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CATALOGUE: Stories of Traumatic Pasts Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Turbo-Nationalism

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Edited by Marina Gržinić, Jovita Pristovšek, Sophie Uitz, and Christina Jauernik

Hatje Cantz, Berlin, Germany; Weltmuseum Wien, Austria; Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria; Peek Project No. AR 439-G24/IBK, 2020, ISBN 978-3-7757-4884-1, 204pp.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories, at Weltmuseum Wienfrom 8 October 2020 to 3 April 2021.

About the catalogue

Belgian colonialism in the Congo. Antisemitism in Austria. Turbo-nationalism in former Yugoslavia. Over the last two centuries, these three historic lines of violence and annihilation (re)enforced a process of oblivion that to this day prevents a processing of the genocides they caused. Today involuntary or performed amnesia again threatens to destroy what has already come to a point of possible coexistence.

­We go back to these traumatic events in history and the recent past, which had such a violent impact on communities and people, states and territories, and confront them with a system of interventions. The scars that remain after atrocities, although hidden and obliterated, are recovered through artistic, scientific, and political reflections.

EXHIBITION Stories of Traumatic Pasts. Counter-Archives for Future Memories

at Weltmuseum Wien
October 8th, 2020 to April 3rd, 2021

Curated by Marina Gržinić, Christina Jauernik and Sophie Uitz

Trailer-teaser of the exhibition in Weltmuseum Wien

The exhibition Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories focuses on three European regions, their stories, and their current experiences of collective amnesia in relation to traumatic events from the past: Belgian colonial rule in the Congo, Austria after the “Anschluss” in 1938, and the denial of war crimes since 1990 after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Participating artists
Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe
Lana Čmajčanin
Bojan Djordjev
Dani Gal
Siniša Ilić
Adela Jušić
Martin Krenn
Monique Mbeka Phoba
Nicolas Pommier
Anja Salomonowitz
Joëlle Sambi Nzeba
Arye Wachsmuth
Valerie Wolf Gang

Posters and works developed by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (workshop with Arye Wachsmuth):
Negra Bernhard
Henrie Dennis
Iklim Doğan
Robert Jolly
Lars* Kollros
Shaya Safaisini
Hiba Shammout
Sophie Anna Stadler
Pia S. Weissinger
Ondrej Zoricak

The digital archive: COUNTERING THE GENEALOGY OF AMNESIA

7.10.2020 Opening speeches and performance
(closed for public due to Covid-19)

Speeches: C. Schicklgruber (director Weltmuseum Wien), J. Hartle (rector Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), S. Uitz and M. Gržinić (curators). Opening  performance by Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe and  Mani Obeya.

8.10.2020 Symposium
(closed for public due to Covid-19)

Taking part in situ or via zoom:

Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe
Lana Čmajčanin
Bojan Djordjev
Dani Gal
Siniša Ilić
Adela Jušić
Martin Krenn
Nicolas Pommier
Anja Salomonowitz
Joëlle Sambi Nzeba
Arye Wachsmuth
Valerie Wolf Gang
Lars* Kollros
Mika Maruyama
Shaya Safaisini
Pia Weissinger

Moderation by Marina Gržinić
Organisation by Sophie Uitz

Weltmuseum Wien
Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna
Tel. +43 1 534 30-5052
info@weltmuseumwien.at
www.weltmuseumwien.at

Opening hours
Open daily, except Wednesdays, 10 am to 6 pm
Late Fridays until 9 pm: 30 October, 27 November



GoA SYMPOSIUM in Vienna: Genealogy of Amnesia – Crushing Silences, Constructing Histories

(image: Christina Jauernik)

November 8-10, 2018

A symposium on the silencing of colonialism, anti-Semitism, and contemporary turbo-fascist nationalism in Belgium, Austria, and former Yugoslavia.

The international and interdisciplinary symposium, open to public audiences, is built as a podium for research and exchange, dissemination of knowledge, and discussion.

