Performative Screenings #53: Center of Unfinished Business

school, Vienna, Austria
18 May 2018

Photo: C&

Photo: C&


For instance, what do Emil Nolde and his friends from the German expressionist group “Die Brücke” have to do with colonialism? Well, just take a look at their romanticized, ignorant and stereotypical images of the “beautiful, free savages” overseas. Why a book about Wall Street and the Occupy movement? Because the centuries-old practice of removing and selling goods from the African continent and other places beyond Euro-America is the foundation of many successful listed companies operating globally today. What is a novel by Alexander Pushkin doing here? In case you didn’t already know: Pushkin was Black – a fact that was somehow “forgotten” in most accounts of history. And how are standard works such as Ernst Gombrich’s art history compendium “Die Geschichte der Kunst” connected to colonial legacies? There are so many books claiming to provide a comprehensive overview of (art) history while completely ignoring everything outside of Euro-America – sometimes it is important to literally put one’s finger on the gaps to disclose problematic narrations of history.

The platform Contemporary And (C&) conceived by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba is a dynamic space for the reflection on and linking together of ideas, discourse and information on contemporary art practice from diverse African perspectives.

C& Center of Unfinished Business is a reading room offering visitors an extraordinary, sometimes disconcerting selection of books that are linked to the topic of colonialism in various ways – from a history book on German colonies to a fashion book on the sappeurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo all the way to an analysis of capital markets in the 21st century. The walk-in book case structure can be used from diverse perspectives and was exclusively developed to travel to different places where it can be used in a variety of ways again and again.

With OBJECTS FOR SETTINGS #5 school has developed a location-specific book case variation for C& Center of Unfinished Business in Vienna.

book case structure

7-11 pm

Screening, Reading Performance

8 pm


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