DISBAND at Franklin Furnace (1979)

DISBAND Girls’ Bill of Rights
Text courtesy of the artists

DISBAND performs a set of politically charged feminist anthems in DISBAND at Franklin Furnace (1979). Comprised of Donna Henes, Barbara Kruger, Diane Torr, and Martha Wilson, the band addresses political issues affecting women through song and movement. Utilizing gestures seen in social protest, the members of DISBAND yell, clap, stomp, walk, and jump to combat patriarchy. Their collective body becomes a political instrument used to fight sexism in art, politics, and society. Together, these acts conjure an agenda that calls for the evolution of feminist consciousness.

DISBAND was active in the New York downtown art scene from 1978–1982. The all-girl band of artists screamed, sang, and stomped through the heyday of the new-wave and no-wave scenes, blurring the lines between performance art and live music. Mirroring the chaos and temporality of that era, the band performed songs such as “The End,” “Five More Years,” “Every Day Same Old Way,” “Get Rebel,” “Sad,” “Iran-y,” and “DOW.” They also addressed their status as women through songs such as “Girls’ Bill of Rights,” “Hey Baby,” “Fashions,” and “Look at My Dick.” In 1980, DISBAND toured Italy with Laurie Anderson, Chris Burden, and other artists. The group has performed at MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, Mudd Club, TR3 Gallery, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. DISBAND reunited in 2008 to perform at MoMA PS1 as part of the touring exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Members of the band included Barbara Ess, Ilona Granet, Donna Henes, Daile Kaplan, Barbara Kruger, Ingrid Sischy, Diane Torr, and Martha Wilson. www.disbandny.wordpress.com