October 9, 2018

What if it won't stop here?

Berlin University of the Arts

Jan Verwoert, fish (still), 2018. Video.

What art can do now to face up to the bleak mood and still speak through media, data and the body

Artists: Marco Donnarumma, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Lisa Glauer, Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari, Darsha Hewitt, Nino Klingler, Kiran Kumar, Clarissa Thieme, Zeynep Tuna, Jan Verwoert

Vernissage: October 18, 7pm

Blitzdorf. a public rehearsal: October 22, 5pm
Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari with Zafraan Ensemble, Ido Gordon & David Chaki

Deconstructing a Socialist Lawnmower: October 23, 7pm
(un)obscuring narratives embedded throughout technology from the German Democratic Republic (GDR). With Darsha Hewitt, Nadja Buttendorf and Sophia Gräfe

What if it won't stop here? Addressing the publication in a roundtable with the artists: October 28, 5pm

Archipelago Archives Exhibit #4: October 30, 7pm
being, installation-performance with Kiran Kumar

Blitzdorf. the closing concert: October 31, 8pm
Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari with Zafraan Ensemble, Ido Gordon & David Chaki

Marco Donnarumma & Nunu Kong: Alia: Zu tài, Friday, November 23
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 8pm
A co-production by Chronus Art Center and CTM Festival. Funded by Goethe Institut's International Ko-produktion Fund.

In the Mahābhāratā, moments of suspension mark turning points in the story. Bow in hand, string fully pulled, protagonist Arjuna is tasked with taking aim at a fish strung up above a pool, only via its reflection in the water, without ever releasing the arrow. Later, the world is on the brink of war. Arjuna commands one of the armies facing each other off. Unwilling to give the go he lets his sword drop. Time stands still. With the falling blade frozen in mid-air, Arjuna talks with trickster Krishna about the life that was nearing its end.

Media nations under the spell of events prophesized by presidential tweets vote for doomsday certainty, while heads of finance have zombie shelters built in the Antipodes. Is this it? The end? What if it wasn't? Life on the planet is so much bigger than that. Still, global backlash spreads despair: What if it won't stop here? What if it keeps on getting worse? Talking back to dire realities is a pressing task. Yet, for critical art and thinking to stay alive, they also need to loosen the stranglehold that apocalyptical thought has on the political imagination. Stretching the limits of time and space with artistic means could defy the paralyzing pressure the endgame logic exerts, and recalibrate the senses. Time ripples when the beat breaks to the tune of: "Stop now, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down…"

At Archive kabinett the fellows of the UdK Graduate school at the University of the Arts Berlin show pieces born from two years of working alongside and discussing what to do when the air of gloom clouds the horizon for imagining change? Coming from visual art, dance, music, film and performance, they propose micro-political answers to the macro-political question: what is to be done? Say no to apocalypse, hold the clock, find other routes for traversing collective memory, sculpt the sonic, unscape the land, receive embodied knowledge passed on locally for centuries, make machinic souls vibrate, and demonstrate, with some gallows humor, that, when the devil is in the details, critique may thrive on nuance.

The artists are: Marco Donnarumma, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Lisa Glauer, Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari, Darsha Hewitt, Nino Klingler, Kiran Kumar, Clarissa Thieme and Zeynep Tuna. The exhibition is curated by Jan Verwoert.

On the occasion of the show, an eponymous publication with thematic discussions and artistic contributions is released by Archive Books, edited by Daniel Pies and Jan Verwoert. Designed by Nienke Terpsma.

The project is co-founded by Einstein Stiftung Berlin.

The exhibition opens on October 18 at 7pm and closes on the October 28 after the event.
Opening hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–8pm

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