The Body State (2013), HD video 9' 29", installation view, KCB Gallery, Belgrade, November 2015

Margareta Kern is a visual artist and lecturer at Falmouth University, working in photography, video and animation. Her research-led practice centres on the relationship between aesthetics and politics, developing strategies of engagement that challenge the dominant neo-liberal consensus.

Kern holds BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and MA in Visual Anthropology, UCL. Her work has been presented across gallery and educational contexts, including Tate Modern, The Photographers Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Spacex, Impressions Gallery, INIVA, Shedhalle Zurich, Photomonth Krakow, Muscarnok Budapest, 54th October Salon Belgrade and many others. Kern is a recipient of several project grants and awards, including from the National Media Museum, BFI, Arts Council England and most recently an international 54th October Salon Award, from the Cultural Centre Belgrade.

Margareta Kern grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina (at the time part of Yugoslavia), and in 1992 due to war migrated to the UK, where she has been based since.

The website is currently in the process of construction, however the news below is up to date.

For further information about my projects, CV or links to the videos/work, please feel free to contact me:
info [at] margaretakern [dot] com

engaged urbanism

Margareta Kern in collaboration with Anthony Luvera has contributed to an edited anthology Engaged Urbanism, with an updated in-conversation text on her project GUESTures and Luvera's Assisted Self-Portraits.

Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies, edited by Ben Campkin and Ger Duijzings, published by I.B. Tauris December 2016, represents just a small selection of some of the many excellent contributions to Cities Methodologies over the years. Keen to represent something of the geographical, intellectual and methodological scope of the programme, the publication poses the question: how can we understand the variety and dynamism of contemporary cities and urban experience across the globe? For further information about the book please see UCL Urban Lab.

Graduation Dresses series of photographs will be exhibited as part of 'Kopf & Kragen' group exhibition on portraiture at Galerie der Stadt Backnang - from 19th November 2016 until 12th February 2017.

Living Together, 28th June 2016, 11am - 4pm
Organised by Spacex and curator Claire Louise Staunton

Contribution to one-day symposium: 'Cranbrook Must Not Fail: A Convention of Future Experts', in collaboration with Jonathan Hoskins.

Living Together is an event that brings together artists, geographers, architectural historians and planners to explore the ways in which we live and work are helped or hindered by (sub)-urban infrastructure.

Speakers: Ben Campkin (UCL Urban Laboratory); Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins; Clive Barnett (Professor of Geography and Social Theory, Univeristy of Exeter); Torange Khorsani (CASS/Public Works); and screenings of Stuart Whipp's Carboniferous Epoch and Pia Ronicke's Zonen.

For further information please see here.


Residency: Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins
SPACEX Gallery, April - June 2016

In response to an invitation by Spacex and curator Claire Louise Staunton, the artists Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins will be visiting the new town of Cranbrook throughout spring 2016.

Kern and Hoskins are interested in critically exploring the new town of Cranbrook as a physical and psychological proposal for a new community, in an historical moment when the role of the state in shaping urban development and providing social housing is being dramatically restructured. The residency is an opportunity to explore the ways in which infrastructure and governance impact upon everyday life, from the collection of rubbish to the laying of the broadband cables, from the design of children’s play areas to organising of public transport, and from cul-de-sacs to the open fields around a town.

The artists will be working towards a proposal for a radio play, exploring a range of experimental narrative structures that allow different voices and ways of understanding space to come to the fore. Their interest in the potential of radio and sound for this residency is a response to the relative absence of physical infrastructure in a town that is still being built, and with a host institution that no longer has a permanent public gallery space.

Unbribable Life. Art and Activism in former Yugoslavia and the UK
Nottingham Contemporary
03 Mar 2016

Margareta Kern and Damir Arsenijevic together with Jelena Vesic-Jankovic and Emina Busuladzic from DITA Factory, hosted an event on contemporary labour struggles in the former Yugoslavia, discussing new forms of direct democracy, like the Citizen's Plenum that emerged out of protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2014, in relation to worker movements there and in the UK and Nottingham in particular.

