Magic Circle looks at the background to the current queer-feminist reception of witches’ practices in contemporary art.
In their work the artists draw on the feminist appropriation of the term ‘witch’ in the 1970s, while also incorporating popular culture trends through reference to the renewed emergence of ‘witchcraft’ in contemporary feminist and artistic movements.
In this context witches are not necessarily understood to be persons who practice ‘witchcraft’, but as individuals and collectives that have been branded with this title by others as an external designation or defamation, as well as subjects that affirmatively adopt the title themselves.
The fascination with witches hinges on the figure of a powerful woman, as well as on the way the figure can become part of a narrative of both oppression and empowerment.
Conceptually, the works enter into dialogue with the reception of the witch in the 1970s, which was motivated by notions of activism, while also placing emphasis on the current relevance of the topic through touching upon facets ranging from technological history, pop culture, structures of knowledge and social mechanisms of exclusion.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Magic Circle at Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna (23 March – 15 May 2018).
English and German text.