Women in Space

Women in Space

Institute Art Gender Nature, Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW

(1) Women in Space, 2019. (2) Julieta Aranda, Stealing One’s Own Corpse (An Alternative Set of Footholds for an Ascent into Dark) (still), 2014. HD video, single channel. Courtesy the artist. (3) Promise no Promises! symposium, 2018. © Institut Kunst HGK FHNW, Basel. 

April 3, 2019
Women in Space
Symposium as part of the series "Women in the Arts and Leadership"
April 4–5, 2019
Institute Art Gender Nature, Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
Freilager-Platz 1
4002 Basel
Facebook / Instagram

With guests: Nikola Dietrich, Mareike Dittmer, Raffael Dörig, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Fanni Fetzer, Elena Filipovic, Iliana Fokianaki, Ines Goldbach, Sabine Himmelsbach, Claire Hoffmann, Manuela Moscoso, Marie Muracciole, Elfi Turpin and Nadine Wietlisbach

Moderated by Chus Martínez and Quinn Latimer, this symposium is a public event within the framework of the Women’s Center for Excellence, a long-term research project initiated by the Art Institute in Basel together with Instituto Susch, a joint venture with Grażyna Kulczyk and Art Stations Foundation CH.

Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu once wrote that, “sociology and art do not make good bedfellows.” His reasoning was grounded in the perceived tension between the art world’s desire to focus on individual creative genius, and sociology’s insistent aim to explain phenomena in terms of social forces. Taking the measure of a wide swath of art institutions and spaces run by women curators in recent years, it would seem that these art professionals remain in many cases on the (sociological) side of Bourdieu. The art spaces they activate do not often stress the importance of size, the need for expansion, or the importance of demographic media impact, but rather the necessity of programs that encourage a qualitative interaction between different social spheres as they relate to exhibitions, public programs, and the continuous presence of the artist community. But the question remains: Do women art professionals aim for this outcome or is this the result of the difficult and adaptive process to the very patriarchal conditions in which they, as women in a system created by and for men, are mandated to work?

Ideas of intimacy, the small scale, and the need for a social space in which to express authentically and in solidarity—ideas and ambitions that are often accorded to women professionals, in a specific kind of gendering of care, affective relations, and the minor forms—can seem to clash, simultaneously, with the larger, louder, seemingly more “ambitious” views of what women should want (as outlined by mainstream feminist narratives that center the claiming of traditional modes of power). What do all these ideas—projected or not—imply, and how do they manifest in space itself? What is the historical origin of these conceptions? How have such ideas affected the view of women who claim space, as it were, large or not? The ambition of Women in Space” is to spend two days on the campus of the Art Institute in Basel, in dialogue with a group of art professionals addressing these ideas and notions. Like its predecessor, “Promise No Promises!,” this symposium will be dramatized in a way that avoids the expected power point presentations, instead creating a sense of real debate and conversation, at once performative and improvised, as well as include live readings on the various subjects being addressed (so as to bring in voices both historical and farflung). The voices and thinking of each participant will testify to their specific experiences as women in space—a space that is at once certain, uncertain, competing, and ever expanding and contracting—as well as offer reflections on the recent past and hoped-for future scenarios of their fields, offering the audience a series of shifting images of the very “space” that women occupy in the art system today.

Women in Space is made possible thanks to the support of the Federal Office of Culture FOC. 

The symposium is open to the public and will be live-streamed.
More information, program and link to follow the live stream are available online.

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Institute Art Gender Nature, Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
April 3, 2019

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