MisplacedWomen?

Archive for February, 2019|Monthly archive page

Doing Gender Contribution by Li Fu

In Innsbruck, Performances, Stories, Workshops on February 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

Doing Gender 8102.50.3*

60 min Performance von Li Fu

Universität Innsbruck

Beschreibung und konzeptionelle Einbettung

„’Doing gender’ zielt darauf ab, Geschlecht bzw. Geschlechterzugehörigkeit nicht als Eigenschaft oder Merkmal von Individuen zu betrachten, sondern jene sozialen Prozesse in den Blick zu nehmen, in denen ‘Geschlecht’ als sozial folgenreiche Unterscheidung hervorgebracht und reproduziert wird.“(*1)

Der Körper wird exponiert und in verschiedenen Schritten wird versucht die Konstruktion von Geschlecht in einzelnen Bausteinen zu zerlegen wie auch wieder herzustellen und diese somit nachvollziehbar zu machen. Da die Herstellung von Geschlecht „eine gebündelte Vielfalt sozial gesteuerter Tätigkeiten auf der Ebene der Wahrnehmung, der Interaktion und der Alltagspolitik [umfasst], welche bestimmte Handlungen mit der Bedeutung versehen, Ausdruck weiblicher oder männlicher ‘Natur’ zu sein“ (*2), betritt die Person in einem ersten Schritt in einem Poncho den Raum. Der Schnitt des Ponchos hebt keine Körperpartien besonders hervor und versucht somit beim Gegenüber keine gezielte Konstruktion von Geschlecht zu generieren. Daher wird es möglich in einem inneren Prozess zu sehen, welche Kategorien von Geschlecht die Betrachter*innen der Performance dem Subjekt auf dem Laufsteg von vornherein zuschreiben. 

Der Campus Innrain bot sich als Ort des Oszillierens zwischen Theorie und Praxis besonders für das Aufzeigen des iterativen Prozesses der Konstruktion-Dekonstruktion-Rekonstruktion-Dekonstruktion an.

Der Raum wurde in zwei Ebenen eingeteilt: dem fiktional privaten hinteren Bereich, der aus einer gläsernen Decke besteht, die Einblick in die Bibliothek gewährt; aus einer Fensterfront, die zum Spiegel umfunktioniert wird; aus Sitzgelegenheiten, die den ‘privaten Bereich’ umrahmen und damit abgrenzen, aber gleichzeitig auch als Interaktionsort mit dem Außen genutzt werden können und dem vorderen öffentlichen Bereich, in welchem das in Anthrazit gehaltene und langgezogene Gitter als Laufsteg umfunktioniert wird. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Auf der Schwelle zwischen dem öffentlichen und privaten Bereich wird ein Merkmal (symbolisch dargestellt durch den Nagellack) als schmerzhafter Befreiungsakt von vorgefertigten Kategorien  von Geschlecht entfernt. Dabei liegt der Nagellack wie eine zweite Haut auf dem Körper und lässt sich nur mühsam und in einem sich ständig wiederholenden Akt und in Wechselwirkung mit einem dem Körper externen Hilfsmittel (Nagellackentferner) sukzessive entfernen. 

Im privaten Bereich werden dann Hilfsmittel aus dem Koffer gezielt benutzt, um ‘Männlichkeit’  herzustellen. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Kunst in Öffentlichen Raum Tirol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Haltungen werden im Spiegel geübt und gezielte Kleidungsstücke und Accessoires sollen der Konstruktion behilflich sein.  

Anhand überspitzt ‘typischer’ Verhaltensweisen (aggressiv – lässiges umstoßen des Mülleimers – Handeln im sozialen Raum) wird ‘Männlichkeit’ performiert, wie auch anhand der Haltung, des Ganges, der Mimik und Gestik, das Tun, das in der sozialen Situation verankert ist und das in der virtuellen oder realen Gegenwart anderer vollzogen wird, von denen wir annehmen, dass sie sich daran orientieren“(*3), die Konstruktionselemente sichtbar werden lässt. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic
Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Im privaten Bereich setzt sich nun das Subjekt mit dem eben Hergestellten Schicht für Schicht auseinander und übt sich in ‘männlich betroffener Schweigsamkeit’. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Nun wird an das Subjekt in einer Interaktion ein alternatives Handlungs- und Zuschreibungsangebot von Außen [Performance assistance by Pippa Chase] herangetragen. Dies operiert mit sozial anerkannten Bildern, denen auch eine gewisse Zugehörigkeit und Solidarität innewohnen. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

