a work that can't shake off what it reflects
Opening: Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 7pm
Departing from Austria's involvement in colonial practices, in both the present and the past, as well as its crossovers to imperial and fascist policies of expansion, the exhibition collects artistic positions that examine these practices and oppose them through resistant strategies. Multi-dimensional perspectives on interwoven pasts should thereby challenge existing competitions of memory and open up spaces of action for contemporary processes of political and anti- racist self-empowerment.
An exhibition project by and with Petja Dimitrova, Lina Dokuzović, Eduard Freudmann, Can Gülcü and Ivan Jurica
with Ljubomir Bratic/Richard Ferkl, Christian Gangl, Nina Höchtl, kegnschtelik – Yiddish Resistance 3.0, maiz – Autonomous Center by and for Migrant Women, Marcel Mališ, Ivana Marjanović, MigrafonA, Katharina Morawek, Platform History-Politics, Research Group on Black Austrian History and Present/Pamoja, Marika Schmiedt.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 7 pm
Workshop presentation: History-Political Publics: “Türk_innenritte” (Turks Astride) in and around Vienna
Wednesday, 30 March 2011, 3 pm
Tour through the exhibition with participating artists
Wednesday, 30 March 2011, 7 pm
Panel discussion: Der Drang nach Osten – Historical and Contemporary Austrian Policies of Expansion
Tuesday, 12 April 2011, 7 pm (This event has been CANCELED!)
Panel discussion: Postcolonialism vs. Post-Shoahism? On Attempts to Lever Out Competitions of Memory
Wednesday, 13 April 2011, 7 pm
Panel discussion: Seavas Abi and Sista, Build Communities of Resistance! “Kanak_innen” Rap as an Intervention into Debates on Policies of Migration?
A work that can't shake off what it reflects is what Astrid Messerschmidt describes as a memorial work, which debates and contests the eliminatory systems of violent oppression, such as colonialism and Nazism, whereby their similarities and differences, their continuities and ruptures, are taken into consideration – always under the premise of clarifying the incompleteness and inconcludability of history as a field of constant debate. This denotes a memorial work that strives to avoid the relativization of genocides and the creation of competitions of memory, in which histories of victimization are played out against each other. Instead, the triggering of narratives is intended, which do not define themselves exclusively as the continuation of existing concepts of history or as the dissociation from them, but rather enable multi-dimensional perceptions on interwoven histories.
A work that can't shake off what it reflects also implies the debating and contesting of the effects of colonial, fascist and Nazi practices and their interrelations with present-day racisms and mechanisms of exclusion. Each memorial work, which is simultaneously post-Nazi and post-colonial, should serve for investigating existing policies of disfranchisement, precarization and exploitation and should thereby consider the manifold practices of resistance against them. It is a work which opens spaces for political action to yield processes of anti-fascist and anti-racist self-empowerment.
Furthermore, a work that can't shake off what it reflects represents the attempt to assemble interwoven, unconcluded and contradictory artistic positions. The works represented in the exhibition investigate processes of transition and their interlinked neocolonial structures in post-socialist countries (Ivan Jurica, Marcel Mališ), analyze Austrian colonial histories (Nina Höchtl, Katharina Morawek), politics of memory (Christian Gangl, Platform History-Politics) and refer to the relations between nation-state constructions of identity and racist objectification (Petja Dimitrova, Research Group on Black Austrian History and Present/Pamoja) and position themselves against the medialization and normalization of their discrimination (Ljubomir Bratić/Richard Ferkl, Can Gülcü, kegnschtelik - Yiddish Resistance 3.0). They show potentialities of collective and self-empowering strategies for action, such as self-organization and self-historization (MigrafonA, Marika Schmiedt), develop strategies against normative stereotypes of class, gender or migration (Lina Dokuzović, maiz) and depict the intersection between art, theory and activism as the point of departure for political intervention (Eduard Freudmann/Ivana Marjanović).
The exhibition, a work that can't shake off what it reflects, has been organized by a group of artists and cultural workers who are linked through a common history of artistic, theoretical and activist, thereby political, analysis and debate.