Feminist Infrastructural Critique Interdependencies of Bodies, Materials, and Technologies

ClientAcademy of Fine Arts, Vienna
Date14 May 2022
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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.

The symposium was followed by a PhD seminar curated by Carlota Mir and Sophie Lingg, featuring Angela Dimitrakaki, Ann Cvetkovich, Hillary Robinson, Xabier Arakistain, and Marina Vishmidt.

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.