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Unsettling Feminist Curating

Event Label
Symposium (Language: English)
Organisational Units
Education in the Arts
Location Description
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Mehrzwecksaal, Lehargasse 8, 1060 Vienna

Curated by Elke Krasny, Barbara Mahlknecht, Lara Perry, Dorothee Richter, Department for Art and Education/Institute for Education in the Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and feminist Curators United fCU.

Round the globe, the current wave of feminist resistance is met with great media attention. Social networks and international newspapers debate sexualized violence, the abuse of power, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. In light of this, curators, artists, researchers, activists, and theorists invited to contribute to the Unsettling Feminist Curating symposium share how everyday feminist labour is needed for their work and speak about their local experiences and transnational relations.

Globalization, diaspora and migration result in situated practices responsive to specific geopolitical locations. The symposium gathers together the following examples: a feminist art revolution in the post-Soviet condition in Estonia, the development of feminist art in Israel, the international art world in Athens during the period of financial crisis, working conditions in a global city like London and the local situation in Vienna. Unsettling means to irritate, to disrupt, to disturb. Unsettling Feminist Curating seeks to explore the long-term effects of feminist curating – within and beyond the museum.


Friday, 01.12.2017, 12.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.

12.30 p.m.
Unsettling Feminist Curating
Welcome and Introduction by Elke Krasny, Barbara Mahlknecht, Lara Perry and Dorothee Richter

1.00 p.m.
Break-up, Burn-out, Re-boot. Reflections on Feminist Tactics, Art and Activism
Presentation and Conversation with Mare Tralla, artist, activist (London/ Estonia)

2.00 p.m.
Resistências, Spaces  Affects, Decolonialidades!
Presentation and Conversation with Marissa Lôbo, artist, activist (Vienna)

3.00 p.m.
Coffee + Cake

3.30 p.m.
How to Take Care of your Voice: Exhaustion and other Habitual Affects in Working within large-scale Art Institutions
Presentation and Conversation with Alkisti Efthymiou, cultural worker and researcher (Athens)

4.30 p.m.
Situated Knowledge, Global Concerns: Unsettling Feminisms in Israel
Presentation and Conversation with Tal Dekel, art historian (Tel Aviv)

6.00 p.m.
Anticolonial Autohistorias
Performance: Imayna Cáceres and Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, artists and activists (Vienna)

Short bios

Imayna Cáceres is a Peruvian artist and curator whose work focuses on the deconstruction of the coloniality of being, power, knowledge, and arts; the effects of systemic racism, as well as Third-world feminism and the Latin American diaspora in Europe. Graduated in Sociology and Media Communication, she is currently finishing the MA in the Post Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy for Fine Arts in Vienna. Together with Sunanda Mesquita and Sophie Utikal she edited the 2017 volume Anti*Colonial Fantasies / Decolonial Strategies .

Tal Dekel is head of the Visual Literacy Program and Curatorial Studies at Kibbutzim College of Arts and Technology, Tel Aviv. She is the author of the books Gendered - Art and Feminist Theory (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013) and Transnational Identities - Women, Art and Migration in Contemporary Israel (Wayne State University, 2016). She specializes in feminist and transnational criticism of art.

Alkisti Efthymiou is a cultural worker and indisciplinary researcher based in Athens. Holding an MA in Gender Studies from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences and an MA in Museum Studies from University College London, she has worked in several institutions in Greece and abroad, such as the Athens Biennale, Cubitt Gallery London, and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. With a background in cultural, queer and feminist theory, she is interested in issues of gender, identity, sexuality and affect in their convergence with contemporary art. Until last October she worked as Education Producer for documenta 14.

Elke Krasny works as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is a cultural theorist, urban researcher, and curator with a focus on feminist art practices and historiographies of curating, architecture, urbanism and critical spatial practices. Krasny holds a Ph.D. from the University of Reading. Curatorial works include: Care + Repair with Angelika Fitz, Vienna 2017-2019 and Mapping the Everyday. Neighbourhood Claims for the Future, Vancouver 2011-2012.  She co-edited the volumes In Reserve! The Household , together with Regina Bittner 2015 and Women's:Museum. Curatorial Politics in Feminism, Education, History, and Ar t, 2013.