‘Frau’/ Freundin’ macht ‘Frau’/ Freundin’ die Nägel und sucht aus dem Koffer ein ‘passendes’ Kleidungsstück für sie aus. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

‘Frau’ rasiert sich die Beine und cremt sich ein. Schicht um Schicht wird der performative Akt vollzogen. Die Konstruktion ‘der Weiblichkeit’ wirkt im Spiegelbild verzerrt. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender . 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic
Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Die Inszenierung von ‘der Weiblichkeit’.

Im privaten Bereich setzt sich nun das Subjekt mit dem eben Hergestellten Schicht für Schicht auseinander und übt sich im ‘weiblichen Ausbruch’ – lautes Weinen und ‘hysterisches’ Anklagen:  (Wer bin ich? [im privaten Raum])

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Schicht für Schicht wird ein ‘Dazwischen’ konstruiert und erhebt zum ersten Mal die Stimme im öffentlichen Raum erhoben.

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

„Es ist nicht ER. Es ist nicht SIE. Es gibt auch ein  ‘DAZWISCHEN’. Wer das nicht checken will, soll sich einfach verpissen. Daran stört mich nicht mal die fehlende Empathie, sondern die in so vielen Ländern herrschende Transphobie.“(*4)

Vorbereitungsphase: ca. eine Stunde am Vorabend. 

Text: Li Fu

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Fußnoten:

  1. Gildemeister 2004, S. 132
  2. West/Zimmermann 1987, S.14
  3. West/Zimmermann 1987, S.14 zitiert nach Übersetzung in Gildemeister/Wetterer 1992, S. 237 In: Gildemeister 2004, S.132
  4. Auszug aus einem Hip Hop Text von Li Fu
  5. Siehe dazu Weber 2011

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Literaturverzeichnis:

Gildemeister, Regine (2004): Doing Gender. Soziale Praktiken der Geschlechterunterscheidung.

In: Becker, Ruth/Kortendiek, Beate (Hg): Handbuch Frauen und Geschlechterforschung. Theorie, Methoden, Empirie.

VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften: Wiesbaden, S. 132-140. 

Weber, Max (2011): Wissenschaft als Beruf. Duncker & Humblot: Berlin. 

West, Candance/ Zimmerman, Don H. (1987): ‘Doing Gender’ zitiert nach Gildemeister, Regine/ Wetterer, Angelika (1992): Wie Geschlechter gemacht werden. Die soziale Konstruktion von Zweigeschlechtlichkeit und ihre Reifizierung in der Frauenforschung. In: Knapp, Gudrun-Axeli/ Wetterer, Angelika (Hg.): Tradition Brüche. Entwicklung feministischer Theorie. Kore: Freiburg In: Gildemeister, Regine (2004): Doing Gender. Soziale Praktiken der Geschlechterunterscheidung. In: Becker, Ruth/ Kortendiek, Beate (Hg): Handbuch Frauen und Geschlechterforschung. Theorie, Methoden, Empirie. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften: Wiesbaden, S. 132-140.

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Zur Person: Einfälle einer* Dilettant*in (*5)

Li Fu interessiert sich für das Politische im Alltäglichen und gesellschaftliche Entwicklungstendenzen der Gegenwart. Besonders die Konstruktion des Alltags und die Betrachtung der Bausteine, anhand welchen Wirklichkeiten konstruiert werden, liegen hierbei im Fokus. In D.I.Y. -Manier wird anhand unterschiedlicher Performances der Versuch unternommen theoretische Konzepte in den Alltag zu überführen. 

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Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojic on the “Misplaced Women?” Blog 2018/19

This Performance has been released in the frame of: “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojic, May 2018, Art in Public Space Tyrol /Kunst in Öffentlichen Raum Tirol, Austria.

