VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Feel(In) the Gaps


September 8 – October 14, 2023

Opening: September 7, 2023, 19:00–21:00 Hybrid opening onsite and online. 
Closing date: October 14, 2023

Letícia Barreto, Cinzia Greco, Maica Gugolati, Jaime Lee Loy, Gabrielle Le Roux

Feel(In) the Gaps starts from an ongoing discussion among the five of us: artists, activists, researchers, and curators who shared the experience of having different invisible and visible disabilities. After meeting regularly online since the pandemic, creating a space where we learned about one another’s (in)visibilities, this art show allows us to take “body and space” of these discussions while opening the dialogue with different audiences and colleagues. This art exhibition does not treat disabilities as an “object” of discussion but is created through the experience of the disabilities themselves. 

Within ‘invisible disabilities’ we include permanent and transient disabilities, such as autoimmune diseases, psychological and neurological conditions, unrecognized or medically unexplained disabilities, chronic diseases, Long Covid, and forms of trauma, with trauma explored both as the consequence of disability in ableist societies and as a disability in itself. 

When defining disability, and in particular invisible disability, in medical contexts, mistranslation can occur, especially due to its inner changeability of manifestation. For this reason, we promoted dialogism as a methodology of sharing, creating, and exhibiting. 

The stereotypical dichotomy between visible and invisible disability polarizes a complex situation made of heterogenous and polyform manifestations, urgencies of recognition and limitations of categorizations, changeable experiences, and psychophysical and social learning. 

We confront societal “toxic positivity” that pressures people to over-perform “feeling fine”. But we also disagree with the classic iconography of suffering that superficially boxes-in the complexities of knowledge and experiences. We rather insist on sur-viving ‘through’ and with our disabilities, in a form of “through living” or “through-viving” in partnership with our challenges and discoveries. This allows for a different way of living in the world and possibly being (un)recognized by it.  

We deliberately move in(side) and beyond external recognition, looking within ourselves and at other realities, moving past the limitations of being routinely diagnosed, undiagnosed, and misdiagnosed by biomedicine. Issues of isolation, hypervigilance, and frequently forced relearning lead us to confront ourselves and each other and question what constitutes the notion of disabilities and their relation to possible unintended external and internal self-betrayals. It is an ongoing individual and collective constant co-learning. 


✴︎ Sept. 7, 19:00 – 21:00 (Event link) ✴︎
Opening (hybrid streaming, in English and sign language)  

✴︎ Sept. 9, 14:00 – 17:00 (onsite, in English and Portuguese) ✴︎
“Living is ripping and mending“: Workshop with Letícia Barreto

Together with the artist, you will use the action of tearing and mending as a metaphor for the constant process of relearning, re-adapting, and transforming oneself in the face of life’s vicissitudes, which include these “invisible disabilities”. Please, come with a photo of yourself printed in A4 paper.

✴︎ Sept. 12, 19:00 – 21:00 (onsite, in English) ✴︎
“The Passion According to GH”: Clarice Lispector. Lecture and Debate with Letícia Barreto and Maica Gugolati

Barreto and Gugolati will animate a roundtable of discussion and readings from the seminal feminist work: The passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lisperctor.

✴︎ Sept. 13, 19:00 – 21:00 (onsite, in English) ✴︎
“Expressive Art Activity” with an art therapy approach with Jaime Lee Loy

The artist will propose a workshop about self-therapy that explores invisibility regarding ‘the hidden,’ be it trauma, chronic pain, other chronic or mental challenges. The exercises welcome participants to explore their own invisibilities towards acknowledgment and/or acceptance regarding their intangible and unexplainable ‘shadows,’ their ‘invisibilities.’

✴︎ (POSTPONED): Sept. 27, 19:00-21:00 (hybrid, in English with English subtitles / Event Link) ✴︎
Screening and Discussion of the film on Nthabiseng Mokoena’s life: Reclaiming Intersex while black, genderqueer + feminist in South Africa, with Gabrielle Le Roux.
Zoom link: Meeting ID: 822 8223 9129 / Passcode: 219244

Gabrielle Le Roux, artist contributor of Feel(In) the Gaps. Invisibile Disabilities art exhibition will run an online event, hybrid screening online and onsite with a debate about one of their documentary on Nthabiseng Mokoena’s life: Reclaiming Intersex while black, genderqueer + feminist in South Africa.

The movie is accessible online. After the 27 minutes screening, we will have a conversation between the public (online and onsite) and the artist (based in South Africa, present online).

✴︎ Sept. 30, 15:00 – 17:00 (onsite, English) ✴︎
“Unmasking the Self“, combining ethnographic discussion with photography on neurodiversity with Cinzia Greco

Cinzia Greco offers a transformation of the concepts of interview and auto-ethnography. the event consists of a performance/interview with the participation of the public to problematise the conception of the self, particularly when considering the diversity in the points of view of others.

✴︎ Oct. 3 , from 19:00 (online, in English / Event Link) ✴︎
Feel(In) the Gaps, A conversation between all artists, faculty members, and students of Toronto University
Zoom link: Meeting ID: 852 8068 7718 / Passcode: 931014

We will organize a two-hour conference and open Q/A from the online public to discuss invisible disabilities and the art exhibition on the same thematic Feel(In) the Gaps.

✴︎ 6 Oct, 19:00 – 21:00 (online, in English and French / Event Link) ✴︎
“Visible / Invisible – Speakable-Unspeakable: a discussion about flirting, love and dating websites” with OSTENSIBLE Collective.

Zoom link: Meeting ID: 844 4706 9427 / Passcode: 323328

In this online, even the guest collaborators Ostensible will have an online performative discussion
Ostensible (They/Them) is a tandem collective that, starting from their standpoint, researches and creates on disability, crip studies, and contemporary art. Loucie Camous, the founder, is an art curator, artist and researcher, and No Anger is an artist, researcher, and author. Ostensible is based in France.

✴︎ 10 Oct, 19:00 – 21:00 (Venue: Planet 10, in English) ✴︎
Performative Chronic Sharing. Cooking with Maica Gugolati together in cooperation with Afrorainbow Austria.
In collaboration with Vienna-based association Afrorainbow, there will be interactive perfromative events of cooking together while discussing and embodying chronicity. This collective and free performance will take place in the kitchen space of Planet 10. It means to spread the conviviality of daily basis chronicity of invisible disabilities. at the end of the event you are all invited to eat together what we cooked.

✴︎ 12 Oct, 19:00 – 21:00 (Online, English and Italian / Event Link) ✴︎
Online discussion about the show and with the Italian association of Fibromyalgia AISF ODV, with artists’ group and collaborators. 
Zoom link:  Meeting ID: 847 3772 0531 / Passcode: 729489text

This conference, run in English and Italian, will be a conversation about the art show Feel(In) the Gaps and the Italian Association of Fibromyalgia AISF ODV. The discussion will then be open to questions and comments from the online audience in both languages.

✴︎ 14 Oct, 19:00 – 21:00 (onsite) ✴︎
Closing celebration.

photos © by Daniel Hill 

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