Resistance and Amnesia #2 – On Failed Utopias, Living Myths, and Coloniality Today

KUNSTPAVILLON, Innsbruck, Austria
18 Jun 2015 - 01 Aug 2015

Resistance and Amnesia #2 – On Failed Utopias, Living Myths, and Coloniality Today

Widerstand und Amnesie #2, Kunstpavillon, 2015 (QUER). Raumansicht- Arbeiten von Raja'a Khalid, Annalisa Cannito, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa (v.l.n.r.)

The exhibition was being produced in the frame of the International Fellowship Program for Art and Theory in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen 2014–15. Its participants are this year’s grantees of the Fellowship Program, artists Bisan Abu-EishehAnnalisa CannitoRaja’a Khalid and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa. Their fields of artistic investigation and the themes they are handling in the context of the Fellowship Program in Büchsenhausen formed the starting point of the exhibition concept.

The exhibition in the Kunstpavillon is the continuation of the exhibition already shown at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen in autumn/winter 2014 Resistance and Amnesia – On the Formation of Social Memory. Resistance and Amnesia #2 reveals moments of post-colonial amnesia in Europe’s public memory in an attempt to initiate a process to overcome them, thus reconstructing remembrance. In the course of this process, the aim is to question the (re-)gained knowledge with regard to its current relevance. The certainties generated by overcoming amnesia may unfold an emancipatory dynamic in the present day, which has the capacity to activate resistance against growing asymmetries between the global North and South – which go hand in hand, in their turn, with emerging inner social and economic asymmetries.

So what connects the political internment of a Palestinian communist by the Israeli regime in 1980, Mussolini’s call for donations of gold from the Italian population in order to finance the war against Ethiopia in 1935, the construction of the first luxury holiday resort in the Caribbean, in the former British colony of Jamaica, in 1953, the settlement of former Polish and Ukrainian prisoners of war by Lake Victoria, East Africa in 1941, and the opening of a mausoleum for a fascist war criminal in a small Italian village near Rome in 2012? All of these are manifestations of a process whose origins go back to the late 15th century, to the “discovery” of America: the global expansion of European modernity as a subalternizing system. The apparently disparate events taking place over a period of 80 years are all characterized by a colonial or post-colonial impetus to power – in short, by coloniality. This exhibition recounts its forms, effects, and origins.

Concluding exhibition curated by Andrei Siclodi

Opening: Wed June 17, 2015, 7.pm., KUNSTPAVILLON 

Place: KUNSTPAVILLON, Rennweg 8a, 6020 Innsbruck

Duration of exhibition: 18.06. – 01.08.2015