Mean Girl Theory ~ Ana Teixeira Pinto's seminar from Confluence to Confluence

January 2024: confluence at NAC, Nida

The first installation of the seminar is led by Sladja Blazan.

“Vanishing and Appearing”

In 1900, a department store in Chicago made all the news not with their sales but with their windows. Shocked by the eerily disembodied head of a beautiful young woman, the crowds gathering in front of the store made it necessary to install an iron bar to keep the glass from cracking. The woman, who a minute before was visible in the window, vanished! Where did she go? And how? 

Before giving the world the wizard who knew that performance is everything and sending Dorothy through a whirlwind into the kingdom of Oz, L. Frank Baum worked as a pioneer shopping window dresser. The author of The Wizard of Oz had already made another woman disappear before Dorothy–-the notorious “Vanishing Lady.” 

In this first installation of the “Mean Girl Theory” seminar with the title “Vanishing and Appearing,” we will discuss the fascination with the disappearance of women’s bodies. After collecting historical examples of strategies of erasure, we will look into strategies of re-inscription. The name of the live model on a motorized stand is unknown to us today. She is recorded in history as “the vanishing lady” only. How can we actively re-inscribe into the archives that which has always already been vanishing?


Karen Beckman. Vanishing Women: Magic, Film, and Feminism. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. 

Saidiya Hartman. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval. New York and London: Norton, 2019. 

Baron von Schrenck-Notzing. Phenomena of Materialisation [Materialisations-Phänomene 1914] London: Paul, Trench and Trubner and Co., 1923.


November 2023: introduction days at PAF, St. Erme:

DAI-BULLETIN 2023—2024 nr. 1 November 2023