Der zeitliche Abstand zwischen dem Ursprung von patriarchalen Institutionssystemen und dem Anfang von frauenbewegten, gegen-institutionellen Systemen ist nicht so groß wie es scheint. Auch nicht der zwischen den da einsetzenden ersten revolutionären feministischen Selbstinstitutionalisierungen und deren fortwährenden Aktualisierungen.
The gap in time between the emergence of patriarchal institutional systems and the beginning of the anti-institutional systems of the women’s movements is not as great as it may seem. The one between the initial revolutionary feminist self-institutionalizations which emerged and their continual actualization is not either. Feminist-imprinted institutional discourses in the arts have turned against powerful universalisms and normative determinative methods for centuries. International strategies of intervention with continuities in their resistant operation began to emerge in order to oppose the techniques of intrinsic technologies of systematic exclusion.
The annual project, “tribute to,” has dealt with the correlations that have existed in this country and worldwide since the 19th century in the entrance of the VBKÖ at Maysedergasse 2, 1010 Vienna, since February 2010. It thereby – as all of the other events during the centennial anniversary year of the VBKÖ – regards the historical origins outside androcentric institutional totalities, as well as new feminist resistant links. The project intervenes in the form of posters and through text extracts from programmatic (institutional) writings of activist women and women artists’ composition in public space.
The first poster was dedicated to the VBKÖ as the first women’s artist association of Austria. “Förderung Wahrung Hebung Schaffung” (“Advancement Ensurance Enhancement Creation”) were the central leitmotifs from the 1910 program. Some of the first known women’s artist association claims were “to extend the limited, to display, sell.” They derived from the Society of Women Artists (SWA), founded in 1855, in London. March marked the youngest women’s artist group we are aware of to date, the Taiwan Women’s Art Association (WAA), founded in 2000. “Fang Fa, Ti Gong, Fa Sheng, Zahn Shi” (“methods, to provide, to voice out, to showcase”) are key terms which not only bring their politico-cultural goals to a point, but also – as the cooperation with WAA has shown – the traditional lines of thematized mobilization must continue to insurgently actualize themselves.
Confronting perpetratory systems
This year a special focus will simultaneously be dedicated to each pioneering departure that relates to the perpetratory history of the VBKÖ during National Socialism in a momentous way, to its disparately involved spectra. They were originally eradicated in Austria, to ultimately disappear entirely during the second half of the 20th century on the path to functionalizing the forgetting of Auschwitz.
International Women’s Day, on March 8th 2010, provided a dignified framework for the commemoration of two women’s artist groups to which representative politico-cultural achievements in the service of women’s movements in the arts in Austria can be ascribed: the Wiener Arbeitsbund (founded in 1902 as Wiener Kunst im Hause, fig. top left) and the Wiener Frauenkunst (founded in 1926–1938/1946–1956). Both were dissolved in 1938 through the NS measures of “Gleichschaltung,” and were thereby “integrated” into the massive break in the aforementioned continuities of emancipatory concepts that the VBKÖ stood for. However, following the preliminary National Socialist scrutinization of both the Wiener Arbeitsbund as well as the Wiener Frauenkunst, only less than half of the registered women artists remained active in the VBKÖ.
Various scientific and artistic research and publication projects as well as events of the VBKÖ have begun to investigate the institutional theoretical backgrounds of both networks and the destinies of the individual women artists who had emigrated or were killed. The poster intervention project “tribute to” is one of them. It deals with the cutting-edge, eradicated, forgotten, current and future nominative structures of struggle in the artistic activisms of feminist and women’s movements worldwide. In particular, it primarily deals with the century-long structures in the arts of the 19th and 20th centuries in Austria.
“tribute to” is a project by Amanda Amaan and Rudolfine Lackner
Location of the annual project: The Maysedergasse entrance to the VBKÖ