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Review by Tanja Ostojic: Misplaced Women? @ Art-In-Public-Space Tyrol, Innsbruck

Code Contribution by Li Fu

Open Call for participants for the “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop in the public space with Tanja Ostojić, in Innsbruck, May 11-13 2018, with a presentation in Die Bäckerei

Offene Ausschreibung zur Teilnahme an der “Misplaced Women?” Performance-Kunst-Werkstatt im öffentlichen Raum mit Tanja Ostojić vom 11–13 Mai 2018 in Innsbruck mit einer Aufführung in Die Bäckerei

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Teresa Albor’s and Dagmara Bilon’s continuous collaboration

In London, Performances on February 6, 2019 at 10:48 pm

Teresa Albor and Dagmara Bilon both took part in “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojić, 13-14 December 2016, hosted by LADA at their studio/office in Hackney. Teresa brought objects left behind by people in the process of migrating from Syria and Afghanistan to Europe from a collection she has been working with via a project called “The Things We Leave Behind.”  During the workshop Teresa experimented with calling out the names of people who have made this journey. Dagmara focussed on her own migration history and work she had made in the past using a suitcase as a prop as well as other objects from her earlier performances. They got to know each other in this inspiring workshop and started a collaboration soon after.

Teresa Albor and Dagmara Bilon: “Solidarity not charity”, at The Purple Ladies, Peckham, 2017. Photography: Lais Pontes
Dagmara Bilon: “Solidarity not charity”, at The Purple Ladies, Peckham, 2017. Photography: Lais Pontes

Peckham: Dagmara invited Teresa to join her making work for the “Solidarity not charity” event, hosted by The Purple Ladies, held 17 March 2017 at MARKET, to benefit refugees. This time Dagmara had replaced the suitcase with a large “migrant” bag made from woven plastic and added women’s heels adorned with the British Union Jack. Teresa had made a sound piece of names to play in the background.  Although the two were meant to perform separately, they chose to perform in the same space.  Teresa handed people objects or set them next to a candle in the space while Dagmara navigated the space from within the bag wearing the heels. 


Pimlico: Teresa was asked to make work for a public market —Tachbrook Market in Westminster — through the Rufus Stone project, during refugee week (17 June 2017).  She invited Dagmara to perform with her.  Because this was a public space, the two took care to engage the public, via a handout or through conversation.  Teresa placed objects on a pedestal, the soundtrack of names was played and Dagmara attempted to make her way across a thoroughfare to the stall. 

Dagmara Bilon, performing during refugee week 2017, Pimlico. Photography: Rachel Cherry
Teresa Albor performing during refugee week 2017, Pimlico. Photography: Rachel Cherry
 Dagmara Bilon, performing during refugee week 2017, Pimlico. Photography: Rachel Cherry


Richmond: Teresa invited Dagmara to perform at an exhibition of “The things we leave behind” at the One Paved Square Gallery in Richmond 24 Jan – 3 Feb, 2018.  The performance was 24 January, 2018.  Teresa used a torch instead of candles and used boundary tape to mark off sections of the space. Dagmara incorporated getting undressed, into the bag, movement and emerging from the bag into the performance.  Once again the soundtrack of names was played. 

Dagmara Bilon, performing at “The things we leave behind”, One Paved Square Gallery, Richmond, 2018. Photography: Sisi Burn
Dagmara Bilon performing at “The things we leave behind”, One Paved Square Gallery, Richmond, 2018. Photography: Sisi Burn
Teresa Albor performing at “The things we leave behind”, One Paved Square Gallery, Richmond, 2018. Photography: Sisi Burn

Bethnal Green: Dagmara invited Teresa to take part in a full day workshop as part of her involvement with the “I am not a village” project residency at Guest Projects in Bethnal Green.  The two experimenting with various ideas, including incorporating elements of Tanja Ostojić ’s “Naked Life” (2004-2016) performance series into their performance.  A week later, on 28 April, 2018 they performed a version of “Naked Life” — foregoing all of their previous props and gestures.   This time they entered the space, stood on a pedestal, dressed in layers of clothing.  They took turns reciting short stories of people who have been forced to move—a woman living in London dealing with domestic abuse; a woman moving from Sudan to a camp in Uganda; and so on.  With each story they removed a layer of clothing.  Once they were both naked and vulnerable, in solidarity with those whose stories they had recited, they dressed in their own clothes and told their own stories of relative privilege and security.  

