Can Feminism Speak East?
Friday, 13 November, 14:00 – 19:30
The preparation and research of the Gender Check exhibition has exposed a diverse range of intellectual positions, scholarly disciplines, methodologies and vocabularies that are used to read the art of the Socialist and post-Socialist period from a gender perspective. For the last twenty years, the former Eastern Bloc’s art history has been the subject of writing and re-writing, re-evaluations and comparative positioning. Today, at a time when feminist practice and theory has established itself in post-Socialist countries – in spite of historical ignorance and rejection – we would like to ask “How does Feminism speak East?”
Fuck Your Gender
Saturday, 14 November, 10:00 – 13:30
“Fuck Your Gender” refers to a slogan from the 1993 queer movement and is devoted to those aspects of feminism in art, activism and visual culture that transgress binary borders. It tackles gender differences and norms, heteronormativity and all other discriminatory distinctions like East/West, oneself/others. This section deals with issues such as job migration and the current internationalisation of queer-feminist and anti-racist protests, focusing in particular on transgressions of East/West imagery. Today, activist and theoretical discourse in places as far apart as Vancouver and Belgrade forges links between gender and sexuality and racism, capitalism, fascism and nationalism, sexual autonomy, poverty and social injustice. Transgressions of traditional identity-related single-issue politics are leading to new alliances and thus creating possibilities to exchange information and transfer knowledge.
Saturday, 14 November, 14:30 – 19:00
This section will attempt to revisit canons that we continuously stumble upon, fight against and become part of in the process of reading gender and gender politics. When reading gender in the art of Socialism and post-Socialism, one is confronted by obsolete historical canons. It reveals marginal or forgotten figures in both art and theory, in particular female artists who have remained in the shadow of the myths of the great male masters. This gender approach aims to substantiate and legitimate the use of “foreign” vocabularies and methods in an analysis of the local art phenomena and the artists’ “living experience”. It necessitates the creation of approaches that challenge national art histories, revealing the powers at play and the social structures supporting ideologies such as socialism, capitalism or nationalism. It poses questions not only about the process of reading but also about the “inscription” of each local history in the grand canon of recognition and visibility.