Girls Against God (GAG) is an enthralling publication founded by Bianca Casady of CocoRosie and published by Capricious. The second issue will be released during the 2014 New York Art Book Fair. Their first issue, 'a lushiously colorful tabloid,' broke waves in the publishing world. Although their next issue is considerably smaller (in size) 'a pocket sized spell-book,' it is still a bold outlet for contributing artists and writers to explore contemporary context for witchcraft, feminism and art. We chatted with GAG's co-editor and artist Anne Sherwood Pundyk, to catch the spell behind this enigmatic project.
You declare “We must resist and reinvent,” - is this what GAG is about?
“Girls Against God” aims to look as deeply as we can into the underlying causes of bias, exploitation, and violence against women. The cultural programming and propaganda that supports the status quo is broadcast on almost every screen, printed page, textbook, popular song and news source. Questioning and resisting these voices of authority is the first step. Crafting alternative ways of thinking and living is part of the reinvention necessary to remake or replace the institutions that structure our society.
Where does this fascination for witchcraft comes from? Is it a metaphor for the condition of feminism today (unknown powers about to unfurl) or rather a relic of an age where women were brutally oppressed?
Both. A quick glance at the history of witchcraft in “Witches Midwives & Nurses; A History of Women Healers” (1973) by Barbara Ehrinreich and Deirdre English reveals the intentional, systematic persecution of women by the Protestant and Catholic churches for over 400 years during the middle ages. It is estimated that several million women were killed. These deaths and the suppression of healing practices developed by women fortold the warped attitudes about women and their powers still thriving today. Our second issue celebrates these powers, not only for healing, but for leadership, justice, and reconnecting with the natural order.
How come you decided to go for this format (pocket-spellbook) - after the first GAG debut issue?
The first issue of GAG was designed like a tabloid newspaper. We wanted to deliver our version of the news about the resurgence of feminism using the arts and literature. The second issue is small enough to fit in your pocket, so you can easily carry it with you, cast a spell, or study up on alternatives to patriarchal thinking.
Can you tell us a bit about Vaginal Davis' contribution?
Vaginal Davis spoke with Bianca in the first issue about her connection to activism through the work of Angela Davis, her namesake. She also was a featured performer in GAG’s “Wolf Moon Gathering" at MoMA PS1 last January.
If you had to choose one contribution, what would it be?
Suzanne Lacy spoke with me about her introduction to witchcraft in Los Angeles in the 1970’s. It was pivotal to her deciding to become an artist instead of a doctor. Immanence, or the shared word between women, is the cornerstone of her art practice. Her interview in GAG’s second issue was central to much of the reading and research we did to assemble all the contributions.