Kunsthalle Wien

1989. End of History or Beginning of the Future?

09 Oct 2009 - 07 Feb 2010

Mauerfall 1989. Begrussung einreisender DDR-Bumger am Grenzubergang Helmstedt, © Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung (Berlin), Heiko Specht (Sammelbildnachweis)
1989. END OF HISTORY OR BEGINNING OF THE FUTURE?
Comments on a Paradigm Shift

KUNSTHALLE wien, hall 1,

October 09th, 2009 - February 07th, 2010

The Kunsthalle Wien’s major autumn show focuses on a historical event: twenty years ago, in the annus mirabilis 1989, the opening of the Iron Curtain marked the upheaval of an epoch that ushered in the end of the Cold War and created an entirely novel geopolitical and mass-psychological situation. The breath of history wafted through the collective consciousness, and an incredulous “Wow!” was on everybody’s lips. Utopias were buried, and new, hitherto undreamt-of scenarios of the future unfolded. Cold and hot wars and the routine of Communist oppression and shortage were followed by a period of ruptures in which various nationalist and religious fundamentalist movements returned, while the current financial crisis nurtures doubts concerning the functional efficiency of a socially irresponsible “predatory capitalism.”

The exhibition investigates the metaphors connected with the collapse of the bipolar division of the world into East and West and the political upheaval, metaphors that are more than ever of relevance for a wide variety of different spheres of life. A highlight of the show will be Ilya & Emilia Kabakov’s installation The Big Archive (1993) taking up an area of 160 square meters. The subtle comment-ators of Soviet everyday life will lead the visitor through claustrophobic rooms whose atmosphere will make them feel as if part of the queues of a bureaucratic administrative apparatus. The seismographically sensitive contributions presented in the show provide food for thought concerning major, not always easy to grasp changes.

Curators: Gerald Matt, Cathérine Hug

participating artists:
Marina Abramovic, Sergei Bugaev Afrika, Chantal Akerman, Alighiero Boetti, Christoph Büchel und Giovanni Carmine, Erik Bulatov, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Chen Danqing, Harun Farocki und Andrej Ujica, Rainer Ganahl, Johan Grimonprez, Hans Haacke, Stephan Huber, Anna Jermolaewa, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Komar & Melamid, Alexander Kosolapov, Barbara Kruger, Lars Laumann, Josephine Meckseper, Jonas Mekas, Boris Mikhailov, Marcel Odenbach, Nam June Paik, Martin Parr, Ewa Partum, Susan Philipsz, Marek Piwowski, Pushwagner, Neo Rauch, Pedro Reyes, Nedko Solakov, Song Dong, Jane & Louise Wilson

Historical Background
The exhibition is accompanied by a documentary presentation of the historical events.
Concept: Univ.-Prof. DDr. Oliver Rathkolb, Universität Wien

Accompanying program
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive program of panel discussions and lectures, developed in close cooperation with IFK (International Research Center for Cultural Studies, Vienna), the Polish Institute, Vienna, the Bruno Kreisky Forum, the Embassy of the United States of America, and the Austrian Association for Cultural Policy.
 

Tags: Marina Abramović, Chantal Akerman, Alighiero Boëtti, Christoph Büchel, Erik Bulatov, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Po-i Chen, Song Dong, Harun Farocki, Rainer Ganahl, Johan Grimonprez, Hans Haacke, Stephan Huber, Anna Jermolaewa, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Alexander Kosolapov, Barbara Kruger, Lars Laumann, Josephine Meckseper, Jonas Mekas, Komar & Melamid, Boris Mikhailov, Marcel Odenbach, Nam June Paik, Martin Parr, Ewa Partum, Susan Philipsz, Rainer Fetting, Neo Rauch, Pedro Reyes, Nedko Solakov, Jane & Louise Wilson