In 2015 workers at the DITA Factory in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, occupied and took control of a factory inactive due to bankruptcy and corruption since 2012. Drawing from the force of the plenums (public encounters for resisting state corruption held in Tuzla’s national gallery) workers have the factory up and running and are joined by activists, artists and researchers in founding a Worker’s University within the factory walls. How do the ideals of self-managed socialism find themselves in recent movements which contest the global webs of debt and corruption on a global scale? How do these relate to histories of worker struggle in the Midlands and how they are being reconfigured, particularly when they are increasingly reliant on the so-called ‘knowledge economy’?

The Politics of the Art School: Study Day
04 Mar 2016

An event bringing together researchers and participants from the student art centres in Yugoslavia with those involved in art school occupations in the UK past and present.

Both evenst are formatted around key terms and struggles, inviting past and present participants from the UK and Yugoslav contexts to discuss strategies and futures for their work in and across both contexts.

In collaboration with Politicised Practice Research Group and Anarchist Research Group, Loughborough University.
Part of the exhibition: Monuments Should Not be Trusted, curated by Lina Dzuverovic.

Margareta Kern: To Whom Does the World Belong?

Cultural Centre Belgrade, Art Gallery
19th November - 12th December 2015
Opening 19th November at 7pm

Saturday, November 21, 2015
1pm: Guided tour of the exhibition by the artist Margareta Kern
2pm: Discussion Margareta Kern and Jelena Petrovic, member of the Red Min(e)d collective and Endowed Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

Margareta Kern received the Award of the Cultural Centre of Belgrade at the 54th October Salon, for the video work The Body State, from her experimental cycle entitled To Whom Does the World Belong? in 2013. You are warmly invited to the opening of her solo exhibition, which forms part of the award, on Thursday 19th November at 7pm.

In To Whom Does the World Belong? Kern positions the body at the centre of the image, as a space for questioning political subjectivities formed in the times of crises (of capitalism as well as the financial crises).

to whom does the world belong

bodies that can’t take anymore. images that can’t take anymore

Margareta Kern and Valeria Graziano
BLOK Zagreb
Wednesday 25th November

This event will feature presentations by artist Margareta Kern and theorist Valeria Graziano with plenty of time for discussion. Both speakers will draw on their individual work as well as on experiences as part of campaigning collectives to explore and raise questions on the (re)production of precarity in arts/culture/education, the role and strategies of organising, limits and possibilities of 'representation' and the affective regime of neoliberal capitalism.

Who are the bodies that can’t take anymore? What is it that they/we can’t take anymore of? And how do images capture, rupture, tear at their/our own fatigues with the simulacra of the art-world(s)? How do we talk about that which we can’t find words for, that which structurally inhabits/inhibits our bodies and minds, occupies it and exhausts it? How do we imagine a cartography of exhaustion, an exhaustion of possible in order to begin a new cartography of care – of the precarious body, of -self, -community and lest we forget - images too?

Further information about the talk here.


Margareta Kern 

GUESTures I GOSTIkulacije

Feminist Stories
8th December 2015, 7.30pm

Vierte Welt, Berlin
Two-channel video GUESTures | GOSTIkulacije (2011, 33 minutes) is a central part of a series of works that stem from Kern's research and interviews with women who migrated to West Berlin to work in telecommunications factories, as part of an organised mass labour migration, from the socialist Yugoslavia to West-Germany in the late 1960s.

Adventures in the Illuminated Sphere
26th February 2015, 7pm
Whitechapel Gallery

A meeting point between medieval culture and contemporary art, this event explores history, objects and inscription. Led by Writer in Residence Caroline Bergvall, the conversation reveals the overlaps in methodology between research-based arts practices and historical scholarly research, considering the excavation and illumination of ideas and materials, and the shared urgencies of knowledge as practice and practice as knowledge.

The lively event features short presentations to consider works in detail, as well as opportunities to reflect and discuss. The evening includes Imogen Stidworthy, sound-led installation artist, Margareta Kern, interdisciplinary artist, Clare Lees (Professor of Medieval Literature), Dr Josh Davies (Medieval Studies, English) and students from King’s College London together with Gillian Overing (Professor of Medieval Literature, Wake Forest University.

