Challenging hegemonic constructions of history through artistic and political action
Meeting and presentation by Sheri Avraham (Israel) and Eduard Freudmann (Austria), members of “Plattform Geschichtspolitik” (Platform for History Politics)
How are hegemonic historical narratives being shaped within public discourse, which images are in use for its representation? Until which extent do they serve to construct national identities, what are continuities and what are the ruptures to perpetrators’ regimes such as Austro-Fascism or Nazism? Which histories are pushed forward, which ones are being repressed? And last but not least: how can artists, cultural workers, political subjects intervene in those history-political conditions?
Plattform Geschichtspolitik is an initiative of students, activists and teachers associated with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, which defines itself as an open collective, according to the logic of the work groups that have been formed within the Academy occupation of 2009/2010. Since October 2009, the group has aimed to evoke a broader discussion of history politics at the Academy, establishing a continuous process of critically reflecting and publicly dealing with the institution’s participation in colonialism, (Austro-)Fascism and Nazism. Over time, the activities of the group have expanded beyond the immediate context of the institution, focusing on debating and contesting historical narratives and manifestations in Viennese public space and discourse.
Sheri Avraham, born in Beit Dagan 1979, studied Psychology at the Open University in Israel and is currently studying art at the Department for Post-Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her practice lies between visual art and cultural work, contesting institutional and normalized racism and pushing forms of emancipatory education and counter-hegemonic history writing.
Eduard Freudmann lives and works in Vienna. In his artistic practice he researches and intervenes in the intersections of art and politics, power relations and social contexts, history-politics and media mechanisms, strategies of exclusion and the commodification of knowledge. He studied art in Vienna and Weimar. Since 2007, he has been teaching at the Department for Post-Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.