Places of Transition

Places of Transition

frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien

Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Your Country Doesn’t Exist, 2013–14.
© Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson.

January 22, 2014

Places of Transition
January 24–March 13, 2014

Opening: January 23, 7pm

freiraumquartier21INTERNATIONAL MuseumsQuartier
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 1–7pm

Curated by Gülsen Bal and Walter Seidl

In search of possible futures, the exhibition Places of Transition at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL brings together a variety of international works of art that engage in an evolving process of producing pluralistic approaches, which, in their multiplicity, provoke an encounter on both a visual and discursive level. Furthermore, these processes of transition refer to the global changes of recent years that arise in response to historical conditions.

While the East-West divide in Europe is drawing to a close, the power struggles in the Middle East have crushed the hopes of the Arab Spring and fostered the debate on political periods of transition on a global scale. Places of Transition evokes new kinds of creative connections and formulates a radical break with traditional forms of representation. As a result, critical voices about the past, present, and future emerge and create new territories of thought.

Oliver Ressler’s film Socialism Failed, Capitalism Is Bankrupt: What Comes Next? was shot in the largest bazaar of Yerevan, called “Bangladesh.” Merchants tell about their battle for survival in the crisis of a post-socialist state. The video and photo piece Portrait of My Mother by Milica Tomić was produced in the days after the Nato bombardments of Belgrade and examines the complex relationship between the trauma of the lost Yugoslavian modernity and the new identity policies of the Milosević years. 

In Akram Zaatari’s video Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright, two former lovers have a conversation ten years after separating. The words they exchange are written on an old-fashioned typewriter. In his installation Monika Ertl’s Pistol, Marco Poloni refers to historic circumstances. Underground fighter Monika Ertl is alleged to have murdered consul Roberto Quintanilla Pereira in 1971 at the Bolivian Consulate General in Hamburg. 

Köken Ergun reacts to a specific situation in Turkey, when the Republic Day Ball took place. The president sent one-person invitations to the members of Parliament, the majority of whom were Islamic democrats. This was his strategy to prevent their wives, who would wear headscarves, from attending the night. The video performance thus resulted in a cross-dressing parody.

Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson are showing a neon sign installation with the phrase: “Your country does not exist.” With this statement, they are making reference to present-day migration movements prompted by political, economic, or professional conditions. Santiago Sierra is showing his video Burned Word in which the word Future is publicly burned. The video was produced in El Cabanyal, a historic district and fishing quarter in Valencia threatened by the potential development of a new roadway crossing through the area. Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s audiovisual installation 191/205 refers to the fact that in 1985 the General Directorate of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation TRT banned the use of 205 words in television and radio broadcasts. 

Some of the participating artists are artists-in-residence of quartier21/MuseumsQuartier in connection with the exhibition. In his installation Pop-Up Wall, Vikenti Komitski addresses how borders are still drawn up to protect the Fortress Europe. His work refers to Bulgaria’s current attempt to build a border between Turkey and Bulgaria in order to prevent Syrian refugees from entering the country. 

Libia Castro (ESP)* & Ólafur Ólafsson (ISL)*, Köken Ergun (TUR), Vikenti Komitski (BUL)*, Aslı Çavuşoğlu (TUR), Marco Poloni (SUI)*, Oliver Ressler (AUT), Milica Tomić (SRB), Santiago Sierra (ESP), Akram Zaatari (LIB)
*quartier21/MuseumsQuartier Artists-in-Residence

Display: Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch

Places of Transition is organized in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.

Director of the MuseumsQuartier: Dr. Christian Strasser

MQ Press Relations: Irene Preissler, ipreissler [​at​]

Artistic Director, freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL: Elisabeth Hajek, ehajek [​at​]


freiraum quartier21 presents Places of Transition
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frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien
January 22, 2014

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