VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Heartbreaks. Or: Loving you is complicated.

Ausstellung/ Exhibition

10.4.2019 – 10.5.2019
Eröffnung/ Opening: 10.4.2019, 19 Uhr/ 7 pm

Künstler*innen und Poet*innen / Artists and Poets:
Anne Boyer, Pêdra Costa, Denise Ferreira da Silva & Arjuna Neuman, Jasmine Gibson, James Goodwin, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Bhanu Kapil, Rohini Kapil, Fred Moten & Stefano Harney, Cauleen Smith, Urban Feral

Display: Stefanie Schwarzwimmer

Kurator*innen / Curators: Djamila Codou Anges Grandits & Andrea Popelka 


There is this shit that we call love, right. We say we want it. We do, we do. But it‘s horrible, right, it‘s terrible. It sucks, right? According to the poet Fred Moten love sucks. It does suck, because it is an experience of “extreme vulnerability” and “radical non-self-sufficiency.” Love can mess with your brain and substance. It possesses you and turns the clear definitions of your body into wobbly zones of flesh.

In music, the visual arts, social life, and performance you potentially lose your self in the same way you do when you fall in love. Losing the self is what Fred Moten and other thinkers in the areas of Black Feminisms and Black Studies are interested in. They defy modern and liberal notions of the self as “individual” or “subject,” that, in both different and common ways, define the hu[M]an as an enclosed self-governed being. A being, that, built around the lines of masculinity, whiteness, ability, and rationality, is engaged in a constant work of remaining separated from and unaffected by others.

According to Moten, being such a controlled individual is a phantasy that can’t ever be achieved. More than that, it is an extremely violent phantasy, because the work of separation and staying unaffected by the lives and deaths of others that is necessary to uphold it lives at the heart of exclusion, property, war, and wall-building. Moten and Denise Ferreira da Silva look to “Blackness,” “Black social life,” and “Blacklight” as forces and means that disturb these operations and are the practice of an alternative, at the same time.

Love and social life not only point us to the fact that ontologies of separation are wrong. Social life also simply feels good. Here, the senses can guide us to the fact that solidarity is pleasurable; to the question of how anarchism might feel, or what future political communities might look like. Heartbreaks. Or: Loving you is complicated. ruminates about life as profoundly social and about the joy, as well as the complexity, of experimenting with an open, affectable, vulnerable, and entangled being.

The exhibition brings together poets, artists, video essays, a sound piece, theoretical and poetical writings, a small library, a cozy tangle of cushions for seating, and a video with Eartha Kitt. It forms a constellation between the artists and their different works and, in this way, tries to materialise an ongoing conversation. That discussion is mostly Anglo-American and worth to be tied into the local context. Some of the artists have been widely featured abroad, but show their works for the first time in Vienna.

In this sense, Heartbreaks. isn’t necessarily about a bourgeois connection between two individuals, although we urge you to bring your broken heart to the show. More so, it is about love as an unsettling event that points to the inherent sociality and entanglement of our being.

Heartbreaks. kicks off L/XVE, a series about alternative practices of social life ― in the realms of friendship, solidarity, love, the maternal, and erotics.

Rahmenprogramm / Accompanying Programme:

Soziologie der Liebe
Workshop mit Laura Wiesböck

19:30 Uhr / 7:30 pm

Der Workshop findet in deutscher Sprache statt.

My body is at best when I am silent
Somatischer Workshop mit / Somatic Workshop with Sophie Utikal

13 bis 15 Uhr / 1 to 3 pm

Begrenzte Teilnehmer*innenzahl,um Anmeldung wird gebeten unter / Please register under: sophie.utikal@gmail.com

Der Workshop findet in deutscher und englischer Sprache statt.
The workshop will be held in German and English.

Heartbreaks | bitches & witches

Gespräch mit dem Leitungsteam der / Talk with the team of WIENWOCHE 2019: Natalie Assmann, Mirjana Mustra und Henrie Dennis

18:30 Uhr / 6:30pm

Das Gespräch findet in englischer Sprache statt.
The talk will be held in English.


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