Group Exhibition - We are Here Because you were/are (t)here - Das Weisse Haus. Vienna, Austria.

12 Nov - 13 Dec 2014
Group Exhibition. Curated by Lennard Dost
Das Weisse Haus. Vienna, Austria

With  Azahara Cerezo & Mario Santamaria (ES), Elmas Deniz (TUR), Nuria Güell & Levi Orta (ES/CUB), Marina Gržinić & Aina Šmid (SLO), Fabian Hesse (D), Jennifer Mattes (A), Wouter Osterholt & Elke Uitentuis (NL), Abner Preis (NL), Oliver Ressler (A), Alexander Schikowski (HUN), Katharina Swoboda (A), Christina Werner (A), Daniel Dennis de Wit (NL), Ivette Mrova Zub (NL), curated by Lennard Dost.

In 2014 it’s exactly 200 years ago that in Vienna the Congress of Vienna started. It was right after the defeat of Napoleon. A lot of things changed after his defeat, and with the congress, which was about the political reorganization and institutional reconstruction of Europe. At the moment we are having a difficult time in Europe as well, due to several crises, whether they are financial, cultural, religious and/or moral.  Europe is trying to hold on, but it looks like it isn’t up for what is happening yet. At the same time, more and more people get skeptical about Europe and the European Union, and are unsatisfied by how they are dealt with by the EU. One can wonder if the symbolic construction that Europe is, is still applicable. Or do we need another form and perhaps European symbolism, in a time when geographical borders and moral boundaries are changing?

Have not been non-rescued. Belfast, 2014

WE ARE HERE BeCAUSE YOU WERE/ARE (t)HERE, a group exhibition in which artists from all over Europe participate, reflects on the symbolism Europe uses and/or is associated with, and the moral boundaries and geographical borders changing in Europe right now. The exhibition a.o. comes up with new kinds of organizational models, questions Europe’s identity, borders, values and symbolism and reflects on this current period of struggle and uproar and to some degree on the struggle back then, 200 years ago.

Actions in between the rescued.
Dutch artists Wouter Osterholt & Elke Uitentuis for instance participate with a video of the performance ‘celebrate diversity’, with which they tried to visualize different layers within the demographic situation of Eindhoven. For a period of ten days they drove around with flags of the 10 most common nationalities in the city of Eindhoven (The Netherlands), trying to find out how people in the street would respond.

Artist Ivette Mrova Zub made a new video about a woman from the Philippines who, after having worked in Holland for some years, and having traveled throughout Europe without official papers, went back to the Phillippines recently. Zub let the woman tell about her experiences in Europe, and about her not succeeding to live the life she dreamed of, a.o. because of not succeeding in obtaining the necessary papers.

Marina Gržinić & Aina Šmid video ‘Naked Freedom (2010) “conceptualizes the possibility of social change under the conditions of financial capitalism and its financialization processes that permeate art, the social, political and the critical discourse….The last part of their video re-questions the non-EU citizens in Europe and the status of Africa in Europe and Africans trying to live and work in the present moment of the European Union….a precise historical analysis is given to the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion and prevention of work and life in the EU.”

And Katherina Swoboda for instance created a new video installation about Caroline of Rijeka, who, after the defeat of Napoleon in Russia in 1812, persuaded the commander of the British army, that approached Rijeka on July 3rd 1813, to spare the citizens and their possessions. Shortly afterwards (on August 26th), even before the decisive defeat of Napoleon near Leipzig, the Austrian army seized Rijeka. It’s safe to say; if Carolina hadn’t been there, the city and it´s people would not be here as they are now.