Transcript of an audio recording from a hybrid workshop with DAAP at the Women's Art Library, 21 July 2023. Dr Althea Greenan, curator of the Women's Art Library, draws out material connections between Bella Milroy's publication 'File Under Female' with the White Pube; and collective, SKGAL (with Nina Hoechtl & Julia Wieger)'s poster publication, EINLADUNG ZUR RECHERCHE / INVITATION TO RESEARCH
Althea: Bella. What’s kind of interesting, because we have Nina Hoechtl in the
room, is that the poster format that we came up with? Nina's
‘EINLADUNG ZUR RECHERCHE’ is a glorious combination of artist
intervention and publication, you know, very, very thin. It's only on one side,
and it's almost see through, but it's one of the most powerful kind of artist
publications that we have in the whole collection. There’s so much that has come in between me saying, how about something
Bella: Oh my goodness, yeah. And it was such a powerful piece, the way it
starts. And again the thinness was so exciting to play with and I was really
excited by that exploration throughout my work at the archive was again this
kind of the different elasticity of that space being something … that everything
was kind of laminated, this thinness that then became bigness. And that piece
was wonderful and very inspirational to how the format of this came about. And
I also should mention that as part of the project I worked with CILIP, the
Chartered Institute for Library Professionals and also Derbyshire Libraries in
distributing the catalogue. And so it was distributed as a PDF, which I'd be
really interested to know your thoughts in terms of the digital archiving. It was
distributed as a PDF across all libraries in England, and then as a hard copy
across all libraries in Derbyshire, and again sometimes it was displayed like this
and other times it was displayed and in the kind of poster format as well.
So yeah that was a totally inspirational piece in how this came about. So yes,
thank you so much Althea for reminding me of that.
Jessa: I love how there was like this demonstration [holding items up to the camera for online workshop participants to see] of your poster, Nina's
poster, Symrath’s publication. It's such a beautiful example of how these works
are not happening in a silo, like they're related, and they're connected and, draw
from each other.
Nina: Just to jump in, as Althea mentioned my name. I mean, the poster you
showed, Althea, I did it together with Julia Wieger as the Secretariat for Ghosts,
Archival Politics, and Gaps. And that's a working group that started in the
Austrian Association of Women Artists in Vienna that was founded in 1910.
And this is one of the only group photos. So the association is still active. I'm
still a member. Back then I was a board member. But yes, it's this long, long
history, a very complex history as it's still alive. You can imagine it has also
collaborated with the Nazi power in the Nazi years in Austria, also what was
happening between 1938 and 1945.
I'm not going there into the detail, but this photo, it is actually not clear when it
was taken. And the interesting thing of this group photo is that not all of the
women artists we can identify, but we can identify two. And there is one that
was the Jewish president that had to go into exile to Paris and died there. And
her vice president, Helene Krauss, who was a Nazi. So also these interesting
histories that actually happened that these two were collaborating before, but
then Helene Krauss kept in power in the Association and the other one died
because of the political situation.
And then for us in, I think we published this poster actually to invite more
people because it's saying ‘invitation to research’ on this poster. Also very hard
to see. It's actually for more people to explore this complex contradictory
history of such a long Women's Artist Association, and I liked a lot that you
said now the thinness, the thinness of the poster but also the thinness of histories
and who is telling histories.