Introducing Pleasure Dome’s New Executive Director: Lauren Fournier

Pleasure Dome is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Executive Director, Lauren Fournier, who will begin with our organization in the fall of 2022.

Lauren Fournier (she/her) is a writer, curator, and researcher. Her writing, research, and teaching cohere around hybrid and multi-genre writing (like autofiction and literary nonfiction) as practices of storytelling, theorizing, and philosophical and ethical inquiry about the self and the world. Her work takes the form of publications, exhibitions, screenings, outreach, and programming.

She works at the intersection of the arts, humanities, and sciences, specifically the life sciences and neurosciences. An interdisciplinary thinker and keen proponent of STE(A)M, she fosters meaningful exchange between artists and scientists. In 2022, she was invited to Washington, DC to speak as part of the Junior Advisory Council for the American Society for Microbiology at ASM Microbe on the panel “Reconceiving the Scientist Mould with the Next Generation of Microbiologists” where she advocated for the work of artists.

Her debut monograph Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism (MIT Press, 2021) is the first book-length study of “autotheory,” which historicizes the term in light of intersectional, transmedial art histories. The book has been featured and reviewed in such venues as The Los Angeles Review of Books, Hyperallergic, Passage, Journal of Curatorial Studies, and Art in America. She has been interviewed by Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism, High Theory, and The MIT Press Podcast. A leading scholar in this emerging field, she collaborated with colleague Dr. Alex Brostoff on a special issue of ASAP/Journal entitled “Autotheory ASAP: Academia, Decoloniality, and I,” featuring contributions by such artists as TJ Cuthand.

As an author, she writes short-form and long-form fiction as well as essays and literary nonfiction. She has been invited to lead critical and creative writing workshops internationally, most recently in Italy.

An avid art writer and critic as well, she is regularly sought out and invited to write and speak on the work of contemporary artists who work in a range of media. Recent commissions include essays and talks on Hayv Kahraman at the Mosaic Rooms in London, Jesse Mockrin at CICA in Vancouver, Dawn Nilo at the Swiss Art Awards, Rosalie Favell at the AGO, and Sean Nash at Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University. She was one of twelve curators globally who was invited to Liste Art Fair Basel’s “Discourse” Project in Switzerland.

Lauren is the founder and editor of Fermenting Feminism, a global, site-responsive project that bridges art, culinary culture, philosophy, and the sciences. The publication and subsequent exhibitions and gatherings have been featured in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan Korea, Ferment Radio, and Art the Science. This project has toured internationally, taking shape in Copenhagen, Berlin, Kansas City, Brooklyn, Toronto, and Vancouver. Most recently, Lauren shared her ideas on fermentation as a guest lecturer in NYU’s XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement Master’s program.

As a curator, Lauren has organized exhibitions and screenings internationally, including at the Medical Museion in Copenhagen, Images Festival, and The Horse Hospital. She has conceived of and led major, multi-institutional symposia, research groups, and speakers’ series for institutions like C Magazine and the Jackman Humanities Institute. She is an advocate for first-generation university students and recently launched an interview series “First-Generation-Student Club” on her Substack.

Lauren brings as much rigour to her work as she does humour, and many of her projects cohere around a shared sense of simultaneous irony and sincerity. Her film and video art have been exhibited and screened internationally, including at Squeaky Wheel in New York and the Athens Museum of Queer Arts. Her film The Truck Guys uses parody and parafiction to render an autotheory of “auto” theory—one where white settler culture in the prairies is considered through the symbols of cars and trucks. In a polarized world, Lauren uses empathy and humour to build bridges and foster productive conversations across ideological divides. This film is on the cover of the Winter 2023 issue of BlackFlash Magazine, alongside a feature article on her process behind making the film.

She has developed and led community-based projects that draw from her background in front-line social work: such projects include Critical Booch.

As the Executive Director of Pleasure Dome (Artists Film Exhibition Group of Ontario), Lauren is leading the organization in a new creative direction described as “Re-Imagining the Experimental,” which reconsiders histories of “experimental” and whom this term has historically included and excluded.