This exhibition is a collaboration between the research platform "GAIN - Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities" and the FWF project "The Magic Closet and the Dream Machine: Post-Soviet Queerness, Archiving, and the Art of Resistance" at the University of Vienna, the Academy of Fine arts Vienna. Additonally,a pre-exhibition course was offered in summer semester 2023 in cooperation with the University of Vienna, Katharina Wiedlack, Anna T., and the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Sascha Zaitseva.

The research platform "GAIN - Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities" was established in January of 2020 and will run for four years. It focuses on the complex and ambivalent processes that give rise to intersectionally gendered in_visibilities. The interdisciplinary platform involves five faculties: the Faculty of Law, Department of Philologyand Cultural Studies, Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy and Department of Education and Historical and Cultural Studies. GAIN is led by Prof. Elisabeth Holzleithner (Department of Legal Philosophy), with researchers Susanne Hochreiter, Giul Andrighetto and Maria Sagmeister being part of the exhibition team.

The interdisciplinary project “The Magic Closet and The Dream Machine: Post-Soviet Queerness, Archiving, and the Art of Resistance” is being conducted by Katharina Wiedlack, Ruthia Jenrbekova, Iain Zabolotny and Masha Godovannaya. It aims at creating recognition for queer lives and communities in post-Soviet spaces through the experimental artistic research forms called “the Dream Machine” and “the Magic Closet”.

Sascha Alexandra Zaitseva is sculptor and multi-media artist and head of the ceramics studio at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Her art installations/interventions in public/digital space challenge and discuss issues such as gender diversity, feminism or intercultural dialogue. 

The exhibition is curated by Mag. Dr. Anna T., an artist, educator, and curator based in Vienna. Her artistic, curatorial, and scholarly work draw from poststructuralism, queer theory, decoloniality, peripherical knowledge, aesthetics, and affect. Since 2003 she has exhibited internationally and has collaborated extensively with academics, activists, and creatives in Greece, the UK, Germany, and Austria. Her monograph Opacity – Minority – Improvisation: An Exploration of the Closet Through Queer Slangs and Postcolonial Theory was published by transcript in 2020.

Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Katharina Wiedlack is project leader of the exhibition and the art research project "Magic Closet and the Dream Machine" on the representation of queer life in/from the post-Soviet space. She is Assistant Professor for Anglophone Cultural Studies at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna.

Iain Zabolotny is an activist, interpreter and researcher from Novosibirsk, RU. They studied Public Relations and Transcultural Communications and are currently studying Interpreting at the University of  Vienna. Iain is also a part of in the FWF art-based research project "Magic Closet" on East-West solidarity.

Tegiye Birey is a text worker and community-enthusiast from the Mediterranean. She is a
PhD Candidate in Gender Studies at Central European University and Utrecht University, and
her research performs a postcolonial/decolonial feminist reading of migration solidarity.
Tegiye has often integrated art to her writing practice (see Devising conviviality:
intersubjective becoming through labor of community-building
, Being and Understanding
the Other: A Brief Look at the 21 st century Cypriot Art
). Tegiye has a BA in Women’s Studies and Political Science with a minor in French Studies from the University of New Hampshire, and a MSc in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked in the field of refugee rights, engaged in gender, history and youth research and training, and taken part in feminist, queer, anti-militarist, and anti-racist networks transnationally.

Giul Andrighetto (no pronouns) is a multilingual and internationally educated queer researcher. Born and raised in working-class suburban northern Italy, Giul holds a master's degree in Gender Studies from the University of Louvain and is currently enrolled in a PhD programme at the University of Vienna. Giul’s autoethnographic work explores lived experiences of queerness, whiteness, social class and mental health to understand the messy entanglement of reproduction and resistance to capitalism and heteronormativity. In 2022, Giul Andrighetto successfully presented a PhD exposé "Transformative economic relations: analysing the affective dynamics of redistribution practices in solidarity communities", developed in the framework of GAIN, at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Vienna.

Joanna Zabielska (born in Warsaw, living in Vienna) works at the intersection of digital art, exhibition design, interior architecture and urban planning. After graduating in Spatial Planning at the Vienna University of Technology and in Social Design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, she expanded her digital skills at Digital Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. As a freelance designer, she has collaborated with various curators, offices and institutions, including: MAK - Museum of Applied Arts, Das Metro Kinokulturhaus, Das Wien Museum, Schallaburg, NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, Das Jüdische Museum Augsburg Schwaben, Graz Museum, History Museum Graz. As an artist, she was supported by SHIFT Basis.Kultur Wien, KÖR- Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien, MA7 Stadtteilkultur und Interkulturalität and the Foreign Ministry with Austrian Cultural Forums.

Bilal Alame (born in Beirut, living in Vienna) is a practicing architect, active in various scales from residential to furniture design. His projects range from renovating social housing in Vienna, remodeling prefabricated housing in Warsaw to interior design of a Japanese restaurant in Vienna and furniture design for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2020 Biennale. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Vienna University of Technology and currently works as a tutor at the Faculty of Visual Culture at the same university.

Mette Freidel is a bookseller and freelance linguistic editor and translator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and German and began a master’s in translation with a focus on literary, arts, and media translation. She has worked as a teaching assistant at university level in the US and as a project manager for cultural youth education in Northern Germany before coming to Vienna to pursue her studies.

Markus Firnkranz is a trans artist and translator specialising in accessibility based in Lower Austria. His working languages are French, English and German. He has a BA in Transcultural Communication and is about to finish his MA in Specialised Translation, both at the Centre of Translation Studies, University of Vienna. The field he is most interested in is accessible communication - making language accessible through translation, including subtitling and Austrian sign language. Markus is very passionate about making the world more inclusive and understanding and meeting people from various life stories and cultures.