Dagmara Bilon and Teresa Albor, performing at Bethnal Green, 2018, Photography: Camilla Canocchi
Dagmara Bilon and Teresa Albor, performing at Bethnal Green, 2018, Photography: Camilla Canocchi
Dagmara Bilon and Teresa Albor, performing at Bethnal Green, 2018, Photography: Camilla Canocchi

 Text by: Teresa Albor

Editied and published by Tanja Ostojic

Photography: Lais Pontes, Sisi Burn, Rachel Cherry, Camilla Canocchi

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Teresa Albor is London based performance and visual artist interested in how different groups of people negotiate the world. Her work is research-based and often involves broad collaboration. It can involve video/moving image, performance, installation, publication, community-based workshops, and forms of artist-led curation.

Dagmara Bilon is a London based Polish/German freelance Performance Artist, director and teacher, working nationally and internationally. Her multi-disciplinary practice orbits around embodied investigation and making the unconscious conscious. Central for her practice are dialog and collaboration, with self, others, materials and sites. She is passionate about art that inspires change. Over the last decade she has produced a diverse body of work which belongs to the borderlining realms of experimental performance and installation, as well as community based  projects.

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Some of the earlier blog posts for London:

The following artists, activists and researchers developed their new works or performed some of the “Misplaced Women?” scores in the frame of the Tanja Ostojic’s “Misplaced Women?” London Workshop. I would like to invite you to please check out Participants Contributions in text, photos and videos, that I edited partly in collaboration with Danyel Ferrari and published on the project blog:

Tanja Ostojic

Elena Marchevska

Danyel Ferrari´s Article published in ArtSlant

Teresa Albor

Dagmara Bilon

Camilla Canocchi 

Shannon Mulvey 

Cherry Truluck

Seila Fernandez Arconada

Alice Tuppen

Hilary Williams 

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Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

In Berlin, Workshops on February 5, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Group Interventions of Mapping around the neighborhood of Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin-Weißensee, 23.01.2018.

A contribution by Mad Kate

Participants: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate

Listen to the Soundscape Weißensee

It was important to me to begin our interventions by understanding some answers to the question: “Where am I?” (politically, socially, economically)

Since I have lived in Berlin for 14 years, I am familiar with many neighborhoods, but never with this neighborhood in detail. I have performed at the Delphi Theater down the road, but this is my only interaction with the neighborhood. The Delphi is a very old “peoples theater” in Berlin and so I knew that this neighborhood had a history of an art scene, but at the same time is not a very busy or gentrified area. I know simply by being inside the Kunsthalle that this kind of large space for experimental workshops such as these one — “Misplaced Women?” By Tanja Ostojić — is increasingly rare. Many recent events at Kunsthalle have been committed to postcolonial discourse and bringing attention to the works of nonwhite artists—the kind of work that is not typically given spaces in more commercial areas of Berlin or at larger galleries. This already gives me a clue that the neighborhood is still affordable enough for a place like this to exist, while at the same time hints that the art scene may again be growing around here. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani

As a general practice before performing, I have been trying to get into the habit of understanding my sociopolitical context. This means “mapping” the area, using the “stage” (the venue) as my centering point, and working my way directionally around the center space, taking in sights, subtle changes, reading clues about the demographics of businesses and people on the streets. I also try to talk to people as much as possible to find out a bit more about the neighborhood and who is living there. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

Gaby, Tanya, Sajan, and myself all decided to go about mapping the area. I took along my sound recorder and gave it to Tanya for most of our journey so she could experience being immersed in the sounds around us. She told me that it was an extremely psychedelic experience to her! Gaby and I took photos, made sounds, made “found instruments” and marked different areas with string. We also sometimes mirrored physical shapes with our bodies. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, 2018.

