Research Areas

Visual Art; Public Memory; Feminist Theory; Holocaust History


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 engaged in international activist projects dealing with traumatic memory, inherited erasures, and new forms of testimony. She exhibits her work across the US, in Europe and the Middle East. She also lectures extensively about public memory and public art in Austria. Her current project, “The Vienna Project,” situated in Vienna, opened on October 23, 2013 at the Odeon Theater and will close on October 18, 2014 at the Austrian National Library at the Hofburg Palace. 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 is focused on developing a public memorial in Vienna, “The Vienna Project,” to open on October 23, 2013 and close on October 18, 2014. The memorial marks the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss when racial persecution officially began in Austria. The memorial combines rigorous archival research with radical artistic intervention.

Representative Publications

Frostig, Karen. “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 Univ. of Sydney (forthcoming).

Frostig, Karen. (2013). “Citizenship After Genocide: Materializing memory through art activism” In S. Roseneil (Ed.), Beyond Citizenship: Feminism and the Transformation of Belonging, UK: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, 211-230.