Dance of Urgency

Dance of Urgency

frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien

© Dato Koridze.

April 16, 2019
Dance of Urgency
April 25–September 1, 2019
Opening: April 24, 7–10pm
frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 1–7pm

T +43 1 5235881

Curated by Bogomir Doringer

Dance is understood as a way of socializing, as nonverbal communication, as an art form, as ritualistic practice. Still, one would hardly look at dance floors to understand what those dancing individuals and crowds are expressing or why they are moving. How does the dance of people in clubs reflect the socio-political environment and struggles of individuals and groups? How do the Rave-o-lution in March 2018 in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi and antifascist protests in Berlin during the same month relate to ancient Dionysian rituals, and why does the “soundtrack” to these events come from the drums of African Americans? The exhibition aims to establish the definition of a “dance of urgency” that arises from the emotions that occur in times of personal and collective crisis. Such dance empowers individuals and collectives.

Memories of clubbing during the 1999 NATO strikes on Belgrade were the catalyst for Serb-Dutch artist and curator Bogomir Doringer (PhD candidate, Artistic Research, University for Applied Arts Vienna) to focus on dance as a political phenomenon. In 2014 as part of the project I Dance Alone, Doringer began to document dance culture and variants of collective and individual forms of dance around the world.

In countries where the social system has broken down and cultural institutions are lacking, clubs serve as hubs where people meet, move, learn, but also where young people are influenced or manipulated. When clubs are understood to be places in which social changes are reflected, the examination of dance culture can help better predict and understand the behaviour of mass movements.

At the same time, the exhibition addresses the return of political power on the dance floor, something which is becoming ever-more prevalent following the emergence of right-wing sentiment, particularly in the west.
When people congregate to dance together, they influence one another’s movements through their physical and emotional bonds. In May 2018, government armed forces carried out a raid on the well-known Techno Club “BASSIANI” in Tbilisi, Georgia. The club was known for its activist activities. The following day, 15,000 people flooded into the streets to protest against the raid, ultimately compelling the government to issue an official apology. “We Dance Together, We Fight Together” was the most prominent slogan to be seen over those days. The events in Tbilisi inspired other movements worldwide: not long afterwards, 70,000 people met in Berlin to protest against fascism. The protest was instigated by Reclaim Club Culture, a network of party organisers, cultural activists and researchers. In the past few months, various protests have adopted the rave format, like Rave 4 Climate (Paris), Brexit Protest Rave (London), against gentrification (Berlin and Rotterdam) etc.

With the help of interdisciplinary participants, the exhibition extracts knowledge from dance culture with a uniting and strengthening quality, and because it can also perform as a political body when necessary. The exhibition is a follow-up of the Trans-Forma exhibition and symposium (2018), which was organized by the Social Design — Arts as Urban Innovation program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The publication Dance of Urgency will be published by summer 2019.

Chiara Baldini, Jan Beddegenoodts, Irina Birger, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Shohei Fujimoto, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Frédéric Gies, Kélina Gotman, Dan Halter, Dimitri Hegemann / TRESOR, Sampo Hänninen, Cornelius Harris & Mark Flash / UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE, Andrew Herzog, Damien Jalet, JAZAR CREW, Liese Kingma / Clubcommission Berlin, Rafael Kozdron, Yarema Malashchuk & Roman Himey / CXEMA, MAMBA NEGRA, Pedro Marum, Moniker, Naja Orashvili & Giorgi Kikonishvili / BASSIANI, Francesco Pusterla, RECLAIM CLUB CULTURE, Paata Sabelashvili, Derek Sivers, SPACEMAKER, Anna Vasof, Ari Versluis, Anne de Vries

Admission free

Dance of Urgency is organised in cooperation with the BMEIA.

Director MuseumsQuartier Wien: Christian Strasser
Artistic Direction, frei_raum Q21 exhibition space: Elisabeth Hajek

Enquiries: Irene Preissler, ipreissler [​at​]

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frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien
April 16, 2019

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