About Mothering Communities

Guadalupe Aldrete, Grossi Maglioni, Käthe Hager von Strobele, Lena Rosa Händle, Anežka Jabůrková & Amalija Stojsavljevic, Isabella Kohlhuber, Maracatu Nossa Luz, Nora Mayr & Stephanie Winter, Musikarbeiter*innenkapelle, claudia* sandoval romero, Solar Manufaktur/Irene Lucas, Deniz Sözen, Manuela Zechner

Initiated and curated by Barbara Mahlknecht 

Project duration: July 6 to July 29, 2023 
Location: 1020, Rustenschacherallee 2–4,
Zentrum Fokus Forschung, University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Mothering Communities is a public art project focusing on maternal care­ giving – the continuous, repetitive, physical, emotional and at the same time “invisible” work that is carried out for the nutrition, health, educa­tion and general integrity of a child. The project explores forms of com­ munal care work: How can care workers be shared beyond existing but often inadequate family and institutional structures? How can caregiving be reinvented and organised for existing and future generations? What infrastructure, resources, forms of creativity, and time and collaboration does caring for a future generation require?

Following the trajectory of these questions, Mothering Communities brings together workshops for children and adults, performances, talks, live concerts, listening sessions, an energy­autonomous solar kitchen, picnics, play and experimentation on the grounds and in the garden of Zentrum Fokus Forschung at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The audience is invited to temporarily leave the isolation and singularity of caregiving and to open up communal caretaking as a shared field of re­ search in the form of meeting, exchanging, caring, being creative, listen­ ing, watching, experimenting and playing.

The central pivot and location of the project is the walk­in sculpture Child Care Pavilion designed by Isabella Kohlhuber. It relocates care as an intermediate activity between work and play, between the satisfaction of children’s primary needs and amusement, shifting it into the public space. As a sculpture and object of use, it mediates between inside and outside spaces, serving simultaneously as a stage, a place to linger and a site for exchange, conversation and play.