Listen to the Soundscape Weißensee

I noted down a “map” of our walk and noticed places of new development, abandoned buildings, the types of businesses, and a conversation I had with one artisan who had recently moved there. She was a paper maker who had also found a place to rent in the neighborhood. She has a small handmade paper business on a quiet side street. There were other “new artists” living in the area who had opened up a DIY gallery, an artist performance space, and other businesses that I saw as related, ie a yoga studio and a mobile burrito van. The residences appeared to be either very old buildings, presumably with residents on old contracts, and very new loft-style developments, and one van, that appeared to be someones home. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

We walked over towards Caligara Platz, which had a historical marker noting that this used to be called “Little Hollywood”. So the area has historically had the mark of artists, theater and film navigating and weaving in with the rest of the residents. It made me wonder a lot about how the art school students integrate or do not integrate with the rest of the neighborhood, as one student who was part of the said they felt some antagonism or “difference” from the people around who sometimes resented their presence doing public art. Given the fact that artists and others are being pushed out of the central neighborhoods of Berlin, however, I suspect that Weißensee will see an increasing amount of new and diverse communities moving in and I’m curious to see how these changes will take shape in the next five to 10 years.  

It was encouraging and supportive to be in a group of artists who were committed to doing these kinds of public work. In this group context it was wonderful to explore the surrounding area of our workshop.

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate
Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate


Text by Mad Kate

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018/19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate is a polyhomefull US-American sound and performance artist based in Berlin, interested in interrogating the politics of borders within and between bodies.

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by Nati Canto

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Open Call for participants for the Misplaced Women? performance art workshop with Tanja Ostojić in Berlin, January 22-24 2018, hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

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Older posts Berlin 2009:

Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport on November 21, 2009, 11 p.m,

and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated perfromance with Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

A Poetry Intervention by Nati Canto

In Berlin, Performances, Tram station, Workshops on February 4, 2019 at 1:17 pm

A Poetry Intervention by Nati Canto: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop, 2018

For the Misplaced Women? Workshop lead by Tanja Ostojić in Berlin in January 2018, I thought it was interesting to have something feminine to show in my performance and that I could identify with because being someone from Brazil in Berlin and having traveled and lived in other countries, I believe as a woman in my mid-30s I came to the conclusion that life is about learning how to deal with losses and knowing how to size them up and to transform our everyday life no matter where we are.

I decided to recite in the Berlin Overground, U-Bahn line U1 from Kottbusser Tor to Schlesisches Tor, the well-known poem called One Art, written by Elizabeth Bishop in the 1970s. I wanted to do that because reciting a poem in the realm of poem reading evenings or special moments where people would expect to listen to a poem would not give me the response I was looking for. Reciting by heart in public transportation was the chance of challenging people out of their comfort zone and at the same time confusing them on what I actually expected from them since there are many street artists around Berlin who wander with paper coffee cups asking for monetary contributions. Was I another one of them? That was definitely not my case. I just wanted to shake people’s state of mind for a short amount of time and leave.

Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop), “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

The poem is precious to me because Elizabeth Bishop lived for years in Brazil with a famous Brazilian architect called Lota de Macedo Soares and she wrote a lot of her poems there. After many years, Bishop decided to go back to the United States, so she left Lota who had never accepted it and ended up committing suicide. 

The poem is written in the first person and it underlines the value of learning from loosing things throughout life. And it starts from very simple and small things such losing door keys and it escalates to losing houses, two rivers, a continent and losing the person you love, at last. This is when Bishop tries to convince herself that it’s not that hard to lose someone, but deep inside she knows it really is.

Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop), “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

Text written by: Nati Canto

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

Perforative intervention by Nati Canto, duration: approximately 40 minutes.

Video and photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop),“Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

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One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

…………..

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

…………..

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

…………..

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

…………..

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

………….

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop), “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Alice Minervini

Nati Canto is Berlin based artist of Brazilian origin. Her work unfolds itself where history and personal space meet, often alternating facts and fiction. Her artistic practice combines heterogeneous materials, from the combination of digital and analog equipment, the use of photography, video performance, and more recently the use of text in order to explore how images assume different meanings depending on the ideologies that shape them.

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018


Misplaced Roots by Katja Vaghi

In Airports, Berlin, Performances, Workshops on February 3, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Misplaced Roots 

Concept and performance: Katja Vaghi

Location: landing stripe, Templehofer Feld, Berlin

Duration: 15 minutes

January 2018

Misplaced Roots is a solo performance that was created in the framework of Tanja Ostojić’s MISPLACED WOMEN? workshop unfolding in the range of public spaces in January 2018 in Berlin. I have found the discussions during Tanja Ostojić’s workshop especially interesting. Despite none of the participants were born and raised in Berlin, those discussions uncovered moving details of the city’s social fabric, from its history on both side of the wall to actual issues. It has surely brought the city closer.

