deutsche version
grafisches Element

with/in/significant other

Curator: Isin Onol »

Participating artists:

Bogomir Doringer
Shilpa Gupta
Ashley Hunt
Berat Işık
Ralph Kistler
Mario Rizzi
Stefanie Wuschitz
Zorica Zafirovska

Instruments of vision mediate standpoints; there is no immediate vision from the standpoints of the subjugated. Identity, including self-identity, does not produce science; critical positioning does, that is, objectivity. [1]

The new generations, especially in financially developed countries, are being brought up in an allegedly innovative school education system, which on the surface, no longer supports normative discrimination systems, while such updates haven’t yet been applied in many socially, economically and politically struggling countries. Such systems of education no longer encourage or defend – visibly at least – the concepts of militarism, colonialism, imperialism, or any other statement of superiority of one over the other. They are designed to be self-critical, self-reflective, and objective, in order to generate equality between races, genders, nations, and people in general, underlining the importance of tolerance and sympathy towards the other, thoroughly understanding and respecting to the differences. However, any in-depth research in the field leads us to understand the fact that the tools of cultivation of the notions of discrimination and inequality can be tremendously strong in schools, and continue to be transmitted actively behind all this peaceful rhetoric.

Through the overly reworked and carefully used politically correct language forms, the education systems seem to manage to conceal their discriminative faces almost successfully, hardly leaving any space to attract critical approaches towards them. However, in the ‘politically innocent’ age of our representational democracies, those governments, which seemingly support the non-violent, anti-discriminative modes of thinking within their education systems, continue to arm, invest more capital deeply into military, law enforcement, surveillance and prison technologies in order to divide, observe and rule societies, and leave out and neglect those that don’t fit into any predefined constructions, instead of making any effort to create peaceful and collective living environments.

While our official histories are glamorously written about the invasions of territories and developments in science and technologies, we don’t really encounter and face the facts and figures in regards to the participation of our governments in human, drug, oil trafficking, sexual violence, women, homosexual, trans murders, migrants dying on the borders, hunger strikes, unsolved homicides, massacres, prisoning to prevent freedom of speech, etc. in our school books. It is not only through schools but also through the mass and social media where historical facts are justified and normalized, which leads individuals to ignore the unbearable realities.

Under the conditions created by this dilemma, the questions of who writes the official histories to be taught at schools, under what conditions, and supported by which ideologies and organizations still remain to be very problematic today. If it is not schools, where and how exactly do we learn and internalize the fact that “we” actually stand on the correct side of history? Under what conditions and how does the excluded other become solely insignificant, therefore invisible, to the eye of the coexisting other?

Within today’s social, political, economical, and educational landscape, to what extend can individuals unlearn neglecting the insignificant other, and become visible to each other while the notion of otherness is strongly regenerated and normalized by the media, schools and other unavoidable influential tools of controlling authorities? More importantly, how can individuals support the rights of existence of the insignificant other and hold it in high esteem, without harming their delicate invisibility?

The exhibition with/in/significant other deals with the politics of recognition, focusing on the question of how the notion of otherness is perpetually being generated, reproduced and normalized within our normative societies and the strategies within which the artists, litterateurs and avant-garde thinkers embrace the suppressed dark image, which is the subaltern, the unsolicited, the uncanny, the disregarded, the overlooked; the dark and insignificant other under the violence of the glittering power. It invites artists who communicate with the invisible and insignificant other to put in an effort to make them noticeable and significant in the eye of the viewer.

[1] Donna J. Haraway, Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective from Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991)

supported by:

ERSTE Foundation
Stadt Wien - Kulturabteilung MA 7
SAHA - supporting contemporary art from Turkey
MA 7 - Interkulturelle und Internationale Aktivitäten
Stadt Wien - Film, Kino, Neue Medien

Collaboration with:

Istanbul Bilgi University

grafisches Element