Feminists in Space – International feminist qerformance art festival, November 9-13, 2011 at Warehouse 9, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Curatorial Statement

We are pleased to announce Feminists in Space – the first feminist performance festival ever to be held in Copenhagen. Feminists in Space was initially the title for a feminist blog that one of the curators was once part of setting up. We have now drawn this title out of cyberspace in order to use it for the manifestation of feminism as part of our common universe.

Feminists in Space is an international festival that is also locally based. It contains a broad program of artists whose work is informed by feminist and queer theory. One aim for the festival is to mirror the diversity and complexity of performance art, while having a specific focus on artistic practices navigating the field between art and politics. The questions at issue being brought up discuss the identity positions that operate in the intersection between gender, sexuality, age, nationality and class that, on different levels, constitute the loss of or access to privilege and power. At the same time, Feminists in Space is a room for works dealing with feminism from the perspective of the artists’ personal interpretation. It is a space to test new ideas and to experiment. The two scenes will be transformed from day to day, and thus change the character according to the specific works and wishes of the artists.

For five days there will be performances, music, film screenings, theoretical reflection, workshops as well as a political action in public space. Our aim is for the festival is to offer the audience a glance into the universe of performance art in all its complexity, as well as to create a space to meet, get inspired and exchange ideas and experiences.

The festival is financed by the Danish Arts Council but is just as much the result of non profit work by devoted artists and activists.

Kajsa Dahlberg, Molly Haslund and Gritt Uldall-Jessen.

Denmark: Collective Feminist Reading Project

Join a collective reading of 'Jeg vil have en statsminister...' two days before the general election! The readings take place September 13, 2011 at 4.45pm at Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen and at Rådhuspladsen in Aarhus, Denmark. See the Danish text below.

I Want a President by Zoe Leonard 1992

The original text: ‘I want a president’ by Zoe Leonard, 1992

This is a collective reading project initiated by Malin Arnell, Kajsa Dahlberg, Johanna Gustavsson and Fia-Stina Sandlund in connection with the Swedish parliament elections in 2010. The text that will be read is an adaptation of  “I want a president…”, Zoe Leonard, 1992.  The text has been translated to Danish by Gritt Uldall-Jessen (see text below). The Copenhagen edition of the reading is held in conjunction with the exhibition “Terms of Belonging” at Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art. The Aarhus reading is organised by Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen, Lise Skou og Tanja Nellemann Poulsen in conjunction with the poster exhibition “tilVALG!” at rum46 and in Aarhus city.

Earlier this year Malin Arnell & Kajsa Dahlberg & Johanna Gustavsson & Fia-Stina Sandlund in collaboration with Zoe Leonard initiated a collaborative reading of “I want a dyke for president…” in Tallin, Estonia in conjunction with the queer exhibition Untold Stories, which dealt with the theme of sexual minorities. Untold Stories was a a part of the Capital of Culture programme in Tallin May 2011.

About Zoe Leonard
Zoe Leonard (born 1961) is an American artist, photographer and queer woman, based in New York City. A photographer since the mid-1980s, she has been well known since her work appeared in documenta IX in 1992.
She captures the transformation of social, cultural and economic changes. Her work for Documenta 12, ‘Analogue‘ (1998-2007), consists of more than 350 C-print photographs of windows of small shops and the products they sell. She explains. “I am interested in making a record of an urban landscape as a way of looking at who we are as a people, who we are as a culture, understanding the city as a social space, … as an economic space”. See Documenta12’s video interview with Zoe Leonard.

The danish translation of 'I want a president' by Gritt Uldall-Jessen

The danish translation of ‘I want a president’ by Gritt Uldall-Jessen

“Sõnastamata lood” / Untold Stories

Press photo: Untold Stories“Sõnastamata lood” / Untold Stories
May 8 – 26, 2010
Opening: May 7 at 18:00
Tallinna Kunstihoone, K-P 12-18
Vabaduse väljak 6
Tallinn, Estonia
Wed-Sun 12-18

Press release by Anders Härm, Rebeka Põldsam & Airi Triisberg

You are cordially welcome to the opening of Untold Stories on Saturday May 7, 2011 at 6 pm.

