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Dislocations – the Desert of the Social

Status artistic survey: Film and Video screening
22nd December, 7.00 PM

Curated by Aneta Stojnić

With Steven Ball & Rastko Novaković; Marina Gržinić & Aina Šmid; Sophie Hoyle

Venue: Raum D / Q21/ MuseumsQuartier Wien

This screening programme explores the topic of Dislocations – the desert of the social addressing the total devastation appearing as a result of the processes of neoliberalism or more precisely necrocapitalism, fascism and racism / racialisation that are the realities of Europe, as well as the reflection of global power relations. Three films in this programme question the possibilities of struggle (class, race and gender) and / or which new political subjectivities could emerge in such conditions. Not only in its content but also in the specific formats and artistic and research strategies used each of the works in this concise programme explores relevant artistic, theoretical and cinematic responses to the present conditions of life and labour.

Concrete Heart Land (2014, 25’) by Steven Ball & Rastko Novaković exposes the social cleansing of the Heygate Estate in the Elephant and Castle, South London. It marks the moment that the estate was finally lost as social housing to make way for an unjust “regeneration” scheme. Assembled from 12 years of archive materials, panoramic video images of the estate and interiors of some of the Heygate flats filmed throughout 2012 and 2013 as well as the recordings of various sections of a performance staged in 2012 on the then still-inhabited estate — this film charts the struggles of the local community to keep their homes, stay living in the area, and maintain communal benefits in the face of extreme development pressures. Throughout the film we hear the community engaging in some of the crucial battles with elected officials, planners and barristers, in municipal planning meetings, public enquiries and interviews.

Seizure – Rewriting Counter-Histories (2014, 25’) by Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid is an experimental documentary video that combines an artistic and curatorial approach in one format - a kind of curated video-film. It exposes agency in a dialogue with several female artists and their films tracing connections and genealogies between only seemingly disparate histories and positions. It is about modes of contemporary artistic production as much as it is about the connections between specific authors and poetics. As such it offers a precise theoretical and curatorial analysis by questioning the knowledge about what and who are the constitutive elements in contemporary art today. The principal question is what kind of processes we can detect in these paradigms today, and how they serve or conflict with current artistic and cultural processes. The question is also whether it is possible to subvert, to turn around and to re-think some old and new relations in film and political activism.

Collapse: Contemporary Artists’ Works Exploring Global Divisions of Labour (2014, 17’) by Sophie Hoyle is an experimental video essay that offers a dense meta-theoretical perspective that resonates with the various aspects exposed in the other two films in this programme. The work is debating the issues of necropolitics and necrocapitalism, technology, subjectivity as well as the critique of contemporary art and theory trends that embrace objectification without taking into account the global production chains and division of labour in the capitalist matrix of power. Combining the theoretical text and images in a way that challenges the existing modes of representation – “how does one represent that which can’t be represented?” – Hoyle questions the relations between artistic theoretical practice and activism, or more precisely, the possibilities and limitations of art as social practice.

The Open Space programme is supported by:

Stadtteilkultur, Interkulturalität und Internationale Angelegenheiten
Kulturabteilung (Magistratsabteilung 7) – Bildende Kunst

With additional kind support provided by Istanbul Bilgi University

Dislocations – the Desert of the Social

grafisches Element