press release


Duration of the exhibition: June 26 – October 3, 2021
Opening day: Friday, June 25, 2021
Press preview: Thursday, June 24, 2021, 10am

There are no witches. The insight that the figure of the witch is a social construction may not be new. However, the underlying conditions of this construction remain frighteningly topical. In concert, the church and nation-states in 16th and 17th century Europe unleashed and executed a violence intended to break “women’s resistance to the spread of capitalist relations,” as Silvia Federici has demonstrated. In the transition to capitalism, women’s power had to be crushed, with their bodies, sexuality, and knowledge controlled to ensure they would devote themselves to reproducing the labor force. This reproductive labor was henceforth divorced from wage labor and degraded. Thus, the community of the dominated was not only expropriated, it was also broken in two. The persecution and extermination of “witches” was an instrument for this, and ramifications of this violence extended into the most diverse areas.

With several works created especially for the exhibition WITCHES, the artists investigate the ideological and economic infrastructures underlying the historical witch hunt and how this brutal history continues to reverberate within our present, using installation, video, sculpture, performance, photography, public intervention, and film. Are there ways to reclaim the figure of the witch and position her in opposition to the matrix that informs this history of obliteration?

Curated by Nina Tabassomi.