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Feminist Infrastructural Critique

Interdependencies of Bodies, Materials, and Technologies

Event Label
Organisational Units
Exhibit Gallery
Location Description
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3, 1. floor
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna

A symposium as part of the exhibition Conditions and Frameworks. Infrastructure as Form and Medium with lectures by Carla Bobadilla, Francesca Brusa and Giulia Gabrielli, Miriam Kreuzer, Sophie Lingg, Claudia Lomoschitz, Carlota Mir, Verónica Orsi and Sylvia Sadzinski. Moderated by Sabeth Buchmann and Elke Krasny.

Feminist politics have long been concerned with the uneven conditions and the inequality effects caused by the often invisibilized gendered dimensions of infrastructures. Access, provision, maintenance, and care are central tenets of feminist infrastructural critique. This symposium investigates infrastructural interdependencies of bodies, materials, and technologies at the sites of contemporary art and curating including the digital realm as well as in urban environments.

The symposium is a collaboration of the PhD seminars of Elke Krasny and Sabeth Buchmann.
Idea: Elke Krasny, curated by: Elke Krasny, Sophie Lingg, Claudia Lomoschitz

It is also possible to join the symposium under the following zoom link:

The symposium is in English.


3 pm
Welcome and introduction by Elke Krasny and Sabeth Buchmann

3.20–3.40 pm
Verónica Orsi: The Green Scarf: An activist infrastructure for the trans-feminist body in Buenos Aires

3.40–4.00 pm
Carla Bobadilla: The Butterfly House in Vienna: On Decolonizing Infrastructures 

4.00–4.30 pm
Miriam Kreuzer: Caring for Urban Infrastructures: A Feminist Critique 

Discussion, break

5.00–5.20 pm
Francesca Brusa and Giulia Gabrielli: Unveiling Infrastructures: A Conversation on the Work of Maja Bajevic, Maria Eichhorn, and Wendelien van Oldenborgh 

5.20–5.50 pm
Claudia Lomoschitz: Queer Nursing as Infrastructural Critique 

Discussion, break

6.30–6.50 pm
Carlota Mir: Collective Labor of Care: Building Feminist Infrastructures in the Post-Dictatorial Spanish State 

6.50–7.10 pm
Sophie Lingg: Social Media: Digital Infrastructures and Feminist Art Making 

7.10–7.40 pm
Sylvia Sadzinski: (No) Play and Party! Queer Curating as Infrastructural Critique 

Discussion, closing remarks

Abstracts and Bios

Carla Bobadilla: The Butterfly House in Vienna: On Decolonizing Infrastructures 

In Vienna’s first district, the historical centre of the city, between the National Library, the Government Palace and the Opera, is the Butterfly House. Within the midst of the copious vegetation and butterfly spectacle, visitors can find four fiberglass figures. These sculptures, done by the Swedish-Peruvian artist Felipe Lettersten during the 1990s, are plaster models taken directly from the body of inhabitants of the Amazon. This greenhouse, like many others of its kind scattered throughout Europe, is categorized as a Palm House, Palmenhaus. This concept is historically rooted in the imperial need to collect and store exotic items from research journeys to the colonies in the 19th and 20th centuries.

If we take the Butterfly House as an infrastructure that has historically housed concepts that have installed a logic of classification, taxonomy and definition of the world from a European point of view, where the desire to create an environment in which both insect and botanical species from other latitudes can withstand the low temperatures of the Central European winter and also serve as a place to contemplate and at the same time conserve and reproduce these species. How can the concepts that this infrastructure contains be understood under the logic of coloniality? And yet, what critical tools do decolonial feminist theories offer us to read this place from a point of view, where the ecologies and knowledge enclosed therein are analyzed and visualized, in order to create a new feminist and decolonial infrastructure in which ways infrapolitics works as solidarity and generosity are present and interacting with the visitors.

Carla Bobadilla is a research-based artist and Art Educator. Her work focuses on the development of communication and mediation practices, particularly in the fields of postcolonial criticism and critical race theory by using decolonial methodologies. Since 2018 is she Senior Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and part of the board of the IGBK and from 2020 member and co- founder of the collective Decolonizing in Vienna.

Francesca Brusa and Giulia Gabrielli: Unveiling Infrastructures: A Conversation on the Work of Maja Bajevic, Maria Eichhorn, and Wendelien van Oldenborgh 

The dialogical lecture inquires about the shift from institutional to infrastructural critique introduced by Marina Vishmidt in her essay “Between Not Everything and Not Nothing: Cuts Toward Infrastructural Critique” through the works of Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Maria Eichhorn, and Maja Bajevic. 

Giulia will focus on the work of Wendelien van Oldenborgh - more precisely on two slide projections with soundtrack, Après la reprise, la prise (2009) and Pertinho de Alphaville (2010) - to unfold the complexity of an artistic practice which, while critically addressing - if not physically inhabiting with her film troupe - infrastructures of modernity (a school, a factory, a theatre), carefully choreographs and suggests dialogic forms of feminist social cooperation to come. 

