Anna Artaker, Josef Dabernig, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, David Maljković, Emeka Ogboh, Uriel Orlow
The exhibition Sweet Sixties: Tales and Morals is a part of a long term project which explores the heritage of parallel modernisms of the 1960s in relation to their current geopolitical, economic and cultural implications and potentials, with emphasis on post-socialist, Middle Eastern and African context. By evoking several forgotten or less known episodes of the 1960s, the exhibition Sweet Sixties: Tales and Morals accentuates the ambivalent and mythological character of the decade marked with radical and revolutionary demands such as, for instance, processes of decolonization of Afro-Asian teritory, student protests, human rights struggles or antiwar movements. Even though the assimilation of the struggle of the late 60s and 70s is today caught into, according to Brian Holmes, “distorted mirror of the new hegemony”, the question is how to articulate fragmented demands and revitalize them in the context of recent battles for social justice.
The works in the framework of the Sweet Sixties: Stories and Morals exhibition are confronting the events dislocated from their strict historical placement, creating new amalgams on the background of the cultural memory of place, history and artistic representation (Josef Dabernig, Anna Artaker), or evoking the forgotten episodes by actualization of history which also speaks about the wider context of the decade. The work of David Maljković recalls the heritage and status of Yugoslavian modernism pointing towards the wider post-communist state and paralellisms of social and artistic experiment. His space intervention in the Showroom of Gallery Nova will remain in the gallery after this exhibition as a permanent archival and work space. The declaration of independence of Nigeria in the work of Emeka Ogboh points out to 1960s’ processes of decolonization of Afrika, but also to the forms of contemporary colonization and the ambivalent role of national identity. In the work of Joane Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige Middle Eastern exploration of space and creation of rockettes are inscribed into the context of Pan-Arabism and its breakdown. Dealing with a less know episode of international cargo ships trapped in Suez canal after the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt in 1967, Uriel Orlow opens the question of its long term consequences.
The presented works escape the nostalgic anchoring in history bringing to life the very ways, possibilities or borders of artistic presentation as a visual way of thinking, and evoking art not only as an empire of images, words and sounds, closed in itself, but also as an active place of explaining and mobilization via images which is a part of revolutionary demands of both history and present.
Curated by WHW and Georg Schöllhammer
April 12 - May 18, 2013
Opening event: April 12, 2013
18.30 h Lecture by Catarina Simão
20 h Opening of the exhibition
Josef Dabernig: Subverting Categories, 3/4/2013
Anna Artaker: Dealing With Images In the Context Of Historiography, 8/4/2013
Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige: Lebanese Rocket Society, 22/4/2013