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Verena Melgarejo Weinandt

Between Image and Theory, Methodologies of Situated Gazes (Working Title)

At the center of my dissertation project are methodological questions that investigate the connection between images and knowledge production as a decolonial praxis. Gloria Anzaldúa’s drawings and Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui’s methodology “La Sociología de la Imagen, Miradas ch’ixi desde la histora andina“ (The Sociology of the Image, a Ch’ixi View from Andean History) are at the center of this research.

Gloria Anzaldúa’s prolific oeuvre, which spans from academic texts to poems and children’s books, also includes drawings she made on overhead transparencies, which she presented in her lectures (“gigs”) and were meant to convey a compact representation of her concepts.

The methodology developed by Bolivian sociologist, historian and activist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, offers a critical re-reading of Andean history through the examination of various images such as photographs, drawings and film. This makes it possible to illustrate resistant narratives and practices against colonial structures and paradigms in the past and present.

The examination of both of these positions allows for an interrogation of shifts and expansions of the connection between image and knowledge production of images. For one, my analytical focus bears on the use of images through which the boundaries between artistic praxis, theoretical and political reflection, and spiritual knowledge can be dissolved. This enables a critical view of the Eurocentric definition of the connection between research and artistic praxis. Another focus of the research project is Anzaldúa and Cusicanqui’s implicit criticism of knowledge concepts and gaze regimes that strengthen hegemonial power structures and thus define which forms of knowledge and visual culture are empowered or delegitimized. The research will investigate the role that the images they analyze or produce play in making indigenous knowledge, spiritual knowledge, as well as knowledge and practices of resistance visible. Questions about the mediating functions and collective praxes of knowledge production, which arise from working with the images, are a further focus of the research project.


Verena Melgarejo Weinandt studied Fine Arts as well as Art Theory and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Art Vienna and at the Instituto Universitario Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires, Argentinia. Her work brings together academic research, curatorial and artistic praxes and art education in institutional and self-organized spaces. As a curator, her projects have dealt with the criticism of colonial praxes of collections and exhibitions, e.g. in the Weltmuseum Vienna, and with the drawings of the Chicana author, theoretician and artist Gloria Anzaldúa. In 2015, she received a kültüř gemma! scholarship.


„A(r)mando Vo(i)ces“, in: Bayer, Natalie/Kazeem-Kaminski, Belinda/ Sternfeld, Nora (Hg.): Kuratieren als antirassistische Praxis, Wien: Edition Angewandte, 2017, S.229–241.

Englische Übersetzung erschienen in: Curating as Anti-Racist Practise. Helsinki: Aalto ARTS Books, 2018, p. 211–223.

„Pocahunter Reality Check“, in: Caceres, Imayna/ Mesquita, Sunanda/Utikal, Sophie (Hg.): Anti*Colonial Fantasies. Decolonial Strategies, Wien: Zaglossus, 2017, S. 54–58.

„Dressed for Conquering” (with Lôbo, Marissa), in: Etwas besseres als die Nation, Bildpunkt, Wien: Zeitschrift der IG Bildende Kunst, 2015.

„The Academy of Fine Arts as Participants in „Auschwitz“? A Comparison of Testimony According to Giorgio Agemben’s Remnants of Auschwitz“ (with Kai-Browne, Tatiana), in: Lackner, Rudolfine (Hg.): 100 Jahre VBKÖ Festschrift. Wien: Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs, 2011, S.257–269.

English translation published in: The Editorial Group for Writing Insurgent Geneologies (ed.): Utopia of Alliances, Conditions of Impossibilities and the Vocabulary of Decoloniality. Conflictual Histories in Hegemonic Spaces, Wien: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2013, S.155–160.


Lectures, Workshops, Lecture-Performance (selection)

Das Weltmuseum. Eine Debatte,Roundtable Discussion, with Christian Kravagna and Ruth Sonderegger, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna,Depot 2018.

„Zeichnungen lesen, Workshop zu den Bildwelten der Chicana, tejana, Arbeiterin, dyke-feministischen Poetin und Theoretikerin Glora Anzaldúa“, Klirrrrr Festival, Queere Konfliktkulturen, District, Berlin, 2018.

„Wer war Gloria Anzaldúa?“, Artist Talk, Queer-Feminist Awareness Week, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, 2018.

„Anticolonial Autohistorias“, Lecture performance, Unsettling Feminist Curating, International Conference, ILK, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2017.     

„Trenzación“, Lecture Performance, Symposium, Gender in Motion. Fluid Gestures in Music, Performance Art, and Film, International Conference isaScience 2017, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, 2017.     

„Between Word and Image“, Lecture and Exhibition Presentation, Beyond Borders:Literaturas y culturas transfronterizas mexicanas y chicanas, International Conference ISLA Augsburg: Institute for the Study of Spain, Portugal and Latin America, 2017.    

„Photographic Bridges to Gloria Anzaldúa“, Workshop, Foundation Class, Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, 2015.        

„Repräsentationen hinterfragen – Stereotype brechen“, Workshop, Migration Matters. Perspektiven und Konzepte für Museumsschaffende, Konferenz, Ruhr Museum Essen, 2015.



WS 17/18, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Seminar with Ruth Sonderegger.

SA 17, WS 17/18, Masterprogramm SODA, Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz der Universität der Künste Berlin, Mentorin.