Care, Community and Contingencies: Artistic Practices Rooted in Access

Mühlemann, Nina (30 March 2023). Care, Community and Contingencies: Artistic Practices Rooted in Access In: Institute Colloquium FS23: Lecture Series: Care, Disability and Art. Zürich. March 30, 2023.

The performing arts are largely structured on the assumption that physical co-presence and complete physical availability of the artist are a given. The Covid-19 pandemic challenged those assumptions, and thus created uncertainty in the whole sector. Many disabled and chronically ill artists, however, have been working around physical availability for many years, out of a need to accommodate fluctuating conditions and to cope with inaccessible structures. How do these practices establish and nourish community and connection, when physical co-presence is not a given? As part of the ongoing research project “Aesthetics of the Im/mobile” at the University of the Arts Berne, this lecture will look at the work and practices of two disabled artists, UK-based Alexandrina Hemsley and Germany-based Angela Alves. Hemsley describes how developing a practice that is shifting has created an ongoing process in which they dismantle hierarchies (including their own), while Alves uses the creative potential of her own unavailability. How have those practices been met by the cultural sector, before and since the outbreak of the pandemic? What possibilities, conundrums (a term that stems from Carrie Sandahl’s work) or risks arise when access, of the artist and audiences, and care are at the core of the artistic process?

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Practices and Theories in the Arts


Mühlemann, Nina


N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general




Nina Mühlemann

Date Deposited:

19 Dec 2023 10:48

Last Modified:

19 Dec 2023 10:48


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