Photo: Lisa Rastl
In the frame of the exhibition Uncanny Materials. Founding Moments of Art Education, curated by Elke Krasny and Barbara Mahlknecht, on a table with Thonet chairs from the inventory of the Austrian Association of Women Artists (VBKÖ), the Sekretariat für Geister Archivpolitiken und Lücken (SKGAL) assembled archival materials from two rather different archives—the VBKÖ archive and the University Archives of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Taking the year 1941 as a starting point, the installation-in-process set out to challenge normative and linear historical narratives in order to direct our attention to the traces of National Socialism and colonialism in both archives.
The archival materials—reproductions of documents like minutes, correspondences, participant lists, and newspaper clips, as well as art works and catalogues—were the source material for a workshop that took place in the course of the exhibition. As a result, the site of the archives as well as their materials—their position in time, space, as well as their form—were placed in question and the actual process of archiving was turned into its own mode of performance.
Photo: Julia Wieger
Tue, April 5, 2016, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., xhibit
In Haunted Archives: (Post-)National Socialist Times, Decolonial Futures
SKGAL (Nina Höchtl and Julia Wieger) Workshop (English)
By addressing the archive as a medium we attempted to work through its im/materiality. We invited participants to question the currency of National Socialism, colonialism and (de)coloniality in relation to specific archival materials from two rather different archives: the Archive of the Austrian Association of Women Artists VBKÖ and the University Archives of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, both haunted by National Socialism and coloniality. These archives hold documents evincing the institutions’ national socialist involvements as well as pointing towards traces of coloniality. At the same time, they bear omissions that make it necessary to read into their gaps.
The workshop addressed questions such as: How could we engage with the archival materials in order to examine the constellations between National Socialism, colonialism and coloniality? Could the analysis of said constellations help to explore possible forms of decolonial futures? In combination with decolonial studies, what do queer, feminist and postcolonial practices and theories bring to archival research? How could visual arts become a resource for decoloniality of archives? How could (de)coloniality question the meaning and method of comparativity and archival politics?