Redraw / Rewrite / Retool at Vita Kuben

Redraw / Rewrite / Retool at Vita Kuben


Ivor Shearer, “Last Things,” 2008, video still.
Copyright the artist.

October 30, 2011

Redraw / Rewrite / Retool

Vita Kuben
Autumn 2011
Operaplan 5
Umeå, Sweden

The exhibition series REDRAW / REWRITE / RETOOL will be presented in four parts during the autumn of 2011, including works by Artur Żmijewski, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Johan Tirén, Ivor Shearer and Chto Delat? Curated by Rakett (Åse Løvgren and Karolin Tampere).

Through visual and narrative endeavors REDRAW / REWRITE / RETOOL engages in questions of how conflicting interest groups negotiate their positions, within existing or fictional societies, on arenas outside of as well as within constitutional frameworks. The works engage in an investigation of how laws are written, how the models of our societies are drawn and what political tools we have at our disposal. By looking at the situation at hand, arises the question of how to redefine the structures of our societies.

A discursive program consisting of discussions, presentations, film screenings and a book launch accompanies the exhibition. Participants are akcg (Anna Kindgren and Carina Gunnars) Ólafur Ólafsson, Johan Tirén, Ivor Shearer and Chto Delat?

Especially commissioned for the exterior walls of Vita Kuben are four chapters from Johan Tirén‘s project Epilogues (2009). The work is based on reports published by the Office of Regional Planning, Stockholm, and is part of a larger project in which a group of artists followed the research work for a new master plan of the entire Stockholm region. By rewriting suggestions for a future society found in the material and juxtaposing this with images of statistic models, emptied of their original content, the work reveals that the planning process is in fact a production of ideology.

In the video Them (2007) the Polish filmmaker Artur Żmijewski stages meetings between conflicting social groups in Poland. The meetings are structured by simple rules set by the artist, where the discussions are limited to that which can be drawn or written: words and symbols. In the course of the film, the democratic rules are challenged within this temporarily constructed “mini society”.

In The Lobbyists (2009), Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson present lobbyists performing under their regular working conditions in Brussels and Strasbourg. The artists commissioned British reporter Tamasin Cave to write an article about the current situation of lobbyism and worked with British actress Caroline Dalton and the Icelandic reggae group Hjálmar to perform this text as a new song and a soundtrack to their video. The Lobbyists investigates transparency, power and the role of NGOs and commercial interests in the political system in the European Union.

Last Things (2008) by Ivor Shearer is an experimental film set in a New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Inspired by Paul Auster’s 1987 novel, In The Country of Last Things, and set in the future, the film portrays a surreal, dystopian world in which the federal government has shut the city off from the rest of the country. The film premiered on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Museum Songspiel: The Netherlands 20XX (2011) Chto Delat? is set against the backdrop of the Dutch political scene in the year 20XX and tells the story of a group of immigrants fleeing deportation by the state authorities. The museum director discovers them one morning as they have sought a safe haven inside the museum. A discussion follows where the self-proclaimed identity of the museum as progressive and a safeguard of free speech is put to the test.

Rakett (Åse Løvgren and Karolin Tampere) is an ongoing mobile arena for various activities, ranging from curatorial practice to collaborative art projects. Their work touch on a range of questions around (co)authorship, (im)material production, the role of the artist and curator, and the potential of mobile and changeable platforms in the institutional infrastructure of art and of society at large. Rakett is supported by the City of Bergen, Norway.

Redraw / Rewrite / Retool at Vita Kuben
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October 30, 2011

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