Francesca will introduce the works of Maja Bajevic Arts, Crafts, and Facts (2015) and Maria Eichhorn’s Money at the Kunsthalle Bern (2001) to inquire about artistic strategies of critique that unveil labour structures. Money at the Kunsthalle Bern dissolves artistic production in the labour of maintenance of the art institution addressing its architectural and economic infrastructures. Maja Bajevic departs from the work of textile manufacture to address the relationship between labour conditions and the stock market in Arts, Crafts, and Facts (2015). The artists disclose the “hidden abode of production” of art in order to develop critical tools to tackle the invisibility of other forms of labour and of infrastructures. Through the works of visual artists, the lecture reflects upon limits and possibilities offered by the shift in the scale of critique, from institutional to infrastructural.

Francesca Brusa (*1991) is a researcher and curator exploring the intersections of art and the social field. She is a PhD candidate in Art Theory and Curating at Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her Phd is titled “Art and Labour: Unveiling the Invisible.  Artistic production and non-artistic labour in the works of Maria Eichhorn, Maja Bajevic, and Otobong Nkanga”

Giulia Gabrielli (*1985) is an artist and researcher interested in the concept of the script as a re/productive device in contemporary labor and in artistic practice. She is currently a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her PhD has the title “The script at work: the woman, the worker, the artist”

Miriam Kreuzer: Caring for Urban Infrastructures: A Feminist Critique 

When speaking about urban infrastructures we are mainly referring to housing, road and mobility systems or electronical and digital networks. But isn’t this material view reductionist? A feminist concept of care counters this view with a perspective that sees urban infrastructures as embedded in a network of reciprocal social relations and that understands this network itself as an urban infrastructure – as an “infrastructure of care”. Thus, care not only broadens the understanding of urban infrastructures, but also offers the starting point for an infra-political perspective. Due to this perspective, infrastructural connectedness can be uncovered and its underlying “rules” – hegemonic settings of hierarchies and inscribed power differences regulating infrastructural access – can be questioned. Therefore, care as an infra-political perspective is not only part of a feminist critique of urban infrastructures but also the starting point for imagining a caring design of these infrastructures – a caring urbanism.

Miriam Kreuzer works as a designer, researcher and lecturer in the field of social and emancipatory transformations. She studied industrial design at OTH Regensburg and transformation design at HBK Braunschweig. She is the co-founder of the queerfeminist collective Zukunfts*archiv. She is currently doing her PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna under the supervision of Univ.-Prof. Mag. PhD Elke Krasny and Assoc. Prof. PhD Meike Schalk. Her PhD develops a feminist care-perspective on urban spaces – a caring urbanism.

Sophie Lingg: Social Media: Digital Infrastructures and Feminist Art Making 

Starting with the consideration of social media as an infrastructure for showing, the lecture "On Care Taking in Digital Realms" uses artistic works by painter and performance artist Sophia Süßmilch to explore questions on performing, exhibiting, and sharing on social media. What forms of care taking does this infrastructure require? Which publics meet in the space of monopolistic hypercapitalist social media? And what do the given terms of use mean for queer and feminist artistic works and artistic processes? 

Sophie Lingg (Vienna) experiments and researches on digitality, digital mass media and their use for artistic work and art education. She develops and realises experimental workshops, walks and participates in collaborative artistic and activist projects. Sophie studied Art Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where she has been teaching since 2019 and is writing her dissertation on artistic and artistic-activist work on social media (supervised by Elke Krasny). 

Claudia Lomoschitz: Queer Nursing as Infrastructural Critique 

This lecture will elaborate on infrastructures of care regarding queer nursing concepts through looking at the art works “Health investment” (Video, Claudia Lomoschitz, 2022) and “Partus Gyno Bitch Tits” (Performance Installation, Claudia Lomoschitz, 2021). “Health investment” examines the emptied architecture of Semmelweis Clinic in Vienna, one of the first clinics dedicated to women’s health solely, where in 1909 the first human milk bank- preserving chest milk for infants in need - was established. In the last decade, the monument-protected buildings were sold to private investors and the site of the clinic became an object of speculation at the expense of women’s health commodification, which raises questions of infrastructure for women’s health. Through looking at milk banks, milk-sharing networks and queer nursing practices like induced lactation, an array of multi-faceted nursing infrastructures emerges. “Partus Gyno Bitch Tits” engages with concepts of queer nursing, which open up multigenerational, multi-gendered practices, demanding infrastructures that support the physical, emotional, mental and economic well-being of caregivers. To contribute to an understanding of nursing as a shared practice means to facilitate spaces where nursing, pumping milk and heating formula can take place. It means to secure care work economically, to subsidize child care, to offer access to lactation consultants, to compensate the time spent nursing, to make up for lost earnings and make sure that caretakers are well surrounded. The demand for caring infrastructures evokes fantasies of collective, gender-equitable and economically secure care work.

