Feminist In-Action. Ingrid Wiener’s Tapestry Collaborations


  • Caroline Lillian Schopp




There is a tendency in recent art history to see artistic practice as aligning with political activism, and artists who are women as making feminist art. VALIE EXPORT, the paradigmatic “woman artist” in this regard, encapsulated this position in her formulation of Feminist Actionism. This paper draws out a complementary tendency exhibited in the work of Ingrid Wiener that I call feminist in-action. In contrast with the confrontational practices of many of her contemporaries, Wiener’s tapestry collaborations with Dieter Roth present long-drawn-out performances of withdrawal. Her weaving explores a relational and dependent view of both artistic practice and the self. Refusing the feminist-actionist’s arsenal of assertive gestures, Wiener picks apart the conventions of highwarp Gobelins tapestry weaving in order to attend to an immanent and intimate, sometimes frayed, sometimes touching, space of correspondence. Wiener’s tapestry collaborations with Roth thus articulate an alternative textile politics as a politics of care.