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Opening 20 February 2018, 6pm
21 February – 10 March 2018
Material, Klingenstrasse 23, 8005 Zurich
With Magdalena Baranya, Samuel Haitz, Martina Mächler, Phia Seidler, Stella and Lena Maria Thüring
Curated by Ronja Oki and Laura Falletta
Opening with a multimedia installation by Philip Tsapaliras, Paula Ursprung and Artemisia Valisa

Exhibition view

The exhibition concept negotiates the topic of the performativity of social gender. Based on Judith Butler's 1988 text „Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory“, we discuss the thesis that identity first constitutes itself through the performative act. The goal of the group exhibition is to explore the manner in which gender role relations present themselves today and how gender is conceived through digitalisation.

Social medias are situated at the interface between the private and public spheres, and are where current trends traversing all social strata and age classes become most rapidly visible. These medias are also places of self-representation and its correlating performativity. For these reasons these medias ideally lend themselves to the inquiry into our core theme of the performativity of gender roles. To date this dynamically fluid discourse has lacked a stable platform through which to discuss and elaborate the ideas, concepts and aspirations embodied in the topic. Within this context there is a pressing need for an artistic assessment of actually experienced and/or potential gender roles, whereby such a discourse is also intended to reinforce acceptance of these underrepresented forms of identity.

The programme is intended to provide a framework in which to promote young artists interested in addressing the topics of identity, alternative ways of life and the subversion of existing power constellations for the exhibition. The aim thereby is to reinforce an exchange between artists with varying work practices.

In connection with the exhibition location, an appraisal of the interplay between digital medias and analogue carriers will take place, including how the two condition each other. Can virtual worlds survive without analogue hosts, and what do they require to perform themselves? Vice versa, this raises the question to what extent analogue medias serve their digital counterparts – when for instance books open up virtual spaces – and how, in this process, statement impact is transformed.

During the three weeks of the exhibition a supporting programme will be held in the bookshop, with readings, film screenings and performances, designed to treat the exhibition topic from another perspective, but also to critically question it. All of the events during this period are dedicated to the exhibition subject.

How does gender constitute itself today? Which forms of undermining may be identified? What role do social media play on the constitution of gender? The exhibition GENDER IN DIGITAL REALITY examines these and other questions.

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