Petra Gerschner

History Is a Work in Process

Petra Gerschner uses her photographic projects, video works, and installations in the public space to investigate constructions of cultural, post-colonial, and identitarian attributions as well as power relations that generate social inclusion and exclusion. The artist responds to existing image constructs with own stagings, making the methods and strategies of such systems visible and developing artistic forms and practices of intervention into contemporary social processes.
In her cycle of work History Is a Work in Process, Petra Gerschner realised a debate with the structure and order of public space, with traces of social contradictions, and with protest and resistance. Here, she examined the potential of social movements to intervene in social processes as well as such movements’ collective experiences and emancipatory possibilities. Gerschner also asks why struggles are initiated, what gives people the courage, and with what future perspectives they are carried out. In this context, she has initiated, for example, the international collective art projects holy damn it and war is peace.
Her artistic production in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen culminated in various installative works, which were shown in the exhibition Dissent and Certainty at Kunstpavillion Tiroler Künstler:innenschaft. From these works Gerschner developed the idea for a Long Night of the Protests in Innsbruck, which received an award from the competition stadt_potenziale 2014 and will be realized in Innsbruck in 2015.

Petra Gerschner is an artist, filmmaker, and curator living in Munich. After studying photography and political sciences, from 1993 she completed a study course at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, where she was awarded a diploma as a master pupil in 1999. Exhibitions (selection): 2012 what is not legal can still be legitimate, International Documentary Film Festival, Munich; 2010 A World Where Many Worlds Fit, Foreman Art Gallery, Sherbrooke, Canada; 2009 Gemeinsam in die Zukunft, Biennale Cuveé, Linz and Frankfurter Kunstverein, FFM; 2008 6th Biennale in Taipei, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan.