Research Areas

Visual Art; Public Memory; Activism; Feminism; Critical Theory


Ph.D., Union Institute and University

M.Ed., Lesley University

B.F.A., Mass. College of Art and Design


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Karen Frostig

The Vienna Project

Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism

Karen Frostig

Karen Frostig

Karen Frostig

Karen Frostig works as a conceptual, interdisciplinary artist and writer, engaged in international activist projects dealing with traumatic memory, inherited erasures, and new forms of testimony. First invited to install the “Exiled Memory” project at the University of Vienna (2008), she has since conceived and directed “The Vienna Project,” a public memory project situated on the streets of Vienna (2013-14), and will co-direct “Staging Memory” in 2020. She exhibits her work across the US and in Europe and the Middle East. She also lectures extensively about public memory and public art in Austria.

Earlier projects include, “Exiled Memories” representing a transnational, inter-generational conversation about the Holocaust. Twelve memory panels are permanently installed at the University of Vienna’s Institute for the Philosophy of Law. Associate Professor at Lesley University and Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, Frostig presents her work internationally and has published a series of books and journal essays about a variety of topics including visual art, critical theory, Holocaust history, feminist theory, cultural pluralisms, and new pedagogies. Frostig’s interest in feminist scholarship, inclusive organizational structures, and transnational activism permeates her work, aligning agency with social consciousness. As Founding Artistic Director of “The Vienna Project” , Frostig introduces a bold new post-conceptual framework for memorial development. Controversial by design, the project challenges prescribed habits of remembrance and fixed formulas of memorialization. Integrating collective memory with participatory experience, memory is performed as a cultural encounter, negotiating the past with the present and the future.

Current Projects

My scholarship concerns the intersection of art, new technologies, public memory, and Holocaust history in Vienna. In 2013-14, I directed a major memorial project in Vienna, dedicated to remembering multiple groups of persecuted Austrian victims of National Socialism. “The Vienna Project,” combined rigorous archival research with radical artistic intervention.  Currently focus is project documentation: a book, a video, and a naming installation.

Representative Publications

Frostig, K.  (2014). “Performing Memory on the Streets of Vienna.” About Performance: Special Issue: High Stakes: Risk and Performance; Journal of the Department of Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, No. 12 , 45-62.

Frostig, K. (2013). “Making Memory Visible,” In T. Fawns (Ed.), Memory and Meaning: Digital Differences. Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 133-150.  ISBN: 978-1-84888-249-2