“I see a lot of changes, but I also see a lot of resistance“

Natalia Hecht on D/Arts in conversation with Gwendolin Lehnerer

Natalia Hecht is a community artist, psychologist, and participatory curation and cultural evaluation expert from Argentina living in Vienna. She has more than twenty years of experience in the field of participatory arts. At the core of her artistic practices are participatory co-creation and learning processes with communities. As an artist, she works with a transmedia artistic approach that includes any artistic language that might be relevant, resonant, and available for a community. She is interested in observing how different forms of art dialogue with each other, and she facilitates art projects that involve performances, collective drawings, photography, writing, sculpture, dance, and public space interventions, among other forms. Her projects explore central topics such as connection, emotion, diversity, migration, transculturality, human rights, self-representation, environmental awareness, and collective change through the arts.
Natalia has specialized in designing and leading curation and evaluation processes in the art and cultural sector with an art-based, discrimination-sensitive, participatory approach. In her work, participatory curation and learning processes take a central role in supporting artistic and cultural organizations to open themselves to diversity and anchor these changes in sustainable ways. 

She has been part of the Brunnenpassage team for many years, developing artistic projects and leading curation and evaluation processes; she is also an active member of the D/Arts network of experts. 

Natalia, it’s nice that we can meet today. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your role within D/Arts?

My name is Natalia Hecht and I come from Argentina. I’m a community artist and psychologist. I have been working in participatory arts for more than twenty years – already in Argentina and in many other countries in Latin America. Then I came to Europe thirteen years ago. I started working on different projects, many of which are related to migration as a topic, a lot of them in the Spanish speaking community in Vienna, and then I started working for Brunnenpassage nine years ago. Now I am working on different projects again – for example, for a clown organization in Vienna. Last year, I also worked a lot in crisis settings around Europe. And as a curator, I am rethinking programming in different cultures.

What is your specific role within D/Arts?

Within D/Arts, I am a collective collaborator of the arts, and I am part of the core team. D/Arts is a project that was connected to Brunnenpassage, so I have seen the entire evolution of the project since the idea started. It was important to create a project like this, and I follow the activity of D/Arts very closely. Mainly, I have been collaborating in the field of arts evaluation. Last time, in the context of an event at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, where we were looking at the topic of transformation in cultural institutions, my contribution was from the perspective of evaluation, and how evaluation can be an important process for generating change in cultural institutions.

Natalia Hecht, Gwendolin Lehnerer ( 2022): “I see a lot of changes, but I also see a lot of resistance“. Natalia Hecht on D/Arts in conversation with Gwendolin Lehnerer. In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten # 13 , https://www.p-art-icipate.net/i-see-a-lot-of-changes-but-i-also-see-a-lot-of-resistance/