This starting point also includes the question as to the representative functions bestowed on the word
feminism, and, knowing of the historicity of the discourse, how it can be possible to posit a distinct feminism as an approach
within a subjectively informed ethics of adequate behavior. This means not merely negotiating contexts in the light of their
preconditions and in symbolic terms, but also including already existing arrangements within different systems and institutions
in conceptual and formal decisions concerning the production of different formats, and editing these accordingly.
This conceptual context can thus be transferred to other systems too, which would mean that all knowledge, including knowledge
of our own symbolically connoted projections, is included in the work at hand. Perception of the format chosen in each case
would be subject to adjustment, given the presence of other formats operating within the same field. Representative proxyship
and the arbitrary characteristics of conventional ascription would be eliminated. It is the specific advantage and achievement
of art to resist such unambiguous or determinate orders and to engage critically with them. The problem here lies with the
assumption as to the symbolic value of the exhibition format itself, and the conventional belief that an exhibition can truly
represent or make a case for a certain context. This assertion is usually brought in correspondingly organized textual formats
that propose contexts and ways of reading, often by drawing on a claim to a popular relevance that is not specifically named.
Here too, it would be preferable to see the structure of exhibiting not exclusively as the result of linguistic orders of
representation but rather to consider and create the exhibition entity in itself, such that it becomes its own structuring
language and content.
I believe that this would be both possible and do justice to the field of exhibition
making. Representation can and must be one of many aspects included in work on this kind of structure. Parallel processes
of reflection on representation and on subjectivity, and the materialized decisions that emerge from these, seem to me to
be an adequate method. Empathizing in this way with the structures of artistic production means deploying control by means
of a selection of already self-empowered position and claims, making use of the specific quality of art, positing art’s speculative
evidence in the service of meta-level statements, and guiding art to become its own text in its own format.
As a consequence, the question arises as to how contemporary art production may situate itself between historicity and self-assertion
or between the negativity inscribed into it and the possibility of speculative positivity. In particular, it seems important
to me in this context to ask how far and in what form artistic strategies make use of the popular and also operate increasingly
within its contexts. Can a difference to other areas of social production still be maintained? How far is artistic production,
and at the same time the representation system of its dissemination, a lackey of its own dialectic of innovation harnessed
to market strategies? From this perspective, conceptual and dissemination systems are always positioned within the bounds
of their own indirect reality and the reality they disseminate. It is precisely at this juncture that the inclusion and exclusion
of power systems take place. I believe that awareness of all of this, and the conceptual deployment of this awareness under
the premise of a decisive assessment of all the elements available, will lead to a qualitatively more interesting approach.
The inevitably deviating concepts and formats that this engenders thus barely seem to be vulnerable to the claims made by
The graphic concept of this exhibition follows this thinking, using three quotations
on the invitation card, poster, and brochure. These are taken from a conversation between Donna Haraway, Ursula K Le Guin,
and James Clifford,(1) and a lecture by Ursula K Le Guin.(2) One of these quotations provides the title of this exhibition,
while the other two are presented as possible further titles in all the three formats, although the actual title is always
present. The visual graphic concept itself is based on the design of an advertisement from the mid-1980s. The individual elements—title,
image, footnote, and logo—are presented in various different ways in the three formats. In the brochure, the short texts on
the exhibited works are idiosyncratic descriptions of what we see. In some cases, conceptual background information is withheld
and in others it is provided. The style varies subtly from work to work, and the proposed format here plays with an allegedly
objectifying convention of presentation and its habitual forms of expression.
Curated & Text by Melanie
Photos for Download: www.dieangewandte.at/presse
(1) Donna Haraway, “Innocence is not even dreamable” and “We need more than one term for these big things,” in Ursula
K Le Guin debate con Donna Haraway
, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59bLqzrM2r0&t=3714s. Panel discussion, Ursula
K Le Guin, Donna Haraway, and James Clifford, conference Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet
, AURA: Aarhus University
Research on the Anthropocene, Aarhus, May 08, 2014.
(2) Ursula K Le Guin, “I am older than a hero ever gets,” in Ursula
K Le Guin, Avenali Chair in the Humanities, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovZ6qgTy3SE. Avenali Chair in the Humanities Ursula
K Le Guin in conversation with Professor Michael Lucey, Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley,
Berkeley, February 26, 2013.