(c) Elisa Giardina Papa, Technologies of Care 2016
Care work is generally regarded as an inconvenient appendage to human existence: as a feminised low-wage sector in the realm of geriatric care, as a so-called career setback during maternity or paternity leave, or in the past as immoral sex work. Activities that fall into the field of care work are underpaid and disdained—nevertheless, they are something like an interpersonal glue that keeps our society together. In the exhibition TechnoCare the Kunstraum Niederoesterreich investigates the divide between the relevance of care work and its marginalisation. Such a divide provokes the question of how it can be overcome. In this spirit TechnoCare examines the technological and aesthetic mediation attempts of care, which have gained momentum in contemporary artistic practice. Can aesthetic experience cultivate caring conduct? Can artistic works themselves become protagonists of care? And how can care transcend spatial, temporal, or emotional distances—or is it as it seems, characterised mainly by closeness and direct contact?
Curated by Katharina Brandl and Friederike Zenker, the exhibition presents artistic works in which the aesthetic, social, and ethical dimensions of care between people or people and animals intersect. The main focus is the technology-based building, cultivating, reviving, and criticising of relationships.