About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

'Come Closer' archive session at Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2022). Photo: Maarten Nauw

Megan Hoetger

Megan Hoetger is a performance historian, curator, and hard femme. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she was mostly hanging out with activists, community organisers, and interdisciplinary circles of folks from dance studies and theatre-making, art practice and art history, geography, critical theory and ethnic studies, comparative literature, architecture and design, urban planning, film and media studies, gender and women’s studies, sociology, anthropology, public health, and law.

During her doctoral work, Hoetger carried out an expansive archive-based project examining the role of filmmakers’ cooperatives in the circulation of underground performance and media in Cold War Europe from 1963 through 1978. Following her studies, Hoetger held visiting research positions at the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies, University of Ghent (2018-19) and at the Archive of the Avant-gardes, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2019) where she continued to dig into the historical entanglements of cultural production, technologies of distribution, and forms of political organisation. In Belgium and Germany, she respectively undertook research on the film festival form and performances of internationalism in the so-called ‘Eurozone’ during the period of decolonisation, and on reproductive labour in underground film programming across the Iron Curtain.

With this discursive-historical grounding, Hoetger’s practice moves across the archival, the curatorial, the exhibitionary, and the pedagogical, remaining rooted in her commitment to performance-based research methodologies as a critical praxis for knowledge production and transmission. She has realized projects, co-led workshops, and presented her research within a range of cultural and educational settings, including: The Lab, San Francisco (2018); Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley (2018); KASK Cinema, Ghent (2019); If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Amsterdam (2020-2024); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2019-2022); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2021); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2022); iKSV: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Istanbul (2022); Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2019-2023); de Appel, Amsterdam (2023); and the VALIE EXPORT Center, Linz (2023).

Hoetger also moves in collaborative configurations. As a founding member of Zone Collective (est. 2016), she works together with cultural practitioner Kirila Cvetkovska to experiment with multi-modal, performative forms of research and display related to their ongoing examination of the uneasy and often opaque transnational links between policymaking and solidarity movements. Their work together has been presented in Amsterdam and Vienna, and, from 2021-2022, the collective was a participant in the Fellowship for Situated Practice, BAK — basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Elsewhere, as a founding member of the research platform Disco Comradeship (est. 2019), Hoetger thinks together with art historian Carlos Kong on the relations between film, urban space, club cultures and political conceptions of comradeship under socialist and post-socialist conditions. Their experimental essay, “Reassembling East German Nightlife: Scores for Curating from Elusive Archives,” appears in Archives on Show (Archive Books, 2022); and, since 2020, Hoetger also works with artist Sands Murray-Wassink and cultural practitioner Radna Rumping as Gift Science Archive, a collective of people, a living digital database (www.giftsciencearchive.net), and a fierce feminist demand to centre the messiness and subjectivity of dialogic exchange in processes of remembering. Their work together has been presented with the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (2023).

Hoetger’s writings have appeared in Performance Art Journal, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, Theatre Journal, and octopus notes, as well as in edited volumes including In and Out of Sight: Art and the Dynamics of Circulation and Suppression (Bloomsbury, 2021). She is the managing editor for the book, Colonial Toxicity: Rehearsing French Radioactive Architecture and Landscape in the Sahara (2024), co-published by Framer Framed, If Can’t Dance, and edition fink. The publication is authored by Samia Henni, and compiles years of the architectural historian and exhibition-maker’s archival research into a nearly six-hundred-page visual catalogue.


Exhibition: Performing Colonial Toxicity

An exhibition by researcher and architectural historian Samia Henni, in collaboration with If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution


Performing Colonial Toxicity Tour: The Testimony Translation Project
Guided tour reflecting on the testimony translations
Opening: Performing Colonial Toxicity
An exhibition by researcher Samia Henni on the redacted history of French nuclear colonialism in the Algerian Sahara