Architecture and Society 2017

Gender & Space

(Lotte Schreiber, curator)

Considering gender and sexuality as a component of space was something the architecture and media theorist Beatriz Colomina was one of the first to insist on in her anthology “Sexuality and Space”, published in 1992. The essays published there concentrate on the relationships between sexuality, gender, and space that are hidden in our everyday practices. Day by day, we produce the gender “assigned” to us within the framework of a self-presentation in space, and we are intersubjectively evaluated and affirmed in it. This “doing gender” is a culturally conditioned, interactive and situative process of production – it produces spaces and is conversely produced by spaces.

The program section Architecture and Society is presented, now for the eighth time in cooperation with the afo architecture forum upper austria, this year under the title “Gender & Space”, examining the relationship of gender roles and space. Around Sofia Exarchou’s multiple award-winning debut film Park, a four-part film program is assembled, which pursues the question of the extent to which the social construct of “gender” influences our behavior in spaces and our perception and idea of them.

Park situates a coming-of-age story on the periphery of Athens, specifically in the decaying buildings of the Olympic Games that have been vacant for over ten years. These become the stage for gender-specific self-presentations and an intimate retreat for first sexual experiences. The female body as an actor in transitory space is the focal point of Wanderlust, female bodies in transit. The film accompanies two young women from different backgrounds, who travel solely by land and by water from Egypt to Germany. Gulîstan, Land of Roses highlights the role of women in the armed battle over a territory. Here, the KurdishCanadian documentary filmmaker Zaynê Akyol offers us an insight into the unknown, hidden everyday life of the women who place their lives in the service of the Kurdish revolution. Solitude, stillness, and the untamed forces of nature dominate the life of the scientist Aušra Revutaite in the Kazakh mountains in the Lithuanian film Woman and the Glacier by the director and 2008 Tribute guest Audrius Stonys. In contrast to this, the Latvian short film Garages shows the audience the testosterone-dominated world of garages.