Café Chalupecký: Katharina Koch & Sylvia Sadzinski

Café Chalupecký: Katharina Koch & Sylvia Sadzinski

Café Chalupecký: Katharina Koch & Sylvia Sadzinski:
In a feminist way: Perspectives and challenges of a cultural space in Berlin and beyond

The lecture gives an insight into the history, processes and work of the Berlin based feminist art space alpha nova & galerie futura by presenting its concept and resulting practices and structures. Founded in 1986 alpha nova & galerie futura once started out as an explicit women‘s project, acting in the spirit of the second wave feminism in Western Germany of fighting for women‘s rights and emancipation. A generational change of the curators collective in 2012 went along with a strong reflection on changes in positions, practices and strategies of feminist art curating. Which ideal claims are linked to the production of feminist art spaces? With which realities are they confronted? What does a feminist practice of curating mean in this context? We present selected projects of the past years in relation with questions and (self)reflections on the production of history/herstory, knowledge, and representation and which role race and gender play for (non)visibility within this context. We discuss (our) preconditions for non-hierarchical, solidarity and inclusive ways of collaboration, knowledge production and sharing as well as forms of exhibiting and representation at alpha nova & galerie futura.

alpha nova & galerie futura is a Berlin-based art space for exhibitions and cultural events with a decidedly emancipatory and feminist perspective, founded in 1986. alpha nova & galerie futura focuses on collaborations with women artists, creating a space for linking political intervention and artistic practice in order to develop critical standpoints for the artistic and academic communities, as well as for society at large. Every year, up to five exhibitions with visual arts of all genres are realized in cooperation with the participating artists and other partners. Events like film screenings, performances, concerts, readings, lectures, talks and discussions as well as thematic workshops and round-table discussions for women cultural producers complement the program. We regularly work and collaborate with various local, national and international partner institutions and individuals. alpha nova & galerie futura offers coaching and support in conceptional work and networking for women in artistic fields. Focus: Feminisms, postcolonialism, intersectionality, conceptual and investigative approaches, collaborative work, art as knowledge production, research as artistic format.

Dr. Katharina Koch has been working as director and artistic co-director of the feminist art space alpha nova & galerie futura in Berlin since 2012. She holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with a thesis on public art practices in Romania, for which she got a scholarship by the DAAD. She also holds a M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Social Sciences and Gender Studies. Her fields of activity range from curatorial to academic-theoretical work. She has curated numerous art projects and made several documentaries as a filmmaker. Since 2019 (until 2023) she works as co-curator with Dr. Andreas Beitin and Dr. Uta Ruhkamp for the exhibition and publication project Empowerment (Art and Feminisms) at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education. Her main topics are feminisms, intersectionality, contemporary art, art and activism in public space.

Since October 2019, Sylvia Sadzinski has been working as program director and artistic co-director of alpha nova & galerie futura together with Katharina Koch. She studied Cultural History/European Studies in Bremen and Valencia (Spain) and Literary and Cultural Studies at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). She was a research assistant at the Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies of the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria. She has been teaching regularly at various universities since 2015 and is a lecturer at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies. From 2017 to 2019 she was curator of the municipal and public Galerie im Turm in Berlin and curatorial trainee at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien. Since 2012, she has regularly been realizing various cultural and curatorial projects, often collaborativley, among others for Schwules Museum Berlin and STWST Linz and with the nomadic project space Neue Berliner Räume. In her own curatorial and academic practice, she focuses primarily on queer and feminist epistemologies, affect theories, body politics, and visual resistance practices by reflecting modes of queer and feminist curating.

The talk was held in English.