An Imagination of Bodily Autonomy
© Liz Rosenfeld, Scores for Cruising #6”, 2022, Digital Drawing

An Imagination of Bodily Autonomy

An Imagination of Bodily Autonomy is an exhibition project based on the body. The body with which we move through the world not only determines our own perceptions, but also how we are perceived by others, what gaze is directed at us, and what rights we have (or what rights we are denied).

The United Nations’ annual State of the World Population report in 2021 came to the startling conclusion that only 55% of all women worldwide have bodily autonomy regarding decision-making about their sexual activity, health care, or contraception. The body is thus a crucial site into which patriarchal structures are inscribed. However, not only women, but also queer, trans, BiPoc, and persons with disabilities experience on a daily basis what it means to live in this world with a body that deviates from the perceived norm.

The right to the autonomy of our bodies means being able to make decisions about our own bodily issues without restrictions. It means taking up space in the world with that very body. The long-standing slogan of feminist movements in the struggle for the right to safe and freely accessible abortion, “My Body, My Choice,” serves as the starting point for a subjective, fragmentary investigation of the concept of bodily autonomy.

The exhibition features seven artist:s who have reclaimed their bodies performatively and are already living bodily self-determination in the here and now. On the border between fragility and resilience, this is not an escape from reality, but a self-confident statement: the artists take what is theirs.

For the duration of their visit to the exhibition, visitors to the Galerie im Saalbau enter an alternative space in which they can imagine together that the right to bodily self-determination is guaranteed without restriction for all people.

Exhibition from April 22 until June 25, 2023

Curated by Nina Marlene Kraus

Participating artists