Then I would like to make a happy end for once is an ongoing research project by Ariane Müller and Verena Kathrein
The project consists of a research in the field of visual art started in Rome in 2016 by Verena Kathrein and Ariane Mueller. The project at stake for this submission is part of this research and covers the necessary text-based research and writing part for the conception of one of the planned outcomes.
The overall research will be presented in multiple steps, magazine presentations, panels, an exhibition and the planned book.
The overall project funded by the Austrian Art funds and funds from the Senate Berlin, as well as supported by Starship publishing house in Berlin has a projected time-line starting in the beginning of 2017 and ending in June 2019.
The thematic outline of the research is the comedic potential of a performative approach within feminist strategies, and also an approach to work against a general reproach of lacking humor in feminist discourses. Starting with two notions, developed in the Italian rivolta femminile: Autocoscienza and Separatismo, and adding the US-American theoretician Judith Butler’s concept of Unexpected Movement, the research consists of a historical analysis of the strategy to use an everyday practice, based on a different form of economical dependence-independence model, as seen in the concept of the housewife. We posit that these forms are targeted at communal and communitarian structures, by developing a practice-based and solidary action field. Being a research in the art field, we are interested in images these movements created, and our work will be to set images, inherent humor, abstraction as in texts in a context, based on the technique of montage.
In Pulcinella ovvero Divertimenti per li regazzi, published in 2015, Giorgio Agamben writes about the Italian Comedia del Arte and the figure of Pulcinella therein. He is interested in the form of passivity, and the reduction of complex problems to desires tied directly to everyday life (food, sex). This persona is but a mask, nobody knows if she/he is crying or laughing. This figure has his/her pendant in Italian feminism, that–more than French or German feminism–has raised its issues by discussing sexual and economical realities, claiming at the same time (in Carla Lonzi e.g.) the form of the comedy, maybe also to contradict the figure of the suffering and lonely woman, depicted in Italian Neo-Realism. Developing the concept of separatismo as their form of discussing autonomia, in a very body-related form (la donna clitoridea) they discussed heteronomy not vis-a-vis a male world, but within a solidary female world (and this is where the concept of autocosciencia comes into play), that stems from an exchange of experiences via jokes and re-enactment, as is part of an everyday discussion between women. This sphere had an immediate political impact on Italian society, visible in a modernization of Italian life, that had since Berlusconi’s media-democracy met its backlash, and is now only traceable in some institutions like the Casa Internazionale delle donne in Rome.
On this basis new feminist theoreticians (like Silvia Federici, and Fulvia Carnevale) have started to write text, and some of the concepts have been introduced via Judith Butler to the field of performance and action.
Our task is to find images for this discourse, and in the notion of a pictorial turn to participate in the comedian aspect of this discourse, in short, to add jokes and comedic elements to it, and make this discourse irresistible, in order to introduce it to a new generation of female artists.
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Pulcinella ovvero Divertimento per li regazzi von Giorgio Agamben
Taci, anzi parla. Diario di una Femminista von Carla Lonzi
Volume Primo 1972-73
Rivolta Femminile, 1978