Ines Doujak & John Barker

Ines Doujak, Masterless Voices (film still), 2014. Photo: Ines Doujak

Ines Doujak, Ghostpopulations, 2019. Photo: Ines Doujak

Ines Doujak, Lustrabota, 2017. Photo: Hans D. Christ

Ines Doujak, Exu, 2018. Photo: Ines Doujak

Ines Doujak, Masterless Voices (film still), 2014. Photo: Ines Doujak

Ines Doujak (b. 1959, Klagenfurt, Austria) lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Doujak’s multidisciplinary practice spans across photography, performance, film and installation. She is working on deconstructing the political implications of sexist and racist stereotypes. Drawing on the tradition of carnival, masquerade and motifs from cultural history, she uncovers exploitative structures and inequalities in society, often in relation to colonial histories. Her research into the textile industry has resulted in numerous works concerning gender, class and cultural conflicts related to the global production, trade and distribution of fashion and textiles. Exhibitions include Bergen Assembly, Norway (2019); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2018); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); Lentos Kunstmuseum, Austria (2018); Para Site, Hong Kong (2018); and documenta 12, Kassel (2007).

John Barker (b. 1948) lives and works in London, UK. Barker is a writer, essayist and performer. Since the 1970s, he has focused on economics, geopolitical dynamics and the exploitation of labour. His novels include Radio Signals and Futures, whilst his essays have been published in Mute, Telepolis, Adbusters, Capital and Class and Variant among others. Exhibitions include Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków (2017); Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2018); São Paulo Biennial (2014); and Busan Biennale, South Korea (2012).

Ines Doujak and John Barker have collaborated since 2010. They work together through a common interest in the political dimension of cultural exchanges.

Project Description

Ines Doujak presents a film work, Masterless Voices, at Tate Liverpool and a new podcast series on the history of pandemics titled Transmission: A series of five Podcasts on Disease and Pandemics in a Distorted World (2021) in collaboration with John Barker. 

Interested in uncovering how histories of globalisation impact contemporary socio-cultural conditions, Masterless Voices retraces the roots of carnival to patterns of extraction, labour, and trade, but also to rebellion and joy. The podcast series looks at the social and cultural history of pandemics, beginning with the global transmission of diseases that was facilitated by European colonialism. Interwoven with spoken word, music and songs, Doujak and Barker consider how the spread of disease, parasite and infestation throughout history has created a dehumanised language, which has entered political vocabulary, specifically directed at migrants, minorities and the poor. 

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial. This project was produced in collaboration with Phileas, with support from the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport of Austria, Austrian Cultural Forum London and the Estate of Fanchon Fröhlich.