ReTopia

ONLINE: Screening Chapter #6,

ReTopia acknowledges ‘post-socialism’ not only as a continental but also as a global phenomenon, though with palpable regional specificity and intensity. Looking back and forth and sideways in search of a radically different “extended now” (Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová), the chapter examines transitions and modes of remembrance, refusing to consider historical processes only as the linear sedimentation of images, gestures, and practices. Using repetition and recombination as an endless non-arrival, the works presented in ReTopia seek out the cracks in the ossified normalization of objectivized knowledge and its anaesthetic effects. What practices and articulations are needed to pass on embodied historical knowledge? Why can ‘revolutions’ not be accumulated in similar ways to how ‘innovations’ are inherited and re-used? The works by Marwa Arsanios, Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Renata Poljak, belit sağ, and Katrin Winkler turn to the wounds constantly re-opened by the violence of binarity. However, they do not look back in anger, shame, or melancholy to the battles won – only to be lost again within the post… Rather they return to and turn away from the fallacies of modernity, in a search for embodied knowledge that is never comfortable or easy, but always important and sometimes even pleasurable. What if this were also the place for intersectional, queer feminisms within a history understood in terms of class, anti-colonialist, and posthumanist struggle?

ReTopia has emerged against a backdrop of ‘temporary archives’: re.act.feminism (2008-2013), a travelling performing archive Bettina Knaup initiated together with Beatrice E. Stammer; and Perpetuum Mobile The Artotheque, a collection of videos and other digitized works involving the simple act of giving, initiated within the Living Archive (2011-2015) by feminist curatorial collective Red Mined.

Bettina Knaup and Katja Kobolt

  • Signals From Roots To Leaves approaches the Botanical Garden in Olomouc as a site where post-socialist and post-colonial ecologies and cultures intersect. Here, Agave, Ceiba, Rubber tree, Reeds and Carnation who live in the palm house, the subtropical greenhouse and under the open sky in Olomouc are convened together with a group of artists and healers whose work and knowledge resonates with specific trans*species connections and ecological histories they carry.

    → See the screening dates in the Program

  • The screening chapter ReTopia acknowledges “post-socialism” not only as a continental but also as a global phenomenon, though with palpable regional specificity and intensity. It looks at transitional shifts and modes of remembrance of historical processes that evoke forms – rejected, outmoded, disposed from power, gender political, architectural, and even full of potential. Without being afraid of utopian ideology, it looks back and forth and sideways in search of radically different futures. Both curators, Bettina Knaup and Katja Kobolt ask these questions against the backdrop of their individual and collective endeavors to create “temporary archives”: re.act.feminism (2009-2013), a travelling performing archive Bettina Knaup initiated with Beatrice E. Stammer; and Perpetuum Mobile. The Artotheque, a collection of videos and other digitized works initiated by feminist curatorial collective Red Mined within the Living Archive (2011-2015) through the simple act of giving.

    → See the screening dates in the Program

  • Entwining autobiographical, historical, and fictional narratives, this screening program examines generational, personal, and political frictions, breaks and entanglements, taking place in the dystopian context of post-1989. The tension bears down on the sphere of the personal and the political maintained through the relationship of the four figures: the figure of Neighbor, the figure of Mother, the figure of Lover and the figure of Other.

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  • The chapter examines the body as a collective, as a singular entity, as a social choreography of an alliance of states, as an organless, cognitive-capitalist, cerebral network, as a corporeal reading instrument of past, former socialist indices, as a place of textual and discursive inscription, but also as a genuine place of affective encounters and material practices. The curators focus on video works and films that flare up the affective, somaesthetic, relational and transformative potentials of the body after 1989 / 1991.

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  • Political protocol tends to dispossess, overwrite, and refurbish unwanted narratives. Parallel to this, there are new agencies that enhance the intersections, reciprocities, and movements between bodies, spaces, objects, and memories. The video art and experimental film works of COSMOS COSMETICS: Unresting Memoryscapes and Corpofictions are concerned with architectural, corporeal, and phantasmatic materializations of internalized mnemonic, and bio-political regimes. Meanwhile they address surface porosities and subcutaneous layers of post-socialist cities. Hence