"The frame that blinds us"

curated by Katharina Swoboda and Mare van Koningsveld


In 2009 the American philosopher and feminist Judith Butler (1956) published ‘Frames of War’, a text about the framing of Non-Western people in war times and how these frames can also be changed. This theory of eight years ago, about how existing perceptions of ‘the other’ are confirmed but can also be changed, has not lost its urgency in these times of the refugee crisis, post-truth politics and right-wing political sentiments.


In ‘Frames of War’, Butler discusses what determines a life as recognizable and valuable post 9/11. She questions why some human lives are worthy of protection, while others (that are Non-Western) are not, in time of war as well as in a daily context. Butler believes that different forms of media are crucial players in modern times: imagery that is spread through modern technology like internet and television confirms political, media and other kind of ways Non-Western migrants are framed. But the same techniques can also oppose traditional ways of framing and create new ways of perception.


In this exhibition project “The frame that blinds us”, several artists reflect on Butler’s theory and the current refugee crisis that became urgent from 2015 onward. All artists, from different backgrounds and with different angles and approaches, created new works with which they respond to topics like framing, migration and refugees, (social) media and contemporary technology and participation.


‘The frame that blinds us’ is a constantly developing exhibition project that will be presented in 2017 and 2018 in Budapest, Graz and other places. The project also consists of a film program, performances and a publication (that will be presented 2018 in Graz).





supported by


- The Regional Government of Styria, Department of Culture in the framework of “Strategies for the Future – An Artistic Contribution to the Refugee Crisis”, a call for the allocation of transnational projects in the fields of art and culture 2016

- The Federal Chancellery of Austria, Arts and Culture

- Osztrák Kulturális Fórum/ The Austrian Cultural Forum Budapest

- The Embassy of Canada, Budapest

- The Austrian Embassy in Sofia