Marissa Lôbo is an artist born in Bahia, Brazil, living and working in Vienna after some years in Italy and Portugal. She studied  post-conceptual art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna  and is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy there. In her artistic work, often performative, she addresses hegemonic sexualized and racialized body regimes from a queer-of-color perspective. She aims to de-colonize queer theory and to intervene in white supremacist narratives. For many years she was the head of the cultural department of the association maiz , a self-organization of migrants, where she created projects between cultural and political education, trying to programmatically connect politics, education and the arts from a migrant perspective. She is artistic director of kültüř gemma!, an initiative promoting migrant positions in the field of the arts. In 2016 she curated the project Bodies of Knowledge , together with with Njideka Stephanie Iroh, connecting narratives of resistance and utopia in art and activism.

Barbara Mahlknecht is a curator, art educator and researcher. She currently holds a position as University Assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work focuses on feminism, social reproduction, the curatorial as well as critical art education. Recently has co-curated a series of exhibitions, conferences and workshops such as Verbinden/ Vetreten/ Verteilen/ Vermitteln/ Verhandeln. 70 Years of Tiroler Kuenstler*schaft , with Georgia Holz (Tiroler Kuenstlerschaft, 2016); Uncanny Materials. Founding Moments of Art Education, with Elke Krasny (Academe of fine Arts Vienna, 2016). Currently, she works on her Ph.D. at the Goldsmith University London.

Verena Melgarejo Weinandt is an artist, curator, and researcher. She is interested in Latin American, decolonial and feminist theorization. In 2016, she curated the exhibition A(r)mando Vo(i)ces dealing with Gloria Anzaldúa and Yuderkys Espinosa Miñoso at the Vienna Main Public Library. Currently, she works on her Ph.D. at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She teaches at the UdK Berlin University of the Arts and at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Lara Perry is an immigrant and a lecturer/researcher in the History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton. Her research has mainly been concerned with the history of British art institutions including the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern, and her recent work has been focussed on feminist curatorial practices in Europe and North America. She co-edited with Angela Dimitrakaki the book Politics in a Glass Case , 2013, and with Dorothee Richter and Elke Krasny, issue 29 of OnCurating devoted to feminist curatorial practices. Her recent publications include an article on 19 th century artists’ households in Third Text 144,  and an anthology co-edited with Victoria Horne Feminism and Art History Now: Radical Critiques of Theory and Practice (2017). She is a member of the steering committee of the Feminist Curators United.

Dorothee Richter is Professor in Contemporary Curating at the University of Reading. Dr. Richter is Head of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating (MAS/CAS), , at the University of the Arts Zurich (ZHdK) since 2005; together with Prof Susanne Clausen head of the Ph.D. in Practice in Curating Programme, a collaboration of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating and the Department of Fine Arts, University of Reading, funded by Swissuniversities. Publisher of, Issue 29 Curating in Feminst Thought was published with feminist curators united, edited by Elke Krasny, Lara Perry, and Dorothee Richter; Issue 30 Work, Migration, Memes and Personal Geopolitics war published as a parallel event of Manifesta Zurich. In 2013, together with Ronald Kolb, she released the film Flux Us Now! Fluxus explored with a camera , which was first screened at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in April 2013, then at the Migros Museum in Zurich, the Museum Tingeley in Basel, and at a number of art academies. Her most recent symposium, curated together with Ronald Kolb, was titled De Colonizing Art Institutions and took place at the Kunstmuseum Basel in 2017.

Mare Tralla is a queer-feminist artist, organiser and activist. Her professional art career started in Estonia in the early 1990s, where she became one of the leading interdisciplinary artists of the younger generation. She was one of the very few conducting a feminist revolution in the field of contemporary art in Estonia. She employs and combines variety of media, from video, photography, performance and painting to interactive media. As an activist she is involved with Act Up , London, No Pride in War coalition and LGSMigrants . Her curatorial practice include: the first Estonian feminist exhibition Est.Fem (1995 co-curated, with Eha Komissarov, Reet Varblane), a touring Estonian-British feminist exhibition Private Views (1998-99), accompanied by a book Private Views: Spaces and Gender in Contemporary Art from Britain and Estonia (eds. Angela Dimitrakaki, Pam Skelton, Mare Tralla, WAL, 2000), Act Up- Art Up , Ritzy, London 2016.