OUTCAST REGISTRATION is a gender-specific arts-based research project that focuses on an issue that western European countries have consistently ignored. Although women drug addicts represent “only” 4 to 14% of Europe’s total population of drug users and are thus considered by the legal system and society as a “negligible phenomenon”, around 65% of the inmates in women’s prisons are drug addicts. How can it be that this state of affairs leads to marginalisation of this group and what has brought them into this precarious position?
Since 1997 Ulrike Möntmann has been realizing multi-year projects with partners from art, science and politics in cooperation with drug addicts in European prisons, therapy facilities and reception centers. In interdisciplinary artistic research and practice, complex issues are discussed that arise from the cooperation with all participants. The aim of the investigations is to uncover facts and to identify concrete connections from different perspectives. In doing so, neither the obvious asymmetrical relationships to the affected women can be confirmed nor the measures taken by executive violence to be discussed - pollution should become opportunities to jointly enter into the conditionality of social systems.
OUTCAST REGISTRATION is a form of intervention that requires reflection and commentary to reveal the conditions that are structurally entrenched in social processes and make them perceptible as public affairs.
Both projects receive additional support from the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Peter Weibel Research Institute for Digital Cultures Austria in the area of Art and Research as well as from the Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, as well as from other foundations and private sponsors.
to be aware of outsiders, that is, marginalised groups in a society, to register and research conditions they live under, and to demand public visibility for them, is the main concern of this arts and science research project. Such groups all suffer from similar systematic exclusion procedures that push them over and over again further to the margins of society. Unlike their male fellow sufferers, drug-addicted women in European prisons are considered a “negligible phenomenon”. The work of the OUTCAST REGISTRATION counters this by recognising the need of the participants to make their lives a public affair, which ultimately also means laying part of the responsibility for their illness at society’s door.