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Stefanie Schwarzimmer, (Un-)Mapped (with cat paw detail), 2017, mixed media. Courtesy of the artist

Posthuman Complicities

xhibit, exhibition-space Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Subject-matter »Art and Trans-/ Inter-Human Communication«
Opening: 9th of March, 7 p.m.
Exhibition: 10th of March - 14th of May 2017


Curators: Lisa Stuckey, Andrea Popelka

>> Posthuman Complicities @ tumblr


Installation views © kunst-dokumentation.com

Posthuman Complicities presents artworks concerned with the Atlantic, the deep sea, and concepts of fluidity. The ocean features as a place of violence and resistance. Colonial archives are fragmented and dislocated in terms of both language and image in order to visualize blank spaces created by historiography.

The filmic and poetic exploration of the Zong massacre constitutes the core of the exhibition. In 1781, the British slaver Zong sailed from Accra to Black River in Jamaica. 150 slaves were thrown overboard into the sea to drown because of economic interests. This incident can only be reconstructed on the basis of the documents surviving from the lawsuit between the slaver’s owner and the insurers. Both the poet M. NourbeSe Philip and The Otolith Group deal with the massacre and its aftermath.
Paul Maheke treats the body as an archive and means for reimagining subjectivity. His work raises such questions as whether violent history can be turned against itself and made productive, or how a body may live a desire beyond the norm.

Stefanie Schwarzwimmer examines the artificial creation of unnatural-natural realities. Her playful treatment of cartographic materials highlights the constructive feat behind measuring the world. 

Joey Holder, oscillating between art spaces and online milieus, reflects on digital culture. For many of her current installations, she collaborates with marine biologists to critically map the way DNA data of deep sea organisms are skimmed off.

Jennifer Mattes, using found footage, looks into Jean-Antoine Watteau’s paintings. The idea of the courtly-aristocratic society withdrawing to Kythera, the island of love, which we find represented in her pictures, is deconstructed as a utopia.

Wolfgang Tillmans published a poster campaign before Great Britain’s impending withdrawal from the EU. The title of one of its pictures was “No man is an island. No country by itself.” Global islandization and the destruction of bridges make the possibility of new communities vanish behind the horizon.

Viltė Bražiūnaitė & Tomas Sinkevičius’ rotating pistol self-reflectively mirrors the violence of the white cube. The site-related work interweaves a metadiscussion with the concrete and physical position of the exhibition space’s here and now.

Queer feminists and people of color have radically challenged the prevailing category of the human. Their anti-discriminatory approaches have paved the way for posthumanism. They thematize the accompliceship with the help of stories of othering that haunt our present. These stories’ and joyful resistance is the subject highlighted in this exhibition.

 © Stefanie Schwarzimmer, (Un-)Mapped (with cat paw detail), 2017,
mixed media.