Cordula Daus

Promotional video, 2021

Outer Woman

artistic research, fiction-in-progress, 2020-

in collaboration with: Sebastian Bark, [M] Dudeck, Charlotta Ruth

Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)



 … „for the first time in some countries, the preconditions for a feminist revolution exist – indeed the situation is beginning to demand such a revolution.“ (Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex)

Outer Woman is an artistic research project that investigates and develops imaginaries surrounding the human reproductive complex. Embracing alienation-as-method, it departs from the premise that ectogenesis – the fabrication of a being outside a female body – is not science fiction but an actuality. Situated between language-based art, performance art and a general studies of feelings, the project uses a wide range of approaches to create fables, performative settings and conversations around family-un/making, non-fertile subjectivities and co-creation.

Currently, millions of frozen embryos are being stored in labs all over the world. Premature lambs are being brought to term in plastic bags. Mice are being bred in bioreactors without using any eggs or sperm. Millions of humans have been created with the help of assisted reproduction. We’re amidst a revolution that profoundly affects the human condition. The problem seems that we cannot fully grasp its effects. Feminist writers and thinkers such as Vera Brittain, Shulamith Firestone, Irina Aristarkhova, and lately Sophie Lewis have critically examined the power structures and desires behind outsourced gestation and birth. Taking up their inspiration in dialectical thinking, Outer Woman combines field studies in midwifery, neonatology and biology with confabulation and fictioning.

In a first episode, we, a team of four artists – two cis middle aged women/mothers and two queer men – have created a séance-like game that allows us to look back at pregnancy to recall and re-sense its elements: „P R E G N A N C Y. What was it all about? On the list: Swollen breasts, authorship, ‘the own child’, excluded men, naming something, touch, penetration, edging, postpartum depression, the family. What do we want to keep? What needs to be transformed?“ (From: Das Aufhebungsspiel/Sublation Game, Vienna 2022) 

We use our own biographies, experiences as artistic matter. Live action play, semifictional writing and performance help us to go to a place we can only reach in-and-through art.
Outer Woman is currently working towards a podcast series. A webpage is under construction.