We write critical reflections about festivals, performance and our own projects.
Social Works of Resistance in the City of Women’s Past, Present and Futures. 2019.
Since 2017, osborn&møller have been researching and reflecting on the City of Women’s distinctive approach to feminist curating, and the ways in which this resonates with their own curatorial collaboration. The year 2019 marked the culmination of their work, as osborn&møller curated a programme for the 25th anniversary edition of the City of Women festival. This included a solo exhibition and residency by artist Alicja Rogalska, an online exhibition entitled Looking Back to Look Forward and a conversation with Kristina Leko and Katja Praznik about different aspects of socially engaged art and the working conditions of artists who create it. On this occasion, osborn&møller delivered a speech, published here in revised form.
We are osborn&møller (Emma Møller & Mary Osborn), an independent curatorial duo based between Copenhagen and London. Here, we will be focusing on Looking Back to Look Forward, an online exhibition featuring works from the City of Women archive as part of the Web Museum of MG+MSUM (Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova), which we launched on 10 October 2019.
Looking Back to Look Forward highlights works, artists and conversations from the archive that take a critical view on labour conditions and gender equality in relation to the spread of global capitalism, through collective action, poetic protest, and solidarity.
city of women 2017: a reflection
We arrive late at night on 2nd October 2017, to Metelkova City, a squatted military barracks now autonomous social centre in Ljubljana. Greeted by Amela Meštrovac holding a box of tea bags, milk, Štruklji and keys to an artists’ residency flat called The Asylum Studio (Atelje Azil).
We are Mary Osborn and Emma Møller (osborn&møller), two curators and producers who have come together to form an international curatorial collaboration. We are interested in performance as a practice that can disrupt structures of oppression, rethink hierarchies, illuminate the slippery boundaries between bodies and offer a space for critical empathy. We have been invited to Ljubljana as curators-in-residence, to spend the next two weeks immersed in City of Women’s artistic ideas and programme.