Malin Arnell & Kajsa Dahlberg & Johanna Gustavsson & Fia-Stina Sandlund in collaboration with Zoe Leonard, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Sezgin Boynik & Kalle Hamm & Minna L. Henriksson & Dzamil Kamanger, Liisi Eelmaa & Minna Hint, Conny Karlsson, Dagmar Kase, Kiwa & Terje Toomistu, M.L., Marcus Lindeen, Karin Michalski & Sabina Baumann, Nallem, Flemming Rolighed, Emily Roysdon, Jaanus Samma, Mariá Takács, Mare Tralla, Anna-Stina Treumund.

Participants of the Eventprogram:
A.K. Burns & A.L. Steiner, Kajsa Dahlberg, Kaspars Goba & Ieva Ubele, Ana Hoffner, Kiwa & Terje Toomistu, Robert Kulpa, Karin Michalski, Aurora Reinhard, Mariá Takács and many others.

curators: Anders Härm, Rebeka Põldsam, Airi Triisberg
architect: Karli Luik
graphic design: Jaanus Samma

The contemporary art exhibition titled Untold Stories, which is part of both the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 and the Diversity Enriches project focuses on the problems of sexual minorities, primarily as they relate to social, political and historical issues. The exhibition is accompanied by a diverse programme of events that includes discussions, screenings, and presentations. Untold Stories is almost the only project in the Capital of Culture programme that deals with the theme of sexual minorities. The exhibition is also collaborating with the Diversity Enriches project and the week of LGBT solidarity and culture – The Festival of Expanding Your World – which will take place from June 6th to 12th.

The works on display at the exhibition approach the topic primarily from a documentary viewpoint, by telling stories about homophobia and representations of homosexuality in Estonia, the everyday problems of sexual minorities in the workplace or as parents, and the cultural history of lesbians and gays during the socialist period in Eastern Europe. The stories are told by analysing single cases or by dealing with an entire era or cultural mindset.

'Out', photo by Mare Tralla, Estonia, 2011

‘Out’, photo by Mare Tralla, Estonia, 2011

The exhibition is framed by a queer-feminist point of departure. Next to topics related to lesbians and gays, it also focuses on other often marginalised sexualities, such as bi-, trans- and intersexuality. The emphasis on the letter combination LGBTQI indicates the complexity of sexual and gender positions, against the background of which the following subjects are examined: the narrowness of binary gender roles, the constructed nature of gendered bodies, and the hard work involved in fitting or not fitting into the gender roles recognised by society.

The third set of topics at the exhibitions deals with the discourse on so-called “repressive tolerance”, the relations between the queer movement and the public at large at the political level of self-expression. Also under examination are the dichotomy between the power of sexual minorities (primarily over themselves and their bodies) and the inability (to validate themselves), and the possibilities/impossibilities of participating in public life and politics. In this context, the phenomenon of homonormativity and the multiple marginalisations of minorities among themselves are also dealt with.

The project also tries to take its theme outside the exhibition hall, and vice versa, by bringing events into the exhibition hall to change it into social space. Therefore, an extensive programme of additional events accompanies the exhibition. As a rule, the event programme will take place on Thursdays at 6 pm and information about them is available on the Kunsthalle website at [The first event will be short film screening and artist talk with Karin Michalski and Aurora Reinhard taking place May 8, 2011, 16:00 at Tallinna Kunstihoone, Vabaduse väljak 6, Tallinn, Estonia].

Designer Jaanus Samma and architect Karli Luik have tried to use the graphics and architectural design in order to create an experimental “queer space”, which would support the exhibition’s ideological point of departure. Because an in-depth visit to the exhibition may be time-consuming, it will be possible to visit the Kunsthalle twice with the same ticket. Please contact the Kunstahalle ticket office for more information.

We thank: Estonian Cultural Endowment, British Council, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Kulturkontakt Nord, Metropol hotel, Sõprus cinema, Fellin Furniture, Estonian National Agency for Youth in Action Programme, Human Rights Center.

Further information:
Anders Härm

Rebeka Põldsam

Airi Triisberg