The Queerness of Memory – Historicity, Belatedness and Embodiment of Trauma
The artistic research project “The Queerness of Memory – Historicity, Belatedness and the Embodiment of Trauma” intervenes in contemporary politics of memory through a number of photographic, performative, and cinematic investigations. As both, a theoretical concept and a tool for artistic exploration, the project follows the assumption that memory is shaped by queerness and that remembering is mostly a strange, ungraspable and actively constructed process, which allows to reshape its sociopolitical, historical and economic formations. The project emphasizes the role of desire for politics of remembrance and challenges to think if there might also be pleasures to be found between remembering and neglecting, between knowing and not knowing, instead of traumatic loss and pain. “After the Transformation” and “Transferred Memories – Embodied Documents” as well as two photographic works “Future Anterior: Illustrations of War” and “The Queer Family Album” focus thereby on the transformations in Eastern Europe after 1989 and the wars in former Yugoslavia. “After the Transformation” actively uses the concept of the queerness of memory in order to rework the notion of Eastern European transformation. The video is situated in the voice training of a queer person posing questions around a desire for a time after the embodied social and political change. “Transferred memories, embodied documents” works with memory in order to create a queer relation between two performers who deal with images of atrocities of the Bosnian War together. They both describe their view of these images and listen to each other’s descriptions of their reactions, thereby gaining recognition for their affective responses in front of the images. However they do not depend either on an identification with the bodies shown in the footage nor on an identification with each other. Instead they create a queer temporality in which respeaking and restaging of visual material becomes central. “The Queer Family Album” presents familial ties between the Second World War, the Cold War, and the Bosnian War and calls into question the linearity of heteronormative, generation-linked family relationships. “Future Anterior – Illustrations of War” shifts stagings of violence from the fashion world into the field of war reporting and thereby calls attention to the ambivalences of a collective visual memory.
“Transferred Memories – Embodied Documents”, Stills from the Video Installation, colour/sound, 14:35min, 2014
After the Transformation, 2013, HD Video, 15:52 Min. (video still)
Ana Hoffner is an artist, theorist, performer and mentor based in Vienna. Hoffner understands the artistic field as a place of critical knowledge production, mainly with an interest in Queer Theory, Performance Studies and Visual Cultural Studies. Hoffner’s work questions persistently both production and presentation, research methods as well as the communication of (arts-based) research results through a performative artistic and theoretical practice as well as video, photography and installation. Hoffner has finished the PhD in Practice Program at the Academy of Fine Art Vienna where she is also teaching as Senior Lecturer.