Lecture performance (45 min.): SECRETARIAT FOR GHOSTS, ARCHIVAL POLITICS AND GAPS (Nina Hoechtl and Julia Wieger, SKGAL; research assistant: Lisa Burgdorf)
This lecture performance focuses on the activities from the time of National Socialism until the 1980s of an all women art space in Vienna, which was founded in 1910 and is still active today the Austrian Association of Women Artists (VBKÖ for its name in German).
The VBKÖ initially campaigned for the artistic, economic and educational interests of women in the arts and rented a space in the center of Vienna, where it still is today. Despite its progressive beginnings, the association decided to collaborate with the Nazi regime in 1938. From the perspective of the nascent Viennese Feminist Art Movements in the 1970’s, the association had fallen into oblivion. Nevertheless, the VBKÖ was active. What kind of exhibitions were organized? Who were the members of the association? Was the role of the VBKÖ during the time of National Socialism discussed after 1945? Were the members of the association in touch with local feminist art movements during the 1970s?
We question the archival materials of the association in terms of continuities, gaps and resistance in an attempt to figure out what space of action could the VBKÖ provide today. How can a historical engagement be a political intervention into the present?
The Archive As A Site Of Political Confrontation. Or How To Sing Out Of Tune? was presented at burt, die Bar, Vienna (A) (2015) and in the frame of the Fourth Biennial Conference of the European Network for Avant-garde and Modernism Studies UTOPIA EAM 2014 (University of Helsinki, FIN, 2014); remnants of the lecture performance have been part oft he exhibition Die Kunst der Frau. Freundinnen und Komplizinnen, curated by Barbara Steiner, VBKÖ, Vienna (A) (2015-16).