Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation
Oct 25, 2018 – Feb 17, 2019

Jan Hoeft, I Feel You, 2018, courtesy of the artist

In a sketch for a film, Michelangelo Antonioni notes: “The Antarctic glaciers are moving in our direction at a rate of three millimeters per year. Calculate when they’ll reach us. Anticipate, in a film, what will happen.”

 

Ingel Vaikla, Roosenberg, video still, 2017, Courtesy the artist

Ingel Vaikla, Roosenberg, video still, 2017, Courtesy the artist

Isabella Fürnkäs, In Ekklesia, 2015, video still, courtesy of the artist

Performance Isabella Fürnkäs Foto by eSeL

Metaphorically speaking, to feel cold means to feel deeply alienated. Alienation was already a dominant concern for sociologists around 1900: the alienation of man from society through individualization, alienation from nature through urbanization, alienation from work through mechanization. For philosophers like Theodor W. Adorno, alienation thus turns into a key concept in terms of the role art plays in and for society: Without alienation there is no art, and ultimately it is only art that prevents total alienation.

 

Jana Schulz, Golden Boys, Igdir, video still, 2018, © the artist

Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij, I’m Coming Home in Forty Days, 1997, film still, courtesy of Willem de Rooij and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York

Tobias Zielony, Mask, 2017, from series: Maskirovka, © Tobias Zielony, courtesy of the artist and KOW, Berlin / Andrzej Steinbach, Untitled, from series: Gesellschaft beginnt mit drei, 2017, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Conradi, Hamburg/Brussels

Ian Wallace, At the Crosswalk VI, 2008, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Zurich

Ironically, it is the countercultural protest against “social coldness” and against the “rigidification” of middle-class society in the 1960s that anticipates the ideologemes of flexible Capitalism 2.0. This move, in fact, paves the way for a new type of alienation – one which reverses the metaphorics: Coldness and rigidity are replaced by liquefaction, start-up and dynamics – social alienation, however, continues even as people now strive for self-optimization.

 

Installation view: Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation, Kunsthalle Wien 2018, Photo Jorit Aust

Installation view: Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation, Kunsthalle Wien 2018, Photo Jorit Aust

Installation view: Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation, Kunsthalle Wien 2018, Photo Jorit Aust

Installation view: Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation, Kunsthalle Wien 2018, Photo Jorit Aust

Antarctica looks at the pattern underlying alienation – this “relationship based on the absence of a relationship.” Showing numerous contemporary artworks; the exhibition explores how the term “alienation” functions in our world today. In doing so, it also addresses the following question: What other forms of relationship to the self and to the world do we need? Before we can even begin to create something like a space supportive of self-determination and self-realization?

The exhibition is preceded by a symposium on the subject.

Artists: Viltė Bražiūnaitė / Tomas Sinkevičius, Burak Delier, Buck Ellison, Isabella Fürnkäs, Eva Giolo, Thibaut Henz, Jan Hoeft, Hanne Lippard, Joanna Piotrowska, Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij, Jana Schulz, Andrzej Steinbach, Ingel Vaikla, Peter Wächtler, Ian Wallace, Tobias Zielony

 

Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation
October 25, 2018 – February 17, 2019 / Kunsthalle Wien
Curators: Vanessa Joan Müller, Nicolaus Schafhausen
Please visit the exhibition page >

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