Ulrike Müller's Herstory Inventory (HI) is a collection of over one hundred works on paper by “feminist” artists who were given “drawing assignments” that began with textual prompts taken from an archival list of T‐shirts that Müller discovered in the collections of the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA). HI has also had multiple incarnations as a staged reading/live performance, audio installation, collective art project, art exhibition, and book, and its relay across media participates in a fascination with the archive that has pervaded LGBTQ culture, resulting in a proliferation of new archives that is one manifestation of the “archival turn.” This essay focuses on how Müller's HI uses the LHA as a point of departure for a creative practice that not only opens lesbian feminist archives to new visibility and new publics but also creates a transgenerational dialogue around lesbian feminist politics and representation — both honoring and reviving its history and subjecting it to critique. HI's engagement with the LHA's lesbian feminist commitment to archival autonomy provides an interesting case history for radical archival politics, as tensions between counterarchives and archival critique get played out through the tensions between lesbian and queer feminisms. Returning to the politics of representation and visibility that have been so central and vexing in lesbian feminism, HI puts art practices in conversation with archival ones. The project approaches the archive through abstraction and drawing, both practices of representation that resist the realisms of documentary media such as film and photography, to enact a queer politics of visibility.

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