The aim of the International Artist Collective New York-Wien is to bring awareness to issues of space, identity, sexuality, and gender. Our visual performances and video installations play with divers social codes of gender and their representations in existing systems of cultural meaning by questioning the concept of sexuality within hegemonially normative systems. By exploring mechanisms of the human gaze, we are seeking to redefine conditions representing gender and subjectivity.
Melissa Steckbauer of the United States and Johanna Bruckner of Austria first launched the International Artist Collective New York-Wien in 2007. Bruckner and Steckbauer have been collaborating intensively since the Fall of 2006.
Our work aims at redefining the position that is called "female". We recognize ourselves as femmes, still entrenched in old paradigms of male desire and the male gaze that fashions femme positions and agency, solidified by media discourses and representations. We are addressing the general question of who produces cultural representations, since media representations of sexuality are a product of cultural representations, we investigate who receives them and in which contexts. Cultural construction with regard to the femme, largely takes for granted the male gaze as normative. We as femmes are confronted with the challenge to upright ourselves while acknowledging that we have long since adopted the male gaze and taken it on as our own when ‘looking’ at ourselves and one another. As artists we rebuke the stark boundaries between high gloss, hetero-normative porn culture: and the unmodified but largely under-represented figures of ‘lived sexual experience’.