Jill Scott

Dinner Party


Werk - Frontiers of Utopia
Artist / Artist group
Jill Scott
Dinner Party
computer-based, installation
Material / Technique
computer-based installation; screen pedestal, table with sub-case and chair; technical equipment: computer: Power Macintosh 8100/100AV, operating system: OS9, software: custom software; further devices: table with touch interface and modified keyboard, two CRT monitors, LaserDisc player, amplifier, focused passive loudspeaker.
Dimensions / Duration
Installation dimensions variable
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

The interactive installation »The Dinner Party« consists of a table with a large photograph let into its top, under which touch sensors are installed. The image shows eight women sitting around a laid table. When visitors touch the image, a video sequence is played on a monitor. By tapping on two characters, these enter into a dialogue.

The women are all from different decades of the 20th century (1900s, 1930s, 1960s, 1990s), and each of them represents a revolutionary idea of their time. Australian artist Jill Scott’s interest in the themes of feminism, migration, and political idealism becomes clear through the personal views and ideals of the eight characters: Emma (inspired by the life of Russian emigré and anarchist Emma Goldman), Mary (an Irish socialist who emigrated to South America to found a commune), Margaret (a secretary in a New York design company and a capitalist), Pearl (a poet with roots in the Aborigines), Maria (a feminist art student and activist in the hippie movement), Gillian (a radical Marxist student), KI (a Chinese physicist, who is granted political asylum in Australia after she participated in the Tian’anmen Square demonstrations), and Zira (a computer programmer in the New Age Movement).

One of the inspirations for this work was the art installation »The Dinner Party« (1974–1979), by the American feminist artist Judy Chicago, which portrayed the history of women in Western civilization. Jill Scott’s agenda is to make the historical, everyday circumstances and conditions of women’s lives visible and their ideas: “Women need to be written into history, by women.“ [1]

[1] Katy Deepwell, »N.Paradoxa: Dialogue with Australian Artist, Jill Scott,« in N.Paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal, no. 2 (1997): pp. 39–47, here p. 40.

Author: Hannah-Maria Winters

About the artist/s