch–and send pictures!

  • Hi Ladies
    It was lovely meeting you at TFAP on Thursday. Please keep me posted on your upcoming events as I would love to participate. Do you have a mailing list?

    Kindly
    Whitney Jordan

  • [...] Gender Studies – There will be tea, so we can call it a Feminist Tea Party, in homage to the wonderfully awesome project by Caitlin Rueter and Suzanne Stroebe. It’s political, subversive, and all around inspirational. Share [...]

  • [...] and Gender Studies – There will be tea, so we can call it a Feminist Tea Party, in homage to the wonderfully awesome project by Caitlin Rueter and Suzanne Stroebe. It’s political, subversive, and all around [...]

  • […] up images of Sarah Palin and long-form birth certificates, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by A Feminist Tea Party, an installation/performance/participatory event/collaboration taking place this Saturday afternoon […]

  • Rosemary Dulson says:

    Hi girls hope your well I have done two tea parties in Waterford Ireland I studied art in Liverpool in John Moore’s University and here in Waterford at W.I.T, I am due to do another Tea Party in July and then another one for a gallery in October. I would love to chat with you both as the tea party is on the same lines and from similar concepts women’s subservience in the past and still in the present day in some cases. Maybe we could work together one day. I did my first tea party in 2011, kind regards Rosemary Dulson..

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