Open Call: Daring Bodies

Annual Program VBKÖ March 2023 March 2024

VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstler*innen Österreichs (Austrian Association of Wom*n Artists) invites you to send in a proposal for our yearly program running from March 2023 to March 2024.

Daring Bodies

In his book Ideas to postpone the end of the world, Brazilian philosopher and activist Ailton Krenak warns us: “The kind of zombie humanity we’re being asked to join can’t bear so much pleasure, so much fruition in life. So they holler on about the end of the world in the hope of making us give up on our dreams.”[1]

“Daring Bodies” is a call to action! In order to see change, it is important to dare to go beyond zombified privilege, comfort, and the safety zone.

Our current global crisis is characterized by great uncertainty and emotional upheaval regarding the political, economic and environmental state of things that go beyond our stasis. This runs through all layers of our being – from the social into our private spheres. Instead of treating emotions then as mere individual-expression, Sara Ahmed suggests “emotions work by working through signs and on bodies to materialize the surfaces and boundaries that are lived as worlds.” [2] These emotions create “others” by grouping some bodies and at the same time marginalizing others. These divisions produce emotional responses that grow upon more repetition. Emotions dictate our modes of life.

With this year’s OPEN CALL, what are we looking for? We are looking for projects that show us what we have forgotten, that dare us to remember, that dare us to be feeling, breathing more-than-zombie-bodies: “The task is to make kin in lines of inventive connection as a practice of learning to live and die well with each other in a thick present.“[3]

As a queer-feminist association, we have an equal responsibility to work towards a future that ensures feminist principles within VBKÖ’s upcoming exhibition and public programs such as actively fighting against trans-exclusionary radical feminism, de-linking from modern global white-supremacy; programs that allow for dissent, opinions, critique, ugly feelings, and different truths, and ones that recognize the reverberance of a contemporary feminist outlook in other movements internationally.

We welcome group proposals for exhibition programs that could also include screenings, performances, workshops, lectures and other artistic practices within it. We do not support solo shows or individual presentation formats!

What we require from you:

  1. A description of the exhibition proposal (max. 2 pages, including sketches if any). The proposal for the VBKÖ (if accepted) will run for approximately 6 weeks (including installation and deinstallation of the show). We highly recommend proposing a program that activates the exhibition at different points of its duration. Proposals can be written in English or German.
  2. A CV/biography from all participants involved in the proposal (max. 2 pages)
  3. A financial plan. VBKÖ supports each project with a max. 2500 euro. This project budget can include artist fees, material, labor, production and transport. If you are coming from abroad, please consider applying for extra funding to cover your own travel costs. VBKÖ can provide invitation & support letters.*
  4. Technical requirements
  5. Three high-resolution images of work for the exhibition
  6. A contact person’s information (email & mobile number)

* The VBKÖ provides an exhibition space, graphic design of online promotional material, press announcements, photo documentation, and technical equipment (please see the technical list ).

A shortlist will be notified of their selection and asked to meet with the Jury to present their proposal. Six proposals will be chosen for the 2023-2024 annual program. Please take note of the requirements, incomplete applications will not be considered. The selected proposals will be announced mid-September 2022.

Deadline: 10 July 2022, 23:59

Please send all your written materials via a single PDF (max 5MB) and submit the high-res images within the email or through a download link (please label images with artist’s name, work title, year, proposal title) to exhibition@vbkoe.org with the Subject: Open Call + your proposal title or mail / deliver to our address: VBKÖ Maysedergasse 2/28, 1010 Vienna (received by 10 July 2022). 


  1. Ailton Krenak, Ideas to postpone the end of the world, 2020, p. 31.
  2. Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004, S. 191.
  3. Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 2016, p. 1.