Intentions

TO ORGANIZE IN FRIENDSHIP!

I am drawn to the idea of living together and sharing acts and thoughts in common, in a way that what is shared is not things, objects, property, qualities (being brothers, men, French, artists, or whatever) but an activity, a process of coexistence through doing and thinking. What this proposes is a process of association that remains open as to what or whom may partake in it.

Céline Condorelli, “Reprint (in friendship)”, Mousse 32, 2012

In the fields of arts and culture, friendships, collective work and networks are structurally and economically closely intertwined. They constitute an important part of artistic and cultural production. On the one hand, in self-organized collective contexts, friendships and networks represent forms of liability, which promote common productivity and mutual support. On the other hand, such constellations may also overwhelm the people involved in them. Working together implies a willingly and voluntary decision, and the personal commitment to the shared work is high. In the face of sheer enthusiasm for the common space, working hours are easily forgotten and additional tasks quickly accepted. In such —usually underfunded— situations, it is theoretically possible to withdraw, express unwillingness, or to be unable to perform; but in practice this is not always so simple. Although friendship provides a protective environment for precarious groups, it is not easy to set boundaries, or to solve conflicts, since the responsibilities are as demanding as high are the expectations.

In practice, what does it mean to demand new, or alternative, forms of friendship and networks? How can friendships crystallize networks and action groups that are formed aloof from rehearsed, normative practices and go beyond identity stances? How can friendship be used as a political and artistic strategy? As a relevant place of shortened and shared resources, how could the VBKÖ be occupied engagingly and amicably? Despite all the precariousness and responsibility, what structures can be created so that enthusiasm is preserved, a space for conflict remains present, and it is possible to look after one another?

It is through these specific questions that the annual program of 2014 relates to the programming of the past year. The planned projects, exhibitions, performances, lecture series, video programs, workshops and artist talks will focus on feminist and queer practices as a starting point to examine the potentialities as well as the precariousness of friendship in the context of common work.

Board:

Elke Auer, Veronika Dirnhofer, Lina Dokuzovic, Hilde Fuchs, Nina Hoechtl, Ruby Sircar, Esther Straganz, Julia Wieger

2013:

In 2013, the thematic focus of the annual program is firmly intended for the many supporters and the extended family, without whom the undertakings of the VBKÖ would not be possible: the planned projects, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and interventions in public space as well as the performance programs discuss and examine the theme of Friendship, Do-It-Together, Sense of Community and Care Taking.

Through this thematic emphasis on women’s networks and commoning, the VBKÖ will again focus on feminist practices as a starting point for alternative and new artistic and social everyday practices. The mutual support, commons and a sense of community have been elementary for the contemporary feminism practiced and exemplified in art and culture by the VBKÖ for over a century.

Board:

Elke Auer, Veronika Dirnhofer, Lina Dokuzovic, Hilde Fuchs, Nina Höchtl, Ruby Sircar, Esther Straganz, Julia Wieger

2012:

For a free place

Far away from manorial derision

Yearned our sisters

You’re the battle’s wages

This years’ program consists of three parts: the main exhibition program, the short and fast member exhibition Hello Show and the Studio Project. All three parts are circling around questions of archival work and historiography in the context of contemporary queer and feminist artistic practices. The Programs will focus on following question on an artistic and theoretical level, as well as on an on-site practical level: How can spaces be celebrated and taken up in the sense of collaboration? What happens to artistic and political communication over time? How do ideas and concepts live, change, or disappear?

Board:

Elke Auer, Veronika Dirnhofer, Lina Dokuzovic, Hilde Fuchs, Nina Höchtl, Ruby Sircar, Esther Straganz, Julia Wieger