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Research Pavilion - Utopia of Access
HAUNTOPIA / WHAT IF
Exhibition: 8 September - 15 October 2017
EARN-Conference, September 8 and 9, 2017
Introduction and program
Organized by: The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Concept: Anette Baldauf, Renate Lorenz with the PhD-in-Practice Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Artists: Aline Benecke, Katalin Erdődi, Zsuzsi Flohr, Sílvia das Fadas, Moira Hille, Zosia Holubowska, Hristina Ivanoska, Janine Jembere, Ruth Jenrbekova, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Rafal Morusiewicz, Lisa Nyberg, Read-in, Naomi Rincón-Gallardo, Masha Godovannaya, Keiko Uenishi
In times of violent political upheaval, the exhibition explores the conjuring of specters as a proper method of arts-based research. It welcomes the appearance of ghostly events, signs, images, practices and objects that recount the ferocities of the past while they also hold the possibility of a different future. Building on a glossary of hauntopic devices the exhibited work is looking for traces, negations even, of things, stories and future visions, while in many instances making use of formats that employ ephemeral, opaque or sci-fi elements. Thus the exhibition explores the range of a ghostly aesthetics: In Naomi Rincón-Gallardo's video work, for instance, a set of fantastic species from a forgotten future – located between trashy leftovers and a not-yet-here gender-ambiguity – explore the connections between sexuality and colonialism and create a counter-world within neocolonial settings. A backpack appears as a phantom-object in Zsuzsi Flohr's installation; despite its material absence it became the main protagonist of a Holocaust survival story. Rafal Morusiewicz' film installation conjures ghostly figures out of found footage from Polish (experimental) cinema – figures pushed to the margins during the Polish People's Republic. Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński's performance-based video installation shows the impossibility of visualizing the ways in which the artist is haunted by the leftovers of Paul Schebesta, an Austrian ethnographer, writer and photographer.
(From press information.
Top photo: Courtesy Sílvia das Fadas, from The Book of Natural Magic, 2011)