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Definite or indefinite or…? Debates on gender in art and politics 
Silvia Stoller 


University lecturer DDr. Silvia Stoller

Katherine Bradford’s painting can be located in the tradition of abstract expressionism, particularly in colour field painting. During her very personal American Odyssey, she developed her very own style: interweaving abstraction and the figurative she creates very special bodies. The bodies’ faces often lack facial expressions.

According to Dr Silvia Stoller, the fact that the faces are lacking expression is not only irritating, as the human bodies depicted do not have a defining feature, but the artist also confronts us with questions of human identity and their detectability, such as gender. This question central to gender theories, also arises in other contexts: How can gender be defined and expressed, how do we experience gender and what are the limits of determining and perceiving gender? When is it necessary to label gender, and in what ways is labelling and identification problematic? In this lecture, Stoller will show how Katherine Bradford’s art can be linked directly to current feminist gender debates. She will debate gender in art and politics and explore the question of performative gender identity.


Participating artists

Univ.-Doz. in Silvia Stoller

*Bleiburg, Austria, lives in Vienna

is a philosopher and gender researcher. She teaches at the Universities of Vienna and Graz, where her teaching and research focuses include phenomenology, anthropology, contemporary philosophy, philosophy of animals (human-animal studies), philosophy of the body, existential philosophy (gender, age, pain, love, play, laughter) as well as masculinity studies and gender studies.

Selected publications: Existence — Difference — Construction. Phenomenology of Gender in Beauvoir, Irigaray and Butler: Munich: Wilhelm Fink 2010; ed. Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy of Age. Gender, Ethics, and Time. Berlin: De Gruyter 2014. ed. (with Susanne Hochreiter): Man — Men — Masculinities. Interdisciplinary Contributions from Masculinity Studies. Vienna: Praesens Verlag 2018.

University lecturer DDr. Silvia Stoller