I will start with a short description how this performance came about and add a few words of reflection about it.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

On the second day of the workshop, a group of us (Tanja Ostojić, Rhea Ramjohn, Alice Minervini, Sara Kramer, Ola Kozioł and myself) headed from the institution hosting the workshop, the Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, to our chosen performance site, Berlin Tempelhofer Feld. Berlin Tempelhof airport opened in 1927 and was one of the oldest functioning airports before its closure in 2008. Considered a highly influential place by many people in Berlin, it has now been repurposed into an unusual park, Tempelhofer Feld and recently also housed an emergency camp for refugees. In the surreal landscape offered by the landing stripes, people jog and walk dog, grill and play.

Group Interventions on the Way

Our performance started though with little interventions on the S-Bahn (train) to Tempelhofer Feld. In the first, four of us (Ola Kozioł, Tanja Ostojić, Rhea Ramjohn and myself) decided to ‘reclaim our space’ by sitting with our suitcases between our legs in reaction to that little nagging voice preaching how good socialized women should occupy a small space. This was followed my claiming even more space while searching my bag for my phone. We wanted to know where a particular spot of the airport was and I was looking to phone a friend. So, I deliberately choose to take the most absurd or voluminous things out of my bag, thus pilling books, gloves, a scarf and bright orange mandarins on the top of my suitcase in my hunt for my phone. This partial performance of Tanja’s set score did not impress the person seated next to me who continued reading his book, or the others in the carriage. I might have appeared a little eccentric but being Berlin, I was quite in the norm. Knowing your context is key. Still the situation highlighted another element, how we are always in a liminal space, always potentially on the verge of a performance. Each act is a potential subversive act depending on the place, extent and length of its performance.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Sara Kramer

 

Group Intervention on the Tempelhof airport

At Tempelhof airport (with Tanja and Rhea) the three of us with suitcases produced a choreography of rolling suitcases. Three misplaced women, with their suitcases, walking on the landing strip to get on a flight that is no longer there.

 

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Sara Kramer

Misplaced Roots

I chose to perform Misplaced Roots in the middle of a landing stripe. I drag my suitcase away from the audience, heading nowhere and looking forlorn. This suitcase has accompanied me for seven years going back and forth from were I have been studying and then working and the place of where my emotions were, my family and my partner. I have rolled it for so long that one of the wheels is worn out. I then stop, take my coat off and open the suitcase. I try to squeeze myself in it. I am too big. My legs are out of it, as I clap myself together as a Swiss knife. I open the lid, try to put my legs in the suitcase as well, fail and fall with it backwards. I am now sitting with my back and the lid on the concrete and my legs on the suitcase. The temperature is far below zero. It is very cold. I try to use it as a cover to get some warmth from it. But it is not happening. There is no way that I am going to fit in it.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I feel restless, a body without a voice. I step out of the suitcase and take a white long skirt. I wear it, and sit back in the suitcase. I take an old broken shirt, turn it inside out and try to fit in one of these plastic bags for the security check commenting as I go: “You always have to squeeze your whole life inside these little bags”. It is funny how one grows attached to objects. Especially, when travelling a lot, one has certain rituals involving particular objects that make one feel at home. A friend of mine had a special cup. I have a suitcase. Many times I have lived out of this suitcase. It was literally my home. I then read aloud a definition of migration taken from wikipedia and the comments on how to approach and survive the procedure at the German Immigration Authorities (Ausländerbehörde Berlin). Finally, I read testimonies of people who had migrated from my region a century ago. I am a voluntary migrant but this does not mean I am less lonely when settling in a new place. I am still misplaced. I am still visited with feelings of loss and nostalgia. Each time one packs a suitcase to move, one brings one’s roots with it, hoping to find nurturing soil for them. I read the definition of ‘Spolia’ or the building stones that are repurposed for new constructions. These ‘homely’ objects, these spolia, are fragments of a previous life helping one grow roots in a new country. Finally, I close my performance as I started. I pack everything in the suitcase, put my coat on and continue walking towards nowhere. 

