Fabricators of the World. Scenarios of Self-will at Schloss Trautenfels

Fabricators of the World. Scenarios of Self-will at Schloss Trautenfels

Kunsthaus Graz

May 25, 2010

Fabricators of the World
Scenarios of Self-will

4 June – 31 October 2010

Opening: 3 June 2010, 3 pm

Schloss Trautenfels
Universalmuseum Joanneum

8951 Trautenfels 1
T +43-3682/22233-0
trautenfels [​at​] museum-joanneum.at


Pawel Althamer (and students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna), Franz Kapfer, L/B, Christian Philipp Müller, Maria Papadimitriou, Kateřina Šedá

Curator: Adam Budak

with Katharina Krenn, Elke Murlasits, Katia Schurl

Organized by Universal Museum Joanneum and regionale10

Staged in the rooms of Trautenfels Castle, the exhibition “Fabricators of the World. Scenarios of Self-Will” is a construction site of selfhood and subjectivity. “Vita activa”, one of the constitutive terms of Hannah Arendt’s seminal oeuvre, “Human Condition”(1959), outlines the field of operation for six art projects that critically revisit the particularities of historical and contemporary locality of the Austrian region of Liezen, geographically located, as the slogan of the hosting event, the Festival Regionale10, highlights, in the (all-country) centre however on the (Styrian-regional) periphery, in the transit thought, at the junction of three important national highways.

Life and work as well as the passion that articulates them are in focus of this exhibition. Here, like through a lens of a magnifying glass, the human condition is being portrayed as a performance of an emancipated and autonomous self. Self-Will (German Eigensinn) appears as a mental and physical mechanism that shapes and conditions the identity of a social and cultural microcosm: the construction of Eigensinn-like Weltanschaung as a space between your eyes, a landscape of self-conditionality… We are in the vague area of in-between where the small and the intimate, the personal and the exclusive challenge the inevitable global and cosmopolitan of the contemporary society. Eigensinn is the troublesome territory where togetherness and the sense of belonging struggle with the stubbornness of the singularity and self-centered universe, there where the communal desire meets the manifestation of individual belief and truth. What is the matrix of such a belief, what is the outline of such an attitude, what are the historical perspective and contemporary condition of such a locality, how local knowledge is being produced?

The task of “Fabricators of the World. Scenarios of Self-Will” is to investigate the possible relationship between Arendt’s homo faber and the world of self-will. Self-absorption as well as self-perception as a measure of all things may prove homo faber‘s self-willful nature. The self-will in its version of “logical Eigensinn” (egotism) has been used by Hannah Arendt as private sense and opposed to common sense. This exhibition is a portrait of local resistance and pride but also of emancipation and self-empowerment. We are fabricators of the world, craftsmen of realities, producers of everyday life, followers of tradition and creators of the futures yet to come, sculptors of localities. As a study in performative belonging, this exhibition examines a possibility of homo faber in the world of Eigensinn; its anatomy of a (local) vita activa is at the same time an anatomy of Eigensinn, its active sites of small-scale utopias, tailored to local ambitions and desires. How to shape things, minds, and paths of thinking? The exhibition is a challenge to zoom into the organization of private life of the local hero and the sense of the communal he contributes to. How to participate in the world of Eigensinn? What can be done beyond miserable attempts of forced engagement into the so-called – alien – common matters? Eigensinn is a patchwork of heroic acts and conservative views, a land of narrowness, pride and self-assertion, where local communal spirit, striving for autonomy and emancipation, and the craftsman’s imagination, shaped by, according to Sennett, resistance, ambiguity and intuition, compete with stubbornness, a will to keep distance and to manifest a difference.

Orchestrated by six site-specific, participatory and community-based art projects in an almost Pirandellian way of a detective drama, this exhibition narrates the region and identifies their characters, the story’s local protagonists. It is a rehearsal, an investigation and a mise-en-scene of history, tradition and contemporaneity, tableau-vivant of resistant identity. The artists undertake a search for modern Hephaestus and trace the particularity of the area that commonly was perceived as specifically Eigensinn-like. The exhibition’s psychogeography navigates in-between various aspects of the region’s life: the landscape architecture and the organization of private space (Franz Kapfer), the vibrant life of ordinary citizens of the region as a social sculpture (Pawel Althamer and the students of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna), construction of the Eigensinn mentality via a case study of local micro-urban redevelopments (Kateřina Šedá), the phenomenon of genius loci with a reference to the local nature and traditional folk festivities (Maria Papadimitriou), the architecture of a castle as a phantasmagoria (L/B) as well as a production of real and symbolic value, as reflected in a tradition of the local industry (Christian Philipp Müller).

The exhibition is complemented by a series of events, amongst them, a debate “My Home Is My Castle – My Castle Is My Home” with participation of, amongst others, Klaus Kada and Franz Kapfer, reading evenings with Folke Tegethoff, Christof Huemer and Peter Gruber as well as a screening of films, including Ernst Lubitsch’s “Meyer aus Berlin” (1918).

The fully illustrated German/English catalogue had been produced at the occasion of the exhibition, including visual essays by the artists, critical texts by Martin Prinzhorn, Jennifer Allen, Christoph Doswald, Tomas Pospiszyl, André Rottmann, literary essays by Peter Gruber and Christof Huemer, curatorial introduction by Adam Budak, conversation between Peter Pakesch and Dietmar Seiler as well as the scientific texts, elaborated by a team lead by Elke Murlasits, a head of multimedia collections of the Universal Museum Joanneum in Graz (Günther Marchner, Gernot Rabl, Gundi Jungmeier) and essays by Hannah Arendt, Richard Sennett and Pierre Bourdieu.

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Kunsthaus Graz
May 25, 2010

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