September 22, 2012 - CMRK - Exhibitions in Graz, Austria: fall 2012
September 22, 2012

CMRK exhibitions in Graz, Austria

Karen Mirza / Brad Butler, Hold Your Ground, 2012. Videostill.

CMRK is a network of four independent institutions for contemporary art based in Graz: Camera Austria, Kunstverein Medienturm, , and Grazer Kunstverein.

Art Is Concrete. And So Is Truth?
Camera Austria
September 29, 2012–February 17, 2013

Realness Respect
Kunstverein Medienturm
September 29–December 7, 2012

Absolute Democracy

September 29–December 21, 2012

Intolerance / Normality
Grazer Kunstverein
September 29–November 24, 2012

All exhibitions co-produced by steirischer herbst

Under the leitmotif “Truth Is Concrete,” the steirische herbst festival 2012 pursues the potentiality of concrete truth as a working hypothesis and seeks direct action, concrete transition, and knowledge. “An art that not only presents and documents but that engages in specific political and social situations.” The exhibition project by Camera Austria with the modified title ART Is Concrete has been cooperatively developed together with the festival, in reaction to this leitmotif and the implications presented by its content, especially when it comes to the issue of (re)presentation/documentation. The gesture of the reality of art itself is set against the assumption that art remains immersed within a symbolic politics of representation. In seven consecutive individual presentations, for which the artists have conceived new works, Camera Austria is enmeshing photographic images in various artistic fields of agency: memories, acts of staging, histories, research, archives, appropriations, and montages. Art becomes political by defining its interventions as a space of common affairs, where forms of art cannot be differentiated from common experience.

Artists: Anna Jermolaewa, subREAL, Johanna & Helmut Kandl, Stefan Panhans, G.R.A.M., Stefanie Seibold, Christodoulos Panayiotou. Furnishing: Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch

The more clearly we delimit ourselves from the consensus of a liberal democratic society, as delivered to us by the media, the stronger seems to be the need for construction of a reality that follows its own conventions and rules. Realness Respect shows current performative drafts that react to the tangible difference between reality as it is subjectively perceived and common reality as conveyed by the media. But when political art examines the relationship of aesthetics and reality, the question soon arises as to the autonomy and status of the artwork, based on which artists achieve concrete, critical work on social issues. Even without any clear-cut answers, art creates its own concrete truths here.

Artists: Martin Beck, Carola Dertnig, Christian Falsnaes, Claire Fontaine, Ilja Karilampi, Karen Mirza / Brad Butler, Santiago Sierra, Jason Simon, Franz Erhard Walther

Absolute Democracy—the concept originally used by the philosopher Baruch Spinoza and meanwhile updated by the influential critics of capitalism Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt—stands for a vision: for the vision of a republic founded on broad collaboration among its citizens and on the development of common goods. It is an idea that propagates the redistribution of wealth and power and the possibility of new, more equitable systems of governing. It denounces the effects of capitalism and thus challenges a normative understanding of class, race, gender, and sexuality. Against this background, Absolute Democracy takes a critical look at the concept of democracy, spotlighting the problem of its social, political, and economic consequences and offering alternative interpretations of historiography.

Artists: Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle, Petra Bauer, Lenin Brea & Nuria Vila, Miklós Erhardt & Claudio Feliziani, Isabelle Fremeaux & John Jordan, Mariam Ghani, Carles Guerra, Nicoline van Harskamp, Jim Hubbard, Vladan Jeremić & Rena Rädle, Alejandro Landes, Nikolay Oleynikov, Fernando Solanas, Ultra-red. Curated by Carlos Motta & Oliver Ressler

Right-wing and populist politics are gaining ground, and with them, so are new forms of intolerance. The growing recognition of these tendencies as a natural drift within the political spectrum, as well as the concomitant stigmatization of all that is culturally marked as alien, may be designated as a social process of normalization. Formerly tabooed positions are becoming socially acceptable, whereas the entry of right-wing parties into the European parliaments figures only as the most visible aspect of this political symptomatology—a call for traditional values and ideas of social order that aim for exclusion on the basis of a politics of identity. The exhibition Intolerance / Normality questions the tacit normalization of these political phantasms of cultural purity and answers with a celebration of hybridity, monstrosity, and non-identity.

Artists: Discoteca Flaming Star, Beate Engl, Harun Farocki, Karl Holmqvist, Ralf Homann, Scott King, Katrin Mayer & Heiko Karn

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