photo: 8th March, cover, b&w: “Finally! Women make 30% more than men!”
I love the printed word and even more I like the 8th March project, a magazine by Stefanie Seibold, which does not only bring together a print medium with feminist topics but at the same time shows the strong points of print media in digital times: professionall pre-selected, focused and edited content with quality requirement. Read more about the decision to edit a printed magazine, the importance of distribution ways and Stefanie`s wishes for the future of women.
How did the idea for your the magazine 8th March arise? And when did you finally start to put it into action?
I was invited to a competition which asked for an art-project in public space relating to the topic 100 years of the International Women`s Day in march 2010 and was one of four artists to win it. My project was then halted for more than half a year due to funding difficulties, so I could only start in January 2011 which was very little time for such a complex work.
Why did you decide for a printed magazine? It could have been online, too…
There is the history of a building involved in that idea: the Kreisky Archive resides in the historic seat of the old SPOE from the 1910s which from the beginning had a large print-shop included as part of its (communication) logic. I got interested in the tradition of printed matter as a means to pass on information, as an important “propaganda”-medium and also a means to publish “counter-information” to the conservative and yellow-press and to employ or even hijack a popular newspaper format, all that interested me about the print-format. A newspaper is a medium that claims to tell a truth, “real” neutral news as opposed to fabricated ones. And of course newspapers do not do that, there is no neutrality in what is published its always already a choice and edited and therefore an interpretation of our world in that sense.
I was lucky to get an issue at Westbahnhof, Vienna on the International Women`s Day. Which meaning do the ways of distribution have for the project?
Distribution was a key factor for this project since it was meant to reach an audience outside of the the art context, which is the usual context of my works. I was playing- as mentioned above -with a popular format, so the question of how to distribute a large number of the paper (50.000 copies !) to a as many people as possible was central. We mainly worked with a professional distributor and his team and also managed to include it as the art-supplement in MALMOE, another publication which is distributed all over the city and the rest of Austria as well. It now also gets distributed more as an artistic-publication in places like the Salzburger Kunstverein, and some bookstores in Berlin like ProQm, b_books and MOTTO.
Your artistic work is often concerned with issues of feminism. Why and when did the topic become that important for your work? What`s your personal approach to the discussion of gender?
It began to really interest me when i started to work in theatre as a scenic designer. Theatre in my experience is, or was then still a very patri-hierarchichal and rather uncritical environment regarding gender and queer issues, mainly re-producing boring gender stereotypes and and I did not like that.
You`re teaching Performance and Gender at the Art University in Linz. From your perspective in terms of a critical cultural examination: How do you perceive students` coping with the issue of gender mainstreaming?
Today´s students are much more aware of gender issues, and deal with it in most interesting ways, but prejudices and stereotypes connected to gender and sexuality are rooted very deeply in our society and in each and every one in us, so there is still much to be done to change or at least challenge these perceptions, I think.
What`s your aim in teaching gender and what are you wishes for the future of women?
Bringing awareness through joint analysis and teaching and inventing together tools to identify, criticize and change gender inequalities and discrimination.
Is there any contemporary female feminist whose work you adore? Why?
I am not so interested in labeling artists, I believe there are certain artworks, which might be understood as feminist – or not, but that is not at the center of my interest in art. And there are many very good women artists out there, past and present. Elaine Sturtevant for example is great, she is now in her eighties, I think.