Claudia Lomoschitz works as visual artist, performance artist and educator in the intersecting fields of choreography and visual arts. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Royal Danish Academy of Copenhagen and completed her MA in Performance Studies at the University of Hamburg. Her PhD research focuses on cultural implications of lactation. Her performances and installations have been shown at Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Tanzquartier Vienna, brut Vienna and Kampnagel Hamburg.

Carlota Mir: Collective Labor of Care: Building Feminist Infrastructures in the Post-Dictatorial Spanish State 

This lecture examines a territory of tension between collective curatorial practices developed autonomously in the Spanish State since the Transition to Democracy and their understated relationship to art institutions today. Working autonomously as ‘alterinstitutions’, collective feminist curatorial and artistic-activist practices, which are understood to build the otherwise inexistent feminist infrastructure, have historically performed the caring labor of transitioning towards democracy, and how their understated activist legacies have sponsored situated models of curatorial thought which are globally relevant in the present. I aim to recover an unacknowledged genealogy of grassroots collective practices, curatorial experimentation, and feminist contagion in art institutions, which places self-managed collective practices at its base. Examples presented focus self-managed collectives that have developed outstanding practices at the intersection of art, political activism and knowledge production: LaSal, Barcelona, 1977/90; Erreakzioa/Reacción, Basque Country, 1994–present; Eskalera Karakola, Madrid, 1996–present. In a climate of intellectual and material scarcity, self-managed feminist collectives have functioned as alter-institutions of sorts, operating from principles of transnational feminist solidarity, collective authorship and commonality, and political antagonism to global capitalism and post-dictatorial repression, who performed the caring labor of transitioning towards democracy.

Carlota Mir is an independent curator, researcher and translator working simultaneously across these fields. She works and does research at the intersection of feminisms, migration, sexual minorities, curating, radical pedagogies and architecture. Currently, Carlota works as a curator for the Danish refugee community centre Trampoline House, a lumbung member at documenta fifteen (Kassel 2022), and she is also a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under the co-supervision of Dr Elke Krasny and Dr Jesús Carrillo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid/Museo Reina Sofía) . Other current projects include the volume Propositions for Translocal Solidarity (Berlin: Archive Books/Stockholm: Konstfack), which she is a co-editor of.

Verónica Orsi: The Green Scarf: An activist infrastructure for the trans-feminist body in Buenos Aires

The city of Buenos Aires, among other Argentine cities, has held since 2003 demonstrations for the right to safe and free legal abortion, whose emblem is the green scarf (el pañuelo verde). Taking over the streets was one of the key components of the resignification and empowerment of trans-feminist militancy, giving visibility and resonance to the struggle for the right to decide about one's own body. Because of its historical past and its symbolic weight, the city of Buenos Aires is highly representative in political, social and cultural terms. Its urban design and infrastructure contained and shaped over the years the most representative struggles and forces in terms of the expansion of rights and social justice. In this contribution I will focus on how the infrastructure of the city of Buenos Aires contained the feminist struggle framed in a historical tradition of protests and acquired rights, giving visibility to the demonstrations for the right to safe and free legal abortion and its emblem par excellence, the green scarf. I will also analyze in a transversal and integral way the public space as a scenario of the green scarf in its materiality and affective charge.

Verónica Orsi is Diversity Curator at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections), Diversity-Trainer and PhD candidate at the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien (Academy of fine arts Vienna). Her work combines a discrimination-critical and diversity-oriented museum practice with a trans-feminist approach that focuses on people and their relation with objects in their materialities and affects.

Sylvia Sadzinski: (No) Play and Party! Queer Curating as Infrastructural Critique

Curating and exhibition-making are professionalised practices that conform to and follow a set of learned, if often unspoken, structural conventions, invisible protocols and expected techniques. They exhibit a particular normative habitus that in turn (re)produces normalities within the framework of the exhibition and structures curatorial practice (Rogoff 2013, Sullivan & Middleton 2020, Tyburczy 2016). This talk explores the exhibition as an infrastructural scenario in general and as a potentially activist and particularly queer and feminist one in particular. The much discussed, though not conclusively defined, practice of so-called queer curating is directed against the status quo, questioning, among other things, the museum and the exhibition as normalising entities in which meanings are created and binary and heteronormative structures are reinforced, and is understood as a form of activism (Reilly 2018). Two exhibition projects – From Riot to Respectability at the Schwulen Museum in Berlin in 2019 and the exhibition No play-Feminist Training Camp at the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) in Berlin in 2016 – will help to analyse the extent to which queer and feminist curatorial practices engage in infrastructural critique. What might a feminist infrastructure of the curatorial look like? How can curating be part of a feminist infrastructural critique? As queer curating simultaneously creates affirmative moments of infrastructure, but at the same time rejects and questions them in collective practices between party and play, structures and moments of the in-between emerge.

Sylvia Sadzinski is the artistic co-director of the feminist art space alpha nova & galerie futura in Berlin, a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and has recently curated exhibitions for Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Kunstverein Dresden, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien Berlin and Schwules Museum, among others. She is a lecturer at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies and has been teaching at international universities since 2015.