exhibition and mediation project 
7–28 March 2020
OnCurating Project Space
co-curated with Marco Arrigoni, Alina Baldini, Maya Bamberger, Myriam Boutry, Anastasia Chaguidouline, Gözde Filinta, Giulia Frattini, Beatrice Fontana, Annick Girardier, Arianna Guidi, Salome Gviniashvili, Abongile Gwele, Daniela Hediger, Noémie Jeunet, Nur Kaya, Rafia Kodmani, Ronny Koren, Eveline Mathis, Courtney Meier, Domenico Roberti, Tea Virolainen, Elena Vogiatzi, Noriko Yamakoshi, Patrycja Wojciechowska
with video works by Paloma Ayala, Baltensperger + Siepert, Daniela Brugger, Luke Ching, Chto Delat, Enar de Dios Rodríguez, Harun Farocki, Jeff Hong, Marc Lee, Yoshinori Niwa, Dima Nechawi, Mohamad Omran, Uriel Orlow, Ursula Palla, Robert Schlicht + Romana Schmalisch, Jonas Staal.
and with participation of the activist and cultural groups: Architecture for Refugees Schweiz, Autonome Schule Zürich, The Creative Memory of The Syrian Revolution, „le peuple qui manque – a people is missing (Kantuta Quiros, Aliocha Imhoff), Love Lazers, Libreria delle Donne, Bern, Progetto Oreste, Stadtlücken, Video Activism, Warsaw Biennale, Who writes his_tory?, The Media Office of Kafranbel.
The presence of political discourse in contemporary art has been firmly established for decades, with its intense and important interventions. In our current political climate, wherein many states and nations the raging economics of global capital and its outcomes have in many instances been followed by reactionary votes and support for age-old heteronormative and identitarian fundamentalisms, the necessity of the influence of political art and a range of voices dramatically increases. The accelerating success of populist rhetoric and increasingly concerning consequences of global warming only add urgency to the matter. It is fair to state that art and activism on their own are not enough to open up minds and affect the fundamental ground-level change necessary to realise a fairer and more equal global society.
Therefore, we were inspired to use the idea of “chains of equivalence” as theorised by Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau as a starting point, in order to present positions of shared interests of activism, art practice and curating, and everything that happens in between, in a conversation about how these spheres affect the creating and reshaping of society towards justice and norms of equality, and how these respective practices negotiate their roles to have an effect in societies.
The exhibition was part of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating at the ZHdK. I had so much fun with Arianna, Noémi and Tea preparing and installing the scenography. I will always cheer the memories of our collaboration! For the exhibition, I had the possibility to work for the first time with Paloma Ayala, although COVID-19 ran over us and we have to cancel the event we had planned, it was still a beautiful opportunity to talk and exchange thoughts with her for the first time - and I know already it won’t be the last time.
cover image by Paloma Ayala («Monterrey Metrópoli. Diario de los nuevos distritos», 2016) and galley images by Ronald Kolb.
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