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Weekly Conversations... with Synne Genzmer (Curator in Short-term residence 2019)

Synne Genzmer curates, organizes and writes about contemporary art. She studied art history at the University of Vienna. She was on the team of curators at Kunst­halle Wien from 2007 to 2012; publication management at Generali Foundation in 2013/14; exhibitions among others: “Marcellvs L. VideoRhizome” (Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, 2010), “Vanity. Fashion/Photography from the F.C. Gundlach Collection” (Kunsthalle Wien, 2011) together with F.C. Gundlach, “Cut-ups, cut-ins, cut-outs. The Art of William S. Burroughs” (Kunsthalle Wien, 2012) together with Colin Fallows, exhibition series THE HALL (Art Institute Vienna, ongoing since 2016) “Ellen Cantor. Is tragedy a choice?” (Neuer Kunstverein Wien, 2017) together with Gerald Matt; since 2018 she cooperates in “AWAY – a project around residencies”. At the moment, she is preparing together with Georgia Holz the exhibition “Female Complicty” (working title) about women artists collectives, which will be on display at das weisse haus in autumn 2019.

Since 2017 you’ve had different cooperations with Alexandra Grausam. It’s wonderful to have you back for another project.
Thank you – it‘s a great pleasure to be back!
At the moment, you and Georgia Holz are working on an focusing on women artists collectives. Can you tell us more about it?

Our exhibition features women artists working in various forms of collectives – some have been working together for a long time, some do so only temporarily, and some develop new work especially for this project. We want to explore ways of working together and to find out about feminist approaches and political aspects connected to collaborative artistic practices. Working collectively or collaboratively always means sharing knowledge and making one’s own skills merge with others for the benefit of all. It is interesting to see how women artists working in collectives are balancing the tension between a social challenge and the desire of individual artistic expression while dealing with one of the most urgent questions of society and every day life or maybe better: experimenting with possible models – namely how we can in terms of work build more equal relations.

So many topics are involved – like empowerment, activism, solidarity as well as friendship and humour but also critical views on current political tendencies and institutional difficulties in meeting women’s demands for an adequate representation.

Your residency in Vienna is soon coming to an end. What have you been up to?
Every day we were thinking, writing, organizing and met all Vienna based artists, we have invited to participate. We also conducted a series of interviews with them, selected works for the exhibition, and we visited archives such as the VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs archive. It’s been really intense and busy. Of course, I had time visit some of the exhibition highlights, such as Mark Rothko at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, “Hysterical Mining“ and “Gelatin & Liam Gillick” at Kunsthalle Wien, the VIENNA BIENNALE etc.