Curated by Caspar Stracke and Gabriela Monroy
September 24-26, 2010
112 Water Street
DUMBO Brooklyn New York
Real Snow White in the Faunautica screening on Fri 24th at 8 pm
"Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand"
Participating artists: Milijana Babic (Rijeka), Phil Collins (Berlin/Glasgow), Johnson & Johnson (Tallinn), Flo Kasearu (Tallinn), OÜ Visible Solutions (Tallinn), R.E.P. group (Kiev), Pilvi Takala (Amsterdam/Helsinki), Sener Özmen & Erkan Özgen (Istanbul) and Katarina Zdjelar (Belgrade/Rotterdam).
Curator: Rael Artel
The exhibition "Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand" is a contributing part of this year's ART IST KUKU NU UT festival that in itself is a preparation and run-up to next year's festival. The subjective study of the contemporary art scene in Tartu, a publication accompanying the project, maps the positions and movements, visions and structures in Tartu as a certain point in time and space. However, the exhibition that forms an annex to this study has a somewhat broader relationship with the topic. The goal is to review and analyze the socio-economic situation that is the inevitable background system for a contemporary cultural production. The work that paves the way for new nuggets of knowledge and cognitive nuances has been performed with the means offered by contemporary art and the study group is composed of a selection of artists who are active in Europe and treat the surrounding environment with a sharp eye. Main working methods include (self-)ironic distancing, demonstrative gestures and ambivalent images of comparison from life itself.
This exhibition "Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand" has no strict center or a certain leading narrative, it should rather be seen as the subjective selection of the various activity logics of "the invisible hand" and our responses to those movements. One must remember that "the invisible hand" that Adam Smith phrased and that became a metaphor for self-regulation in economics is indeed invisible, i.e. we do not see the hand, but rather the result of its action. True, in one case the artists managed to capture the hand on thermal camera, but there is still much unexplained in the hand's micro-movements. It directs, regulates and forces us to act in the ways it want. We are surrounded by the puppet theater of an invisible hand…
All works are penetrated by the parallel, crossing and penetrating topics that we can only start to articulate in keywords. The first topical direction is formed by works that reflect back specifically on the position of art and the artist, reflecting on the creative environment around them – they ridicule the principles of creative economy that the national cultural policy has adapted for them; make (self-)ironical remarks on the social position, survival means, working methods and "client relations"of the artist; visualize the problems of intellectual work. Doesn't it sound ridiculous, this direct, automatic and careless transfer of economic principles to the field of art and cultural production? Do we not talk too often about a mission instead of real income? Is being an artist more a matter of faith than anything else?
Another topical keyword might be the wanna-be mentality as a completely respectable road to a professional position, income, peace of mind. Artists depict – and perhaps secretly also ridicule – the attempts by themselves and other to be better than others, to be someone else, to imitate success and that winning mentality, to hide one's weaknesses, and to talk loudly of great successes. This portion of the works seems to outline this mental space that is filled with dominating values and is shaped by the media, employers, politicians and the entertainment industry. The locally grown neoliberal karaoke-capitalism, the foolish optimism that for years fed the economic boom, the faith in the infinite economic growth and the free market - aren't these the compensation mechanisms for various inferiority complexes that might require us to stop and look around with a (self-)critical eye?
One of the popular understandings of art considers art to be a mirror that should reflect life and reality around us. We wish to satisfy the desires of the greater masses and show our audiences a mirror – in this exhibition there are no myths, only reality itself! While the distortions might be great and the exhibition might seem like a carnival mirror, I feel confident in assuring that life in Tartu, Estonia and the former Eastern Europe really is that distorted and misshapen like a delirious nightmare. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
During the opening of the exhibition on Sept 8h, at 7 pm, a performance-product presentation by Visible Solutions LLC, and at 8 pm a screening of the "dünya dinlemiyor" ("the world won't listen") by Phil Collins will take place.
Y-Gallery Küütri 2,
Opening hours: Tu–Fr 11am–6pm, Sa 12am–4pm