The Tin Screen 10th Anniversary Screening & DVD Launch
Sunday 16th November 2014, 1:15pm.
ICA cinema 1, 16 Nov 2014, 1:15 pm

Cornerhouse Artist Film will present a special compilation of artist film and video work to celebrate’s 10th birthday. We invite you to join us to mark this incredible, accumulative, collective moment at the ICA on Sunday 16th November.

For further information and to book tickets please visit

On Fictions and Gestures in the Contemporary: Art and Moving Image
Goldsmiths College, SE14 6NW
Richard Hoggart Building (RHB), Room 137
18th November, screening at 4pm, discussion at 6pm.

Event organized by Mihaela Brebenel with screenings of works and interventions by invited artists: Elske Rosenfeld, Margareta Kern and Karen Mirza.

For the full programme of the event please visit

New bi-lingual publication GUESTures | GOSTIkulacije

guestures catalogue

New bi-lingual publication GUESTures | GOSTIkulacije (English, German) draws upon Margareta Kerns’ long term project and engagement with the overlooked histories of labour migration from the socialist Yugoslavia to West Germany in the late 1960s, with a specific focus on the women that migrated to work in telecommunications factories in West Berlin.

The publication includes insightful texts by Natalie Bayer, Nanna Heidenreich, Katja Kobolt and Branislava Kuburovic, bringing them together with personal photographs and testimonies of the women that Kern interviewed, as well as material from the collective reading workshops staged in Munich, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Banja Luka and Berlin.

Published with the kind support of Kulturreferats der Landeshauptstadt München and in collaboration with Red Min(e)d and Galerie Kullukcu & Gregorian, Munich and Myrdle Court Press, London, 2014. 

ISBN: 978-0-9563539-9-3
82 pp, 220x148mm, paperback, full colour, June 2014. 
Edition: 180 copies. Limited edition of 50 copies with GUESTures video DVD. 
Price: £8 plus postage and packaging.
Limited edition with DVD: £15 plus postage and packaging.

To purchase a copy and see selected page previews please click here.

April 11, 2014 – September 7, 2014
Opening: April 10, 2014, 7 p.m.
Shedhalle, Zurich

Exhibition participants: Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, caring labor: an archive, Julia Glaus, Keine Hausarbeiterin Ist Illegal, Margareta Kern, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Radical Practices of Collective Care (Julia Wieger & Manuela Zechner)

Curated by Katharina Morawek, co-curated by Manuela Zechner

Further info

christa holka photo inivia

How do we live well with others?' is the latest emotional learning resource in Iniva's series of Learning Cards (2014).

Margareta Kern has contributed to INIVA's Learning Cards with her work Kolacnikov (2005).

Border Cultures: Part Two (work, labour)

January 25 – April 13, 2014
Art Gallery Windsor, Canada

Participating artists: C.A.M.P. (India), Sam Durant (USA), Philip Hoffman (Canada), Marisa Jahn(USA), Reena Katz (Canada), Margareta Kern (UK), Kero and Annie Hall (Canada), Vince Kogut(Canada), Min Sook Lee and Deborah Brandt (Canada), Ken Lum (Canada), Dylan Miner(Métis), Precarious Workers Brigade (UK), Martha Rosler (USA), Andrea Slavik (Canada), David Taylor (USA)


Margareta Kern, GUESTures 2011 (right), Ken Lum, Melly Shum Hates Her Job, 1989 (back)

Curated by Srimoyee Mitra

Further info

The Body State wins The Cultural Centre of Belgrade award (16th Nov 2013.)

The Cultural Centre of Belgrade award Jury, consisting of the following members: Svetlana Petrovic, Fine Arts Programme Manager, Aleksandra Estela Bjelica Mladenovic, curator and Gordana Dobric, curator, decided to award Margareta Kern for her video The Body State from the animated video series entitled To Whom Does the World Belong?, 2013 production.

The video The Body State can be viewed here:

Margareta Kern: The Body State from Margareta Kern on Vimeo.

