Curating in Feminist Thought: Elke Krasny

Curatorial Materialism: A Feminist Perspective on Independent and Co-Dependent Curating

Symposium Curating in Feminist Thought
Friday 6th of May 2016 at Migros Museum
Saturday 7th of May 2016 at Zurich University of the Arts


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Elke Krasny is Professor of Art and Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work as a curator, cultural theorist, and writer focuses on architecture, urbanism, politically conscious art practices, and feminist historiographies of curating. Krasny holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the University of Reading, Department of Art, Research Platform for Curatorial and Cross-disciplinary Cultural Studies. In 2016 she taught at the Post Graduate Program on Postindustrial Design at the University of Thessaly, Volos; 2014 City of Vienna Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Technology. In 2012 she was Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal. In 2011 she was Visiting Curator at the Hongkong Community Museum. Recent curatorial works include On the Art of Housekeeping and Budgeting in the 21st Century, curated together with Regina Bittner, Suzanne Lacy’s International Dinner Party in Feminist Curatorial Thought at Zurich and Hands-On Urbanism. The Right to Green which was presented at the 2012 Venice Biennale. Her 2015 essay Growing the Seeds of Change was included in Jordan Geiger’s volume Entr‘Acte, Performing Pulbics, Pervasive Media, and Architecture. She co-edited the 2013 volume Women‘s:Museum. Curatorial Politics in Feminism, Education, History, and Art, the 2012 volume Hands-On Urbanism. The Right to Green and the 2008 volume The Force is in the Mind. The Making of Architecture.

Concept by Elke Krasny, Lara Perry, Dorothee Richter
With contributions by Amelia Jones, Maura Reilly, Helena Reckitt,
Sigrid Schade, Dorothee Richter, Lara Perry, Elke Krasny,
Hilary Robinson, Stella Rollig, Lina Džuverović and Irene Revell,
Laura Castagnini, Susanne Clausen, Michaela Melian, Nkule Mabaso

Videoprogramme with works by Martina Mullaney, Szuper Gallery,
Plan C, Liv Wynter, Louise Fitzgerald, PUNK IS DADA

Curators and their partners are working in a contested field, in which
the meanings of institutions, their power structures and modes of
participation can be debated and reshaped. “To think of institutions in terms of production (of work and discourse and political practice and solidarity) instead of representation would be, to my mind, a first feminist step”. With this provocation the curator Ruth Noack invited us in 2013 to rethink the nature of feminist critique of the museum, the gallery, the exhibition space. Is access to the representational space of the museum a meaningful or adequate tool for feminism? Can such occupations mobilize sufficient means to reform the social function of exhibition? In recent years the role of the curator has increasingly become identified with “the new economic conditions that require new contexts of collaboration and interaction” (Olga Fernandez), conditions which are identified with celebrity and authority as well as precarity and casualization. What is the gendered nature of the power relations, effects, inconsistencies and contradictions of curating in the present? And how can feminism help us to rethink the role of the curator?