From Plato’s world of ideas, the proclaimed renunciation of all earthly matters in Medieval Christianity, and all the way to the modern formation of the human and natural sciences reality has been divided into fundamental opposites: Spirit/body, culture/nature, male/female, West/East etc.
Ever since the 1960s – for instance conceptual art’s exploration of aesthetic rationality, the preoccupation with gender in body art and performance, and more recently the direct involvement of the public by so-called relational aesthetics – art has been engaged in a critique of the supremacy assigned to white, heterosexual, middle-aged, male practitioners by binary thinking.
Nowadays, due to the increased access to information and by means of an entire red-hot production and distribution apparatus “the others” are beginning to make their voice heard. However, this emerging global structure is not only part of the solution, it also adds to the problem. Opposition may be the basis of our language – if you can’t say no, it doesn’t really make sense to say yes – and thus the basis of Western thinking, but a similar binary logic – the 0s and 1s of computer programming – is also what controls the digital revolution.
Therefore, on the one hand globalization means further differentiation, but on the other it entails also a whole new level of homogenisation. When finally “the others” are invited to join us, it is because we recognize them as part of ourselves. This paradox is the focal point of two exhibitions that artist and curator Mikkel Carl in collaboration with Woodpecker Projects has organized this year. The first – titled Distinguished from the melee of user comments and Structurally misogynist chat rooms harboring rapid-fire trolls – exclusively showed works by female artists. And now it is time for Some Objects Are More Equal Than Others featuring five artists who are all strangers, not just to the art scene in Malmö, but in fact also to themselves.
The Third World has long since been discovered and launched as the latest fashion at Biennials and art fairs around the world targeted especially the new Third World collectors. The mirage of the Orient is still very much out there, and artists from China, India, the Middle East and Africa are cast to play their part on an art scene primarily directed by the West.
Two years ago, coming out of the blue Leslie Chau (HK), Barry Kanouchek (CA) Huzuni Bahati Kuki (KE), Wolf Insel (DE) and Christian Thoudal (DK) made the exhibition Pidgin, only to vanish into thin air as soon as the show was over.
* On Gallerinatten in Malmö September 28 a video publication will be launched. Stella and Florence’s Syndrome is created by the artists behind the alternative exhibition space YEARS and it’s been shot on site during the exhibition.
Leslie Chau (HK)
Barry Kanouchek (CA)
Huzuni Bahati Kuki (KE)
Wolf Insel (DE)
Christian Thoudal (DK)
Location: IAC, Bergsgatan 29, 214 22 Malmö, Se
The exhibition is curated by Mikkel Carl (DK), initiated and produced by Woodpecker Projects.
With support from
The Danish Arts Council (DK)
The Swedish Arts Council (SE)
Region Skåne (SE)
Malmö Stad (SE)
Inter Art Center (SE)
Accompanying the exhibition Woodpecker Projects published Stella and Florence’s Syndrome, 2013; a video-publication by YEARS (DK) in shape of an intimate, guided tour. While at the same time being a romantic movie the video also challenge the format of the exhibition catalogue and of the publication all together.