Opening: January 16, 2002, 7 p.m.
17 January through 21 April 2002
Place of exhibition: Generali Foundation, Wiedner Hauptstraße, 1040 Vienna
Works by Gerd Arntz, Linda Bilda, Katja Eydel, Freies Fach, Gérard Fromanger, Global Dustbowl Ballads, Grupo de Arte Callejero, Imma Harms, Thomas Kilpper, Ulrike Müller (J.U.P.), Charlotte Posenenske, P.S.P.I., Yvonne Rainer, Christoph Schäfer, Patricia Reschenbach (J.U.P.), Dierk Schmidt, Theoretisches Fernsehen feat. Judith Hopf, Seth Tobocman, Ultra-red, Klaus Weber
Each year at the time of the first exhibition, the Generali Foundation offers an experimental program, and thus continues its series of collaborations with young artists. In 2002 the artists and writers Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann (Berlin, Germany) have been invited to develop an exhibition concept. Beyond the obligations of topicality, the exhibition is intended to fundamentally address the theme of "militancy" in terms of its historical and artistic modes. The exhibition unites approximately twenty different artistic contributions from the U.S., Argentina, and Europe, whereby the guest-curators also consciously draw on historical positions as reference material. The entire exhibition is integrated in a theater situation with the exhibition architecture arranged as stage and backstage.
"As we thought about an exhibition on the theme of militancy, there was the background of international protests against the politics of the WTO, the IMF, and the G8 summits. In any case, this was before an understanding of political militancy threatened to become caught between the grinding stones of terror and state counter-terror. After a period of reflection, however, particularly the latter strengthened our resolve to carry out our plans.
In our opinion, militancy is not located outside bourgeois society. It has been inherent to it ever since the French Revolution ended in the call to 'enrich yourselves.' Yet the 'Manifesto of the Equals' (1976) that followed refer to the same emancipatory ideas. What traces does this ambiguity of bourgeois freedom leave in bourgeois subjectivity and its artistic expressions? How have artists worked on this; how is their understanding of self linked with a political history of militancy; and what has changed in this now?
The terms 'art and militancy' cannot be pitted against one another along the lines of 'here the illusion and there the reality,' nor can they be subordinated in the sense of 'here the means to a political end.' Instead, it seems in both cases to be a matter of a form of performance or demonstration that is conjoined with the important presumption of publicly acting or articulating on behalf of others. The exhibition does not claim to supply a kind of global phenomenology on the theme of militancy. It can only remain a one-sided - very biased - sketch."
(Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann)
Guest-Curators: Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann (Berlin/Germany)
Exhibition Production: Hemma Schmutz