For a Feminist (Art) Institution. Weak Resistance as Methodology

The lecture addresses several issues concerning the making of a feminist institution – starting with the classical feminist questions, such as Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” from 1971, Guerilla Girls „Does a Woman have to be naked to enter an Art Museum?” from the 1980s and the „Does a woman have to be dead to become a part of an art collection?” by the Polish artist, Zuzanna Janin, asked in 2017. These and similar questions by feminist artists, theorists and curators fuel the feminist art history and provide necessary context for any feminist art institutions projects, including those presented in the lecture. However before we get there, we need to address one other issue – the concept of „genius” and the „obscene”. The idea of weakness, fundamental for some feminist artists, including those from East Europe, such as Ewa Partum, but also present in the analysis of political transformation and the avant-garde of such authors as Vaclav Havel or Boris Groys, can help us to think a feminist art institution based on semi-peripheral reconfigurations of the common.

Ewa Majewska is a feminist philosopher of culture. She was a visiting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley (BBRG), a stipendiary fellow at the University of Orebro (Sweden), IWM (Vienna) and ICI Berlin. She is the author of two monographs, co-editor of four volumes on neoliberalism, politics and education; she published some 50 articles and essays in: Signs, e-flux, Nowa Krytyka, Przegląd Filozoficzny, Przegląd Kulturoznawczy, Kultura Współczesna, Le Monde Diplomatique (PL) and multiple collected volumes. She is currently affiliated with the ICI Berlin and works as adjunkt professor at the Department of Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw, Poland.