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Katja Vaghi alternates theoretical reflections in written form to practical musing in the performing space. A dancer, choreographer, somatic practitioner and dance researcher, she holds a PhD in dance philosophy (University of Roehampton) and is an enthusiast improviser and site-specific performer. She is based in Berlin

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Text written by: Katja Vaghi

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project Misplaced Women? project blog

HD video-recording: Sara Kramer

Still from video: Sara Kramer

Photography: Tanja Ostojić

Misplaced Women? organised by: Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin Weißensee. 

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Berlin Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

In Berlin, Performances, Railway-stations, Workshops on February 2, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play

Performance by: Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Location: S-Bahn train stations Prenzlauer Allee and Ostkreuz, Berlin, January 23, 2018.

Text by: Jiachen

The performance consists of three parts: body measuring, dying oranges chess play, and the in-between or misplaced spaces. It is a result of spontaneous entanglement of ideas from Evdoxia (body measuring) and Jiachen (orange chess play) developed during Berlin itinerary of the “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Though the performance as an entity is inseparable from any of it’s parts, I will mainly look at the latter part and the surrounding forces in this writing piece. 

Within the workshop “Misplaced Women?” facilitated by Tanja Ostojić, words such as: misplaced, women, and the question mark, became the structuring forces of this performance. “Women” in its plural form, I ask, identified as a queer feminist woman of colour, who are included in its reference? Misplaced, as the adjective suggests, on one hand, a finished state, temporally or not, in comparison to the wording “displacing”; on the other, what is the defining state of “placement”, and I wander, defined by whom?  My thought thus arrives at the question mark. 

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh and Nati Canto

Trinh T. Minh-ha is one of those feminist theorists who inspires me lastingly. She says, “Woman can never be defined. Bat, dog, chick, mutton, tart. Queen, madam, lady of pleasure. MISTRESS. Belle-de-nuit, woman of the street, fruit woman, fallen woman. Cow, vixen, bitch. Call girl, joy girl, working girl” (1986). This vivid and visual description of the ontological instability of women, especially for third world women in Minh-ha’s account, speaks for me. I gain my strength from reading works by black feminists and feminists of colour to survive joyfully, bravely and ambiguously in a seemingly constant misplaced/misplacing state, physically, psychologically, and beyond.

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

I went to the workshop with an expectation to actualise certain struggling thoughts through body performances. The result, one week after the workshop, is way more than that. It is already very therapeutic for me to be surrounded by women bravely and creatively in the face of different forms of displacement struggles. And to share and do something collectively through an honest and caring sharing of our vulnerabilities. How wonderful is that!

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Nati Canto and Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

 

In terms of the specific performance collaborated with Eva (Evdoxia Stafylaraki), I am a bit resistant to translate the process into languages. I would like to share some details that might be interesting to know. I come across those seven dying oranges at two friend’s kitchen. They were forgotten in the corner, waiting to be thrown away into trash. I noticed them and initially arranged them on the back placemat on the kitchen table. This was the birth of the idea “dying oranges chess play”. Number seven bears different meanings in different cultural contexts. In my memory it signifies a return in I-Ching. I guess there is always a piece of me strives for a return, even though the “original” place is non-existent anymore. To mobilise the nostalgia feeling evoked by “return” to the on-going chess play in public transportation stations seems to be one of the articulations during the chess play part of the performance. No one is setting the rules in the present, but there are waves of ghosts surrounding the gameplay. These waves of ghosts in my retrospective reading were displaced by the first part of the performance: the body measuring. Constant decision: making or un-making, and the questions of the aesthetics of misplaced existence are brought to the very surface, and will hopefully get revolved and transformed, step by step.

Text by: Jiachen Xu

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Video and photos: Nati Canto, Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Jiachen recently finished a joint master degree in women’s and gender studies in Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and University of Oviedo, Spain.

Evdoxia Stafylaraki is mathematician, sculptor and performance artist from Chania, Greece.

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Berlin Contribution by Mad Kate

In Berlin, Performances, Workshops on February 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here

Contribution by Mad Kate

Locations: Görlitzer Park, Berlin on 24.01.2018., and in transit from Görlitzer Park, Berlin, Germany to den Haag, Netherlands on 25.01.2018.

