Braun Johanna Kunstraum Niederoesterreich Magic Circle 2018 6 web

Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live (On Mass Hysteria I)

23.03. – 15.05.2018
Part of the exhibition: Magic Circle
Kunstraum Nieederösterreich, Vienna (
curated by Katharina Brandl and Daniela Brugger

In her work Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live (On Mass Hysteria I) Johanna Braun has created a Warburgian image atlas, which investigates the figure of the witch both in her feminist-emancipatory agency from historical and cultural science perspectives and in her topicality regarding aspects of discrimination, marginalisation, and migration policy. The quote „Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live“ refers to a series of mistranslations which were ultimately pivotal for the witch hunts in Europe and later in the United States in the early modern era (1450–1750). Through this quote––which was first published in the King James Bible, the most influential Bible translation into English since the first edition in 1611––Braun’s image atlas chronicles the bloody history of misunderstandings, wrong interpretations entwined around the figure of the witch. Braun’s art-based research focuses on emergent forms of media-based storytelling, the critical investigation of historical records, and interdisciplinary knowledge transfer.

Johanna Braun’s research is supportes by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): (J 4164-G24).