“Now might be a good time to rethink what a revolution can look like. Perhaps it doesn’t look like a march of angry, abled bodies in the streets. Perhaps it looks something more like the world standing still because all the bodies in it are exhausted—because care has to be prioritized before it’s too late.”
In the essay Get Well Soon (2020), Johanna Hedva presents a scenario that seemed quite possible in Spring 2020. It acts as an appeal and a hope that the knowledge of universal vulnerability of all bodies and the acceptance of our mutual dependence on one another will lead to the re-thinking of society. In a capitalistically structured society, prioritizing the giving and taking of care and-or relying on care work also means experiencing friction with the normative understandings of productivity and achievement. Now is the time to fundamentally question ableism in society.
In order to make space for critical and forward-thinking contemplation on care, the exhibition caring structures connects the works of various artists, scholars, and activists. They research in archives about self-organized health care, reflect on how to meet each other in crisis, present film portraits of care-workers, formulate a manifesto about a queer and inclusive utopia, research natural healing methods on the internet, and give space to voices that experience structural discrimination inside and outside of the health care system. Through video and sound works, zines, watercolors, and posters, activist and subversive tactics are interwoven with documentary and poetic narratives. The works inspire an examination of the structural and individual dimensions of care and disentangle the binary understandings of ‘sick’ and ‘healthy’, ‘abled’ and ‘disabled’. In doing so, we can identify the structures of care that are sincerely responding to queer-feminist and anti-racist demands. They make it possible to envision a future that is non-violent and inclusive.
What would the world look like if we radically acknowledged that we are all affected by sickness?
 The term "care" has multiple meanings in English as well as in German. Among others, it can mean concern, attentiveness, responsibility, safe keeping, and affection.
 The term "ableism" designates the discrimination of people based on their physical abilities. The term was developed within the field of Disability Studies.
The exhibition was curated by Nora Brünger and Leona Koldehoff and realised together with the exhibition team.
Please click on this link to visit the digital representation of the exhibition.
To download and to read the publication published on the occasion of the exhibition, please click here.
by Franziska Bauer and Rebekka Weihofen
Clara Kiehnlein (curatorial assistant), Maria Nesemann (education and mediation), Ben Leven (intern)
installation: David Bruckmüller, Julian Grönefeld, Clara Kiehnlein, Ben Leven, Maren Pfeiffer, Theresa Tolksdorf
design of the reading corner: Maren Pfeiffer and Claudio Giesen
design of the digital representation of the exhibition: Lane Peterson and Maren Pfeiffer
translation: Lane Peterson
The exhibition is funded by the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the State of Lower Saxony, the Friedrich Weinhagen Stiftung, and the City of Hildesheim, and supported by the University of Hildesheim.
The Kunstverein Hildesheim’s art mediation program is funded by the State of Lower Saxony and the VGH-Stiftung.
Credits: Installation views, group exhibition caring structures, Kunstverein Hildesheim. Photos: Samuel Henne