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Seen By #14: Imprinted Matter

Intersectional Matter

What is intersectionality?

Systemic oppression is connected and about multiple forms of discrimination. How is the body imprinted with class, gender, race, education, sexuality, age, language, background, identity, privilege, etc? Print, installation, photography, and performance are all methods of documentation. They formulate narratives and gestures of representation. Who writes, who is the publisher or the published, who is depicted or seen, who has the stage, who is left between the lines? 

Intersectional Matter finds another application in the Imprinted Matter reading room. On view is a preview of the Intersectional Matter Zine and poster series as well as special coffee mugs, printed with calls to solidarity and critical questioning:  

Intersectional Matter is a project by and with Mathilde ter Heijne, Christoph Balzar, Karina Griffith, Kristina Leko, Sandra Noeth, and Nik Haffner. Intersectional Matter is an artistic research project at the Berlin University of the Arts (SS19–WS19/20), devoted to the question of how intersectional theory is integrated into the academic curriculum and artistic learning experiences. Together we devoted ourselves to the questions: what is intersectionality, what is intersectional discrimination, and what does it mean to think and act intersectional? Many workshops, lectures, and dialogues took place in close work with the Class for Performance and Time-based Media, the Institute for Art in Context (IfKiK) and the Inter-University Center for Dance Berlin (HZT), and with generous support by the Women’s Representatives and DiVAversity-Fonds


What is a reading room?

The reading room creates a forum. Printed Matters are an intersectional tool for exchange, questioning, and dispersion. The book and space become an act and situation. The artist Barbara Kruger as a spokesperson for Printer Matter Inc. –the largest art book distribution and archive in New York— says, “Printed Matter matters.” Especially in digitized and insecure times, printed matter gains meaning because it encourages peaceful reflection. The spectrum of printed matter includes a wide range of content.

These avant-garde publications express their voices, identities, healing processes, and struggles. They were created in independent collectives, autonomous publishing houses as well as in a publication and poetry workshop with Christoph Balzar and Lahya Aukongo at the Berlin University of the Arts. They share in common that they make the invisible visible, they represent themselves, and they question the structures of power in place.

Magazines make themselves heard like for example, the N*A*I*L*S collective that reimagines the nail salon as a queer site for intersectional care politics and the damn* zine/ deutsche asiat*innen, make noise! The street journal Arts of the Working Class (AWC) speaks in its name and contributions by artists in different languages to many people. Issue 9, WHO CARES, specifically deals with the topic of care and includes a care questionnaire by editor Alina Kolar and a contribution about an UdK-Workshop by Intersectional Matter participants (Page 52).

Beyond this, you will find queer-feminist manifestos, poetry about freedom, autobiographic comics, and fanzines about feelings, vulnerability, surviving trauma, autonomous health-care, and alternative medicine. There are pamphlets printed with the DIY risograph printer and a decolonized artist book that uncovers Pizzaro’s colonization of Peru. Jane Hwang’s islands of is and yous makes an in-between state of being audible, bringing us closer:


These installations and video works use publication processes to start a dialogue between identities, ignite interactions, and renegotiate space.

Wiedersehen (2019) opens up with two texts and an orchid costume, they are relics from a confrontation. The orchid is a symbol of exoticism and an expression of the will to survive. With 3000 prints, Mania Godarzani-Bakhtiari remixes pop-cultural slogans of pop icons and transforms them into new statements. 25¢ to Fall in Love applies 36 questions by relationship researchers to start intimate conversations between strangers. Vincent Hulme’s wallpaper thematizes in variable formats out of printed e-mails from WG-searches the housing crisis in Berlin, where space becomes a commodity and your cultural background influences your possibilities. 

The timeless power of reading rooms for political action is visible through the video work Oppositionsblatt by Anastasia Putsykina through the Umweltbibliothek, an activist library, that became a radical concept and meeting point in the GDR.


These performances are actions, conversations, and manifestos that turn print into a tool kit.

The feminist Riot Pant Project by Elena Buscaino, Mina Bonakdar, and Josef Roth fights manspreading by printing messages in the crotchline of pants. These only become legible when legs are spread and space is reclaimed. The pants themselves become a performance object:


In Dialog of Objects / Komische Fragmente, Jinran Ha & Johanna Michel let the objects speak for themselves. The artists disconnect from their human bodies that are always subject to certain ascriptions connected to gender, appearance, age, race etc. Instead, the objects from the nail salon speak openly with each other.

Charlotte Seebeck has screen-printed an eco-feminist banner and zine-poster-manifesto, a herbarium for recitation. In the performance die freude by Tania Elstermeyer dance, lyrics, music, and light intermingle. Here, you can find a preview from the song Falter, which is about transience:

Participants / Thank You

Curated by Nina Prader. With Printed Matters by von Intersectional Matter (, a University of Arts Berlin research project by Mathilde ter Heijne, Christoph Balzar, Karina Griffith, Kristina Leko, Sandra Noeth, and Nik Haffner; with Arts of the Working Class and with UdK artists: Anastasia Putsykina, Ana Eloísa Sommer-Madison, Arianna Cecchetto, Aria Star & Phoenix Kaspian, Aylin Hatice, Charlotte Seebeck, Clay Dresser, damn* zine/ deutsche asiat*innen, make noise! Hannah Lansburgh, Jane Hwang, Jinran Ha & Johanna Michel (N*A*I*L*S), Klara Kirsch, Marina Bertucelli, Mania Godarzani-Bakhtiari, Mika Ebbing, Minh Duc Pham, Miriam Wierzchoslawska, Power Makes Us Sick, Riot Pant Project (Elena Buscaino, Mina Bonakdar, Josef Roth), Sugano Matsusaki, Tania Elstermeyer, Terhi Nieminen, Vincent Hulme et al. Thanks to Dr. Ludger Derenthal, Mathilde ter Heijne, Christoph Balzar, Kilian Seyfried, Claudia Assmann, Yvonne Geister, Stefanie Peller, Daniel Rosengarten, Malte Spindler, Sarah Bornhorst, Josephine Pryde.

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