Domestic Optimism is an exhibition about mangled and mistold modernist legacies. The project begins with furniture, inanimate objects that come loaded with social connections and invisible histories. Through the displacement of cultural detritus Emma Wolf-Haugh retells modernist architectural history in the collective key of queer-feminist and decolonial practices, continually unearthing filth in times of hygiene, and complicating things that were never simple to begin with.
Wolf-Haugh is a visual artist and educator. Weaving together installation, performance, publishing and collaborative workshop techniques, she is interested in reorienting attention towards cultural narratives by developing work from a questioning of what is missing. Her work is informed by how spaces, identities and social relations are generated temporarily in theatre, drag performance and queer DIY club scenes, via aesthetic and somatic practices.
For this exhibition colonial aesthetics, obscenity trials, hysterical masculinity, crime scene photography, sexology, the production of the lesbian throughout modernity and the current collapse of social housing projects, all intersect in a critical, queer, working class reading of architectural and design modernism. The project underscores the importance of solidarity, friendship and collectivity, for our communion and survival in the world today.
Domestic Optimism is co-produced with Project Arts Centre, Dublin, where Act Two of the project will be presented in early 2021. Commissioned and curated by Grazer Kunstverein
this project is part of the Autumn Season, in the context of steirischer herbst '20. Emma Wolf-Haugh would like to thank collaborators Line Skywalker Karlström and Kerstin Honeit. The artist also wishes to acknowledge the institutional support of Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Market Gallery, ICI Berlin, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dundee Contemporary Arts, the Arts Council of Ireland and Fingal County Council for continuing to make studio practice and project development possible.
Alongside this exhibition the public program and speculative feasibility studyGrazer Kunstverein is moving!continues with events (both digital and physical) throughout the city as part of Graz Kulturjahr 2020. Following the Summer Seasons writer-in-residence program with Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, upcoming events include speculative moves to new locations in Straßgang and Eggenberg with artists Damir Očko and Irina Gheorghe, and the launch of a new series of reflective and functional works in our Depot space by Edward Clydesdale Thomson.