GUESTures I GOSTIkulacije

Touring solo exhibition
by Margareta Kern, curated by Katja Kobolt
Kullukcu Gallery, Munich
9 - 14th November 2013

Saturday, 9. November
7 pm: exhibition opening
8 pm: Spaces, Poetics and Politics of Counter-stories: a discussion on representations of migration history, with Margareta Kern, Nanna Heidenreich, Natalie Bayer / Polycity and Katja Kobolt / Red Min(e)d (in English)
10 pm: DJ Mistakeman

Sunday, 10. November
4 pm - 6.30pm: workshop/collective reading with migrant women groups.
7 pm: public collective reading from the archive

Tuesday, 12. November
8 pm: a walk-through the exhibition with the curators Katja Kobolt and Natalie Bayer

Thursday, 14. November
8 pm: an artist talk by Margareta Kern

Further information on:

To Whom Does the World Belong?
solo exhibition
VN Gallery, Zagreb
3 - 24 October 2013

17 October, 7pm, Margareta Kern in conversation with political and cultural theorist Gal Kirn.

installation shots vn galerija

Specially commissioned exhibition text by Laura Guy is published in the current issue of Zarez, nr. 367. (will be available as download soon).

Migrant Resistance: Protests, Art, and Movements
Transeuropa Festival 2013
20th October, 2013, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Somerset House, London

As a consequence of intensifying anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies in recent years we have seen an upsurge in migrant protests in Britain, Europe and the US. What circumstances enable these instances of mobilisation? What alternative visions do they present and what methods do they use? What do they reveal about the experience of migration?

Speakers include Imogen Tyler (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Lancaster University, author of Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain), Margareta Kern (artist/activist), Nicholas De Genova (Kings College, University of London, ), Susie Symes (Chair of the Museum of Immigration and Diversity), Shiraz Bayjoo (artist), Quena Soruco (Megafonen, Sweden), Kiri Kankhwende (Writers of colour/Media Diversity UK), Houria Bouteldja (spokesperson Parti des Indigenes de la Republique, France)
The event will be chaired by Don Flynn, Director of Migrants’ Rights Network.

54th October Salon curated by RedMin(e)d.
No One Belongs Here More Than You
October 11 – November 17, 2013

Former Department Store KLUZ, Zepter Expo, Masarikova 4, Belgrade

october discussion with collective

Sunday, October 13, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Former Department Store KLUZ, Zepter Expo, Masarikova 4
Forum discussion with Margareta Kern (introduction and moderation) h.arta (Maria Crista, Anca Gyemant, Rodica Tache), Gözde ?lkin, ff network of artists (Antje Majewski, Charlotte Cullinan), a7.außeneinsatz (Margret Schütz, Greta Hoheisel).

art monthly

Which Side is Art on? Dean Kenning and Margareta Kern, Art Monthly Feature, September 2013

In the face of government austerity measures which have squeezed artists and public arts provision more than any other sector, an elite art world has continued to prosper. Isn't it time that, in order to develop political agency in their work, artists begin to acknowledge this glaring dichotomy?Download the article here.

Talk Show on Resonance FM, 9th September 2013
Presented by Chris McCormack
Dean Kenning, Margareta Kern and Sophie J Williamson discuss art’s collusion with unquestioned capital. Listen to the podcast here.

tate cisneros kern

¡Lotería! Teresa Cisneros and Margareta Kern
Tate Modern, Starr Foyer, Level 1
Sunday 15 September 2013, 18.30 – 22.00

Teresa Cisneros in collaboration with Margareta Kern present ¡Lotería!, a one-night culinary intervention in Meschac Gaba’s Museum Restaurant.
The event explores the economy of food through conversation, research and play, taking inspiration from Lotería, a popular Mexican game of chance similar to bingo but using images instead of numbers. Working with Tate staff, curator Teresa Cisneros and artist Margareta Kern prepare a delicious Mexican meal and invite dinner guests to play their version of Lotería. Their game will map the often invisible and speculative economy of food and its inequitable impact on the daily lives of people worldwide.