Online-Workshop, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, 16.05.2020
In Bending over Backwards. Hysterical Performances, the artist and cultural scientist, Johanna Braun, works with performances relating to and dealing with the topic of hysteria as it entered the famous picture archive of the French researcher Jean-Martin Charcot. In the 21st century, the image of the "hysterical bridge-building" body suddenly became an iconic image in popular culture and brought the image of the uncontrollable hysterical body in horror films to the forefront. Johanna Braun's performance workshop in Kunstraum Niederoesterreich is based both on her artistic practice and on the results of her research project on the performance of hysteria, which transpired over the course of her postdoc, first at UCLA and then at Stanford University as part of an FWF Erwin Schrödinger fellowship.
In Bending over Backwards, the artist and the participants work together on the questions of embodiment of gender, insanity and current political defamation. The cultural Renaissance of Hysteria in our present time and the transformation of Charcot's images - which followed the historical and artistic assumption that hysteria is a non-verbal body language that produces “images of symptoms” (Luce Irigaray 1977/1985) will also be discussed. The “hysterically” curved body becomes an expression of a contemporary visual language that, among other things in social media, comes to life as an artistically and politically motivated gesture.