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Doing Beyond Gender

This web archive is part of the research project Doing Beyond Gender. Starting point of this project is to raise the question on strategies, projects and spaces in art, culture and media, which cross over and overstep orders of gender. Although there is no final escape out of the dominant gender orders, new possibilities of resistance open up especially in these fields: which logics of representation are possible beyond traditional gender orders? Which theories, practices and methods „beyond gender“ do cultural producers, artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, activists et al develop?

Background

Under the term “doing gender” all societal constructions and processes can be summarized, which leverage gender as a societal category. The dominant difference between two genders, between “women” and “men” which is established in most of contemporary societies, is read as not given and “natural” but as a result of ongoing social and institutionalized processes, which produce such gender differences and update gender identities again and again.

These processes of production, rewriting and updating of gender and gender attributions not only take place in social interaction in everyday life but as well in the fields of art, culture and media.
Although the grade of influences on individual everyday life action and collective models of imagination and thinking is controversial, art, culture and media are not outside of the production of gender. Also in these fields, the production of gender classifications takes place not in a linear or static but in a dynamic way. Associations of gender and rewriting of gender differences are “modernized” along with social, but as well along with economical and political changes. Classifications of gender and gender differential practices of normalization cannot only be reduced on gender dualistic settlements but they also include fractions and contradictions.

On the other hand, this does not mean that gender differences, which are embedded on a structural level, are canceled by these fractions and contradictions (regarding for example the ongoing misrepresentation of female artists within museums). Along with this situation the various contradictions between individual and collective imaginations respective perceptions of gender and the real changes refer to the bandwidth of different theoretical aspects within the field of Gender Studies.

Starting from the, originally in the Social Sciences located term of “doing gender”, this project focuses not mainly on processes of social interaction of the production of gender but on questions of possible strategies and processes of crossing gender in art, culture and media.
These strategies are interlinked with the questioning of ways of producing and locating gender and cannot clearly be separated. Besides, the formulation “doing beyond gender” cannot only be read and understood as the simple opposite of “doing gender” it also includes the question of an interplay of this difference with other differences, of the possibility to defraud this difference or even its total disappearance…

Along with theoretical discussions, mainly artistic, cultural and media based practices are in the center of this research project: practices and projects, which on a theoretical as well as methodological level, pursue not only an opposite, but a resistant and, in the true sense of the word, queer approach. No theory without practice or theory as practice: neither theoretical debates and analyses are completed nor do corresponding practices make sense without a theoretical basis and reflection. There are always gaps, fractions and blank spaces left over. But exactly this connection and necessary interaction is the condition to ask further questions, even if they are imperfectly answered or not answered at all.

This project is located within poststructuralist and deconstructivist theories and practices but without neglecting critical approaches of feminist-materialist theories. Therefore a critical reflection of strategies, projects and ways of production, which cross gender borders, must be included. In conncetion with this web archive this means that the aim of this project is not to have a complete coverage but a selection of relevant and knowledgeable contributions. Finally such a selection is subjective but referring to cultural, artistic and media scientific researches and cognitions, this selection can have a foundation, which is comprehensible.

The website serves as a documentation and archive of gender reflexive projects as well as of texts, bibliographies etc. Another part of this research project is the publication “Doing Beyond gender” including interviews and texts.

Yvonne P. Doderer

Research project Doing Beyond Gender

Project management, conception + design:
Prof. Dr. Yvonne P. Doderer
University of Applied Sciences
FH Düsseldorf – FB 2 Design – GenderMediaDesign

Supported by Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Maturity: since 12.2005

Realization webproject: Nikovan



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