Regarding my participation in the Berlin iteration of “Misplaced Women?” workshop in the Public Space by Tanja Ostojić (January 2018) — hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin Weißensee — it was encouraging and supportive to be in a group of artists who were committed to doing these kinds of public works and gave me the confidence and framework to further explore an idea I have been interested in pursuing.

“Wymyn* who travel with me even when they are not here” I performed alone and made my own documentation using a timer on my camera.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

I live across the street from Görlitzer Park and often speak with the numerous men who are hanging out in the park, many of them from Senegal and Gambia. I notice always the lack of presence of women and other non-binary persons in this particular demographic of migrants (the park is otherwise full of women and non-binary persons). This lead to my thinking about how some migrant flows are heavily male and why this is. I thought about the “freedom” of mobility of younger men, especially Muslim men, and the reasons why and how this affects women—sometimes related to these men’s physical ability to move and cross physical borders, to move as a single person without children, to encounter dangerous situations, related to their understanding of identity in relation to their community, their place, their religion, their view of autonomy as a moving migrating body, their community’s expectations of why and how and when they should migrate, their assumed responsibility to make money and send it home, etcetera.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

It made me think a lot about how my gender is already “queered” as an independent, migrating body, whether or not I consider myself queer (which I do, in any case) and makes me stand out from other cunt-bearing bodies–“wymyn”–even within my own US-American culture, who face relatively more strict gender expectations of their femininity and of heteronormativity. The female* migrating body already has a relative independence to women who are required or expected to stay at home and are limited by their own communities to freedom of movement. The migrating body already has access to the privilege of “the adventure of” movement, even when and if they encounter borders who would otherwise attempt to limit their mobility, i.e., even when that movement is illegal.

As a response or way of thinking about this question I decided to dress up all in purple (in part as a ritual marker, in part as a symbol of the womb) and take the large purple suitcase my mother had given me, and I walked into the park. I decorated a large purple hat with photographs of the women who used to live within close proximity to me, whom I moved far away from 14 years ago when I left the United States. I know that some of the women on that hat have never had the privilege of leaving the country. I have thought of many of them as the women I write to in “letters back home”, telling them of my challenges and adventures moving away on my own.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

Walking into the park, holding a sound recorder visibly, I told the people I encountered (most of them the men that gather around the entrances), that I was doing a project about the women we miss from home, those that travel with us in our hearts but couldn’t come with us. I asked them if they would like to contribute a name, an anecdote, or a memory of someone to my sound recording. One of the men shouted at me that I was doing some of kind of “therapy” and sort of made fun of me. Other men spoke to me politely but refused to contribute. Another person said he wasn’t drunk enough to participate but invited me to a jam session of migrant musicians. Finally one woman contributed, sound artist Anne Historical, but she did not fit this same demographic, she was a visitor to Berlin from South Africa. This was our brief exchange.

Here are some of the encounters with the men who spoke to me but did not want to contribute.

I found it disappointing that so few people wanted to share, but at the same time I felt like it was positive action even to ask and to try to make a connection that was atypical of the normal exchanges that happen in that particular situation of entering the park, being offered the chance to buy marijuana and either refusing or accepting. It’s not that I felt like I was “helping” anyone, but rather that I faced my own invisible boundary to break the mode of the expected relationship of consumption; I think this relationship of consumption alienates and segregates.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

On the other hand, I found it alienating to ask people to share stories and face rejection, and wondered if this was too pushy or too invasive of an approach. So I decided after some time to simply wait and see if anyone asked me about what I was doing. I sat in the park for a while and unpacked my suitcase and stayed there and let it be. No one came to ask what I was doing.

The next day, since I was traveling to another country, I decided to put the entire outfit on again and travel to the Netherlands with the same costume and suitcase and the sound recorder. A lot of people noticed me and gave me positive non verbal feedback, but no one asked me about what my hat meant or whether or not my costume and suitcase had significance. However the performative act of carrying the photographs of the women with me near my head helped me feel their absence and appreciate their gift in my life. 

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Footnote: *the word wymyn is purposely “genderf*cked” to disentangle the word 

“man” from the word “woman”, and with the intention of being inclusive 

to transwomen, nonbinary, intersex and other genderqueer persons.

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Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate is a polyhomefull US-American sound and performance artist based in Berlin, interested in interrogating the politics of borders within and between bodies.

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Text and Photos by Mad Kate

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

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