The new flagship store PCFS, an exhibition of exquisite products and unusual services from the post-colonial world, opens at the freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL on 2 October 2014.
The ‘Post Colonial Flagship Store (PCFS)’ exhibition project (concept: Sven Kalden and Georg Klein) showcases artworks camouflaged as consumer goods, and engages with a new, surreptitious form of colonialism. The Flagship Store is what the colonial store was a hundred years ago, offering a ‘cleaner’ consumer world today, albeit one all too frequently based on the exploitation of low-wage countries.
European and international artists reference the colonial background of their respective countries and its impact on contemporary life. Dependence, opportunities, hopes, and issues of identity are addressed, as are global investment strategies and the migration of labour.
The works by the artists from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America are presented as ‘commercial products’ or as ‘service agencies’ in a shopping mall, the modern manifestation of the general store.
For example, Mansour Ciss Kanakassy (SEN) is opening an African bank that supplies the AFRO as a counterpart to the EURO. Erik Paurhizi (INA) and Weismann+Klein (SUI/GER) engage with the colonial tradition of exploiting raw materials in Indonesia and make them ‘palatable’ to Western customers in an innovative way. Israel Martinez (MEX) presents the soundtrack to the ‘Mexican Drug War’, engaging with the drug trade as a subject, its violent impact in Mexico and its business involvements with the USA.
The giant clothes of Lamyne Mohamads (CMR/FRA), which are made to Chinese patterns but with African fabrics, comment on the current massive Chinese invasion of the African continent. In turn, Mario Asef (ARG) describes present-day colonization by means of the ‘Argentine ant’, which has already reached the shores of the Mediterranean using strategies similar to the Spanish colonizers of olden times and has now conquered the whole of Europe. Also engaging with the Europeans is the Ghanaian agency of Gudrun Widlok (GER/GHA), which arranges the sponsorship of old, lonely Europeans by an extended African family. The project is now being expanded with young, European volunteers, who are more likely to find help in Africa than to be helpful there themselves.
The ‘exponents’ reflect the subject of economic neo-colonialism in both content and their form of presentation. By deliberately playing with the character of commercial goods, visitors are enticed by forms of modern colonialism. Global brands often have their showrooms designed like art exhibitions – this exhibition reverses the trend and allows the artists’ works to appear in an entirely branded consumer world: the ‘PCFS Flagship Store’.
The exhibition is accompanied by a program of film screenings, workshops for children and young adults etc.
Exhibition concept: Georg Klein and Sven Kalden
Curatorial collaboration: Bernhard Draz and Joachim Seinfeld
Mario Asef (ARG)*, Nasrin Abu Baker (ISR/PSE)*, Bernhard Draz (GER)*, La Vie en Bô / Agnès Guipont (FRA)*, Sven Kalden (GER)*, Mansour Ciss Kanakassy (SEN)*, Georg Klein (GER)*, Ingeborg Lockemann (GER)*, Ernst Logar (AUT), Israel Martinez (MEX)*, Lamyne Mohamad (CMR/FRA)*, Erik Pauhrizi (INA)*, Joachim Seinfeld (GER)*, Signe Theill (GER)*, Steffi Weismann (SUI)*, Gudrun F. Widlok (GER/GHA)*
*Artists-in-Residence of quartier21/MuseumsQuartier
‘PCFS – Post Colonial Flagship Store’ is organized in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and International Affairs.
PCFS – Post Colonial Flagship Store
Duration: 3 Oct to 23 Nov, Tue to Sun 1pm to 7pm, admission free
Press preview: Thursday 2 Oct at 9:30am
Opening: Thursday 2 Oct at 7pm
Location: freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL/MuseumsQuartier Wien