Critics’ Picks

View of “Producing Futures—An Exhibition on Post-Cyber Feminisms,” 2019.

Zurich

“Producing Futures—An Exhibition on Post-Cyber Feminisms”

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270
February 16–May 12

The soundtracks of installations by fifteen artists mix situationally into polyvocal sound sets—an apt metaphor for this exhibition’s emphasis on the impossibility of discrete embodiment. Hard to miss is Tabita Rezaire’s Sugar Walls Teardom, 2016, comprising a hot-pink gynecologist’s chair and video work that deconstructs the history of colonial exploitation in gynecology. Rezaire also shifts into view the various points of departure for feminist critique by recalling the tactics of digital collage and abject empowerment slogans of the collective VNS Matrix, whose Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century, 1991, is wallpapered in parts of the exhibition space.

The development and appropriation of imperialist technologies extends beyond mechanisms of digital dissemination, a point brought home by the queer-feminist work of Mary Maggic. Estrofem!Lab, 2016–17, and 6 Point Plan for Hormone Queering Resistance, 2016, include research into DIY methods of estrogen extraction, far from the biopolitical surveillance of state and medical institutions. Meanwhile, Housewives Making Drugs, 2017, a glaringly bright, exaggerated video in the style of a YouTube tutorial, employs the semiotic clichés of a consumer world tailored to “housewives,” and reflects the artist’s dreams of destabilizing the gender spectrum through molecular-hormonal supplements. With its focus on critical constellations of cyborg and feminist thought since the 1990s, this generous show does not look like a survey, and for good reason. Instead of genealogical groundings, it opts for linking together works that together sound a call to let a thousand futures bloom.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.