• Summer School as School 2021: Course 1
Course 1: Between Cradles and Barricades: Feminist Methodology and Artistic Research Methods
Course 1: Between Cradles and Barricades: Feminist Methodology and Artistic Research Methods
by Suzana Milevska
2 – 7 August, 2021

Application deadline: July 16, 2021.

Course Description
Regardless of whether one agrees or not that feminist art is a stage in art history, a movement, a discourse, or a complete shift in ways of doing things it is clear that it embraces a different way of making art and comprehending art. In three different interlinked sessions (presentations followed by reading sessions and workshops) prof. Suzana Milevska will present the basic feminist research methods and their application in art practices.

Starting from deconstruction as the major interpretative methodology and including some more recent arguments and ideas from post- Marxism, postcolonial and institutional critique, ecofeminism, cyber-feminism, transversality and intersectionality the course will address the potentiality of the theoretical arguments for different modes of feminist artistic research and activist art. Thus this short course of feminist methodology and research methods addresses not only feminist art, but will also offer a feminist grid of thinking that is already embedded in feminist art history.
The course argues that the analysis of historical knowledge and feminist art theory is shaped as a counterpart to existing art structures and systems as a “discursive formation on the axis of power institutionalised in museums and academia” (G. Pollock). More precisely, in terms of how it goes beyond its determination by general social-political contexts and economic conditions (which produced the long traditional hegemony of Western patriarchy-determined art history). This calls for interlacing art and its histories with feminist politics and different disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research layers. Although feminist research itself is considered as a methodology, there aren’t specific feminist research methods so feminism uses many existing research methods, but by asking new research questions. The major general research questions addressed during the course will be the common questions feminists ask about epistemology and knowledge construction. The emphasis thus will be put on the positioning of the researcher within the process of research and within theorizing and on the intended purpose of the produced knowledge (e.g. the aims to understand why inequality between women and men still exists and to investigate the main reasons for male domination).The seminal debate about the difference between essentialism and constructivism will be addressed through different artistic examples.

Some of the topics to be discussed and rehearsed through the close reading sessions and workshops will focus on deconstructive reading of famous artistic styles, directions and masterpieces by male artists from a feminist art history perspective, and exhaustive research of lesser known, but misinterpreted and/or underestimated female artists. Some of the additional questions to be discussed as relevant to the differentiation between male dominated art history and feminist art history methodology concern how the female gaze differs from the male gaze, and how these gazes intersect in public space. The course will enable the participants to continue independent research along these lines of thinking and art production in the realm of public space.

Suzana Milevska is a curator and a visual culture theorist based in Skopje. Her curatorial interests span from postcolonial and feminist critique of representational regimes of hegemonic power to collaborative and participatory art projects in marginalised communities. In 2019 Milevska curated the exhibition Contentious Objects/Ashamed Subjects at the Polytechnic University Milan as Principal Investigator for the project TRACES - Horizon 2020 (2016-2019). Since the 1990s she curated numerous international exhibitions such as The Renaming Machine, Roma Protocol (Austrian Parliament, Vienna), and Call the Witness, BAK Utrecht. She was the initiator of the Call the Witness - Roma Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2011). Milevska was the Endowed Professor of Central and South Eastern European Art Histories, Academy of Fine Art Vienna, 2013-2015. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths College London and was a Senior Fulbright Scholar. In 2010 she published her book Gender Difference in the Balkans and edited the reader The Renaming Machine: The Book. She also edited the book On Productive Shame, Reconciliation, and Agency, Sternberg Press, 2015 that was a result of the eponymous international conference that she curated in 2014 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In 2012 Milevska won the ALICE Award for political curating and the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory.

10 participants will be selected to participate in this course. Eligible participants must read the Terms information, fill out the application form, upload the required documents and submit the application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Scholarships are available for participants from Kosovo.
A limited number of scholarships that cover the participation fee are available for international participants.