Contact: Eva Kernbauer, Kathrin
Heinrich and Frida Robles
The research project Addressing Amnesia, Performing
Trauma inquires how contemporary artistic practices performatively deal with repressed history in Austria. It will
develop a foundation for an ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue addressing issues like social forgetfulness, historical trauma,
and historical denial within the countries of the former Austrian monarchy. By bringing together artists, art historians,
historians, and theoreticians, the project is intended as a first step in examining how artistic practices partake in processes
of decolonization and demythologizing of whiteness. It thus crucially considers the unmaterialized, invisible, and unwritten
histories of communities that were subject to imperialistic and colonial violence, and the artistic practices that aim to
(performatively) materialize them, addressing urgent questions regarding the violent erasures of history and their impression
on the body.
The project will focus on close readings of exemplary artworks and projects to reflect upon larger
aesthetic, social, and political issues in connection with historical narratives, for example the intervention Der
Bau. Unter uns realized by Hito Steyerl and Gabu Heindl in Linz in 2009, or the work of Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński,
which explores the haunting qualities of colonialism within Austrian history and the present. Methodologically informed by
art theory, art history, performance studies, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies, the project will result in an interdisciplinary
symposium hosted by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and a small, edited publication.
Led by Prof. Dr. Eva
Kernbauer, the project will be realized by Frida Robles, MA, and Kathrin Heinrich, MA.