deutsche version
grafisches Element

No Ifs, No Buts

8th September - 3rd October 2010

OPENING: 7th September, 7 PM - 9.30 PM

PROJECT CURATORS: Gulsen Bal and Walter Seidl

Participating artists:

Esra Ersen
Daniel Knorr
Aglaia Konrad

The extension of the exhibition will be shown in a collaborative effort with Depo, Istanbul.

30 November, 18.00 – 21.00

1 December 2010 – 9 January 2011

more info:

The changing experiences with time and space formed the post-modern and postcolonial subject, which, according to Fredric Jameson, has been exposed to a loss of maps, and thus attaches less importance to the geographical departure and arrival points than to interim stages, which are mostly perceived in passing, yet producing significant visual, linguistic and cultural codes of interaction, the economic transition flow of the past decades necessitated an increased concentration on various forms of signification in mainly urban environments.

In exploring the new ways of thinking about multiplicity of subject-positions “that begins with the critique of its present conditions (‘being’) in order to embark upon the careful construction of mechanisms of engagement (‘becoming’)”[1], we are interested in how this might offer the possibility of a “new” space. This is intended to produce relational entities in which an interrelation takes place as “an activity of an un-framing […] which leads to a recreation and a reinvention of the subject itself.”[2] This is where “identity-form” can be re-evaluated beyond “I-other” dichotomy beyond representational boundaries.

This brings up a question: how is all this manifested within the realm of creative practice and brought into the spaces of art?

Revealing the rapid transformation of several turning points in pursuing a nexus that constitutes new forms of life within the framework of different topologies is the starting point for the exhibition project No Ifs, No Buts, which focuses on the geopolitical implications of what governs the walls of the East and West divide. The questions of geopolitical topology find themselves addressed in specific cultural conditions. The latter suggests that the sensitiveness of these issues marks the production of cultural spaces reflecting the respective representational politics. It is therefore necessary to engage or share an artistic platform of discussion as one of the remits of this multi-layered project. By discussing radical modes of self-referentiality which allow No Ifs, No Buts, thereby forming counter-strategies to globalised forces which restrict personal space, the exhibition raises questions about trans-cultural forms of geopolitical and economic conditions, which lead to a new mapping of terrains on a visual and discursive level.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[1]’Sullivan, S. and Zepke, S. Deleuze and Contemporary Art, Edinburgh University Press, 2009, p. 2
[2] Guattari, F. Chaosmosis: An Ethicoaesthetic Paradigm. Translated by Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis, Indiana University Press, 1995, p. 131

Esra Ersen

Esra Ersen Link

Brothers & Sisters

video - 23’20“

In the video work Brothers & Sisters, Esra Ersen tries to challenge the usual debates on the migration issue through taking a deeper look at daily life of African refugees who were not able to realize their plans for travelling to central Europe and live illegally in Istanbul in early 2000. In this context Istanbul becomes the exit point where the city functions as the emergence of transit conjunctures for the temporary state of the immigrations beyond the precarious political agenda of status quo.

Ersen’s artistic practice which is mostly built around interaction and making the “demographic politics” visible has been a significant aspect for the pre-production of this particular work. Ersen started filming after spending four months of a dialogue period that define the existential ambiguity with the participants of the work, and she has engaged with a critique of the present conditions (‘being’) reflecting the tinted ignorance of the immigration phenomena within Turkey through subjective stories.

Daniel Knorr

Daniel Knorr Link

Architecture Bucureşti 2001/2005

Courtesy of Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group

The work Architecture Bucuresti 2001/2005 consists of 26 unique photographs made by Nea’ Costica, a street portrait photographer, after the instructions of the artist. The photographs deal with urban wasteland and the construction as well as deconstruction of new and old buildings. The phase of urban transformation of Bucharest is shown in these photographs, which are made with an old-fashioned plate camera, referencing to the uniqueness of each photograph, which exists in both positive and negative prints, showing the ambiguities of Bucharest’s changing urban outlook. The black-and white images convey a spooky character of the town as a place where corruption and dubious business is still under way. Meeting the standards set by the EU is still a difficult task for a city, which is gradually adapting to the overarching European norms. Reforms in urban planning become a task which still seems difficult to tackle with regard to the city’s past and future.

Aglaia Konrad

Aglaia Konrad Link

Desert Cities


Aglaia Konrad focuses a direct gaze on cities such as Cairo, Alexandria, and Anwar el Sadat. This is not classic architectural or documentary photography: her way of seeing things is unadorned and draws our attention straight to the history of the real setting. The photographs show the application of “modernist” principles to architectural development in desert landscapes. They spotlight an improbable dialogue between imported models and vernacular elements, constructions and sites, desert and communities, modernity and tradition (catalogue description). People moving into these buildings try to find a new exclusivity for social as well as living standards. Yet, many of these new housing projects from the 1990s are already falling into ruins and got abandoned; raising questions about the necessity for such grand endeavours far from traditional traffic routes. How do deserts attract attention and how easily are the dreams of utopian places destroyed? Konrad’s photographs are testimony to these unusual developments.

supported by:

Stadt Wien - Kulturabteilung MA 7

grafisches Element