Fellow 2019/2020

Katia Krupennikova

Curator and critic Katia Krupennikova is a member of the Bergen Assembly, a docent at HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht, and a part of the curatorial team at V-A-C Foundation, Moscow. Through her projects, Krupennikova attempts to transform existing social and political constructs into critical artistic models within which existing relations can be mimicked, criticized, distorted, displaced, and revised. In 2015, she won the Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition. The exhibition Post-Peace, intended to take place in Istanbul, was censored by the host institution; it subsequently opened in extended form at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2017, and Nest, The Hague, 2017. Her recent projects include Imogen Stidworthy. Dialogues with People, co-curated with Hans D. Christ and Iris Dressler, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2018–2019; and It Won’t Be Long Now, Comrades!, co-curated with Inga Lāce, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, 2017. Krupennikova lives and works in Amsterdam.

Fellowship Research Trajectory

Katia Krupennikova’s research States of Anxiety, Minds for Care analyzes the political dimension of anxiety. It traces links between rising right-wing sentiments as well as social and economic precarity, and proposes ways of countering fascist trends by reactivating practices of care. Krupennikova begins with thinking through the common assumption that anxiety is a medical and inherently individual syndrome that should be treated privately with pharmacology and psychiatry. Depoliticized, made exclusively intimate, and surrounded by silence, anxiety is rarely approached from a more structural and political point of view, though many experience it. She looks further into social imperatives to be always available, flexible, successful, cheerful, ambitious, self-promoting, good team players, or passionate consumers, while competition is encouraged on every level, and how the unemployment and insecurity that come with entrepreneurial culture are reframed as the freedom to reinvent oneself and to be creative and self-directing. In this frame, one is responsible for one’s own self, and whoever needs social support is potentially a threat or danger to the community. Safety and security become central obsessions of contemporary politics, bearing witness to the underlying anxiety that feeds them. Taking inspiration from the writings of Hannah Arendt, Mark Fisher, John Holloway, and others, Krupennikova brings together materials from the cultural sphere, sociology, and history of activist movements to compile a set of practices helping to declare, articulate, and challenge the political causes of anxiety and alienation, and pivot conversations on safety.