The two-day-long symposium hosted invited speakers that cover the central topics of our research in the three respective territories: memory and history, archives, and the axis of power and knowledge. The general objective of the symposium was to denote gaps between processes of institutionalized silencing, hegemonic processes of oblivion and amnesia, and processes of instituting power through building counter-memory and counter-history projects, interventions, and resistance. The aim was to demonstrate how processes for the establishment of counter-memory and counter-history can open up spaces for new ways of forming radicalized constituent politics. Collective struggles and oppositionality were investigated as the basis of a possible dismantling of neoliberal and necrocapitalist societies by means of re-empowering history that crushes silences.

For full symposium program and details click here


Gallery


LECTURE at East-Central European Art Forum Conference in Poznań

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Marina Gržinić, The Postsocialist and Postcolonial Conditions as Features of a Conceptualization of a “New” Geography

October 27, 2018

at East-Central European Art Forum, 26-27.10.2018,
Conference: Theorizing the Geography of East-Central European Art

organized by Piotr Piotrowski Center for Research on East-Central European Art

Lecture Summary

The postsocialist and postcolonial conditions as features of a conceptualization of a “new” geography

The proposal is to rethink geography as a process that comes out  from the post-1989. Why?  At that moment we have the appearance of two conditions, of two posts that coincide largely speaking geographically in Europe and that can subsumed, according to David Harvey writings in the 1980s,  as “urbanization of capital and urbanization of consciousness.” This double process is vital to capitalism’s survival as a dominant mode of production and consumption. Let’s state that this urbanization is a perverse cosmopitanism that Piotr Piotrowski (Piotrowski, “From the international to the Cosmopolitan” (2012)), sees as the possible approach to East and Central Europe today.  Therefore my proposal claims that geography can better be captured as the joint process of these two conditions postsocialist and postcolonial than divisions we used for the last decades in the former Eastern European context: East-West, center-periphery, etc. As well the question that we will enter is how the postcolonial enters the post-socialist of the East-Central Europe geography of today. My question is how these traumatic nodal points produced, executed and governed by and within Europe transform the perception of art, geography, topography, memory and history in the present moment. The elaboration is based on the new insights provided by the research project I am in charge at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with the title “Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality” (funded through the Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK), inside the FWF, Austrian Science Fund, in the period from 2018 to 2020).

LECTURE at Graz Symposion on Photography

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Marina Gržinić, Images of Violence, or the Violence of Neoliberal Necrocapitalism

October 5, 2018

at Camera Austria Symposion on Photography XXI, 5-6.10.2018,
Die Gewalt der Bilder / The Violence of Images

Lecture Summary

Images with violent content are always historical, as what is seen as violent is constructed and is violently managed; therefore nothing is natural in relation to violence. What will be defined as violent is always an outcome of violent hegemonic processes. Seeing images of killings can provoke our rebellion and our insurgencies, unless we are paralyzed by our normativized occidental lives. Europe and the global neoliberal capitalist system in general are well attuned to the hierarchization, control, and management processes of the present neoliberal capitalist states. Especially under attack are migrants and all those not considered to be “natural” parts of the neoliberal capitalist national body in the West: asylum-seekers and refugees escaping war-torn parts of the global world (the Middle  East, Africa), from conflicts induced by capital and imperial management.

On the other side and at the same time, we can see, for example, the last election campaign in Austria, with posters by the Freedom Party (FPÖ) containing blatantly racist and fascist slogans and images. My interest is to connect racism with visual narratives, “trophy” artifacts, and culture. I will look at racism from a historical perspective, showing a horrifying trajectory of structural racism that reproduces itself almost always circularly from a pseudoscientific (biological) racism, “progressing” toward “cultural racism” to “return” again to “scientific racism,” though then coined “intellectual racism.”

KEYNOTE LECTURE at Sarajevo Conference

Marina Grzinic and Adla Isanovic, Memory and History and the Act of De-Historicisation

June 28, 2018

Three-Day Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 27-29.6.2018,
Ruins, Remains, and Reconstructions

Lecture summary

In the time of neoliberal global necrocapitalism we are increasingly confronted with a political and social amnesia that profits from the forced erasure of the past   producing more and more processes of de-historicisation and de-politicisation. Central to these processes is the logic of (neoliberal) repetition that produces at least two different procedures of  de-historicisation. On one side we have the logic of the neoliberal Western world that works as a pure trans-historical machine, and on the other,  in the regions of the (former) East and in the South of Europe as well as in the zone of “Western Balkan,”  we detect forced techniques of embracing historicisation as totalization. In both cases the result is a suspension of history that works with a primary intention to dispose of any alternative within it! The idea of the lecture is therefore to provide at first the   conceptualization of   the main notions, to what will follow the elaboration of some selected examples. Through the analysis of examples these processes will be defined on a much wider scale in order to see their political, social and cultural consequences.

Therefore, after  the first part elaborated by  Grzinic,  Isanovic  will continue with critically reflecting on some concrete examples, such as the events organized to mark the centenary of the First World War in Sarajevo in 2014, in order to elaborate not only on silences about the past (such as the WWI, the 1990s’ war crimes and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) and the misery of the present, but primarily, to contextualize and repoliticize current practices and forms of knowledge production and of visibility, both in relation to local specificities and global phenomena. This includes also a reflection on tactics of de-historicisation and humanitarianism. Therefore, such “exemplary” acts of remembering / forgetting are approached as a symptom of the effect of the current state of necrocapitalism, its practices of coloniality and racialization. More precisely, the dominant and systematic de-contextualization, de-historicisation and de-politicisation of racism, and cultures of remembrance, are in service of the normalization of death, the ongoing coloniality and growing fascist elements of politics that are at the core of the global neoliberal governmentality today.

The presentation will as well incorporate some  new insights provided by the research project at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with the title “Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality” (funded through the Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK), inside the FWF, Austrian Science Fund, in the period from 2018 to 2020). Grzinic is the leading  and Adla Isanovic is the affiliated researcher to this research project.

Marina Grzinic is a philosopher, theoretician and artist from Ljubljana, Slovenia. She serves as a professor and research adviser. Since 2003, she is Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. She publishes extensively, lectures worldwide, and is involved in videofilm productions since 1982. Selection of books: M. Grzinic and Rosa Reitsamer, New feminism: worlds of feminism, queer and networking conditions, Vienna: Löcker, 2008; M. Grzinic and Sefik Tatlic, Necropolitics, Racialization, and Global Capitalism. Historicization of Biopolitics and Forensics of Politics, Art, and Life, US: Lexington books, 2014; M. Grzinic, ed. Border Thinking, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Sternberg Press, 2018.http://grzinic-smid.si

Adla Isanović, is an artist and researcher who lives and works in Sarajevo. Currently, she is an associate professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University in Sarajevo, where she teaches multimedia. She holds a PhD from the Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, Slovenia (doctoral program Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures) where she finished her doctoral thesis on the theme of databases and art in the function of knowledge production in the digital age. She completed MA in “New Media” and MA in Research-Based Postgraduate Program “Critical, Curatorial, Cybermedia Studies” at the Geneva University of Arts and Design, Switzerland. She did her undergraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo. Her previous engagements include work as a researcher at Mediacentar Sarajevo, as well as being a visiting lecturer at the International University Sarajevo, the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo, the School of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia and Gray’s School of Art of the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

LECTURE at MACBA Seminar in Barcelona

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Marina Grzinić, Memory and History and the act of remembering

February 16, 2018

at Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA),16-17.2.2018, Seminar, The Boundary Condition. About the archive and its limits

Lecture Summary

In the time of neoliberal global necrocapitalism we are increasingly confronted with a political and social amnesia that profits without the past, producing more and more processes of de-historicization and de-politicisation. Central to these processes is the logic of (neoliberal) repetition that produces at least two different procedures of (de)historicization. On one side we have the logic of the neoliberal Western world that works as a pure trans-historical machine, and on the other, in the East and in the South of Europe, we detect forced techniques of embracing historicization as totalization. In both cases the result is a suspension of history that works with a primary intention to dispose of any alternative within it! My idea is to provide some examples, and, more, to try to define these processes on a much wider scale in order to see their political, social and cultural consequences.

The presentation is based on the new insights provided by the research project I am in charge of at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, with the title “Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality” (funded through the Programme for Arts-based Research PEEK, by the FWF, Austrian Science Fund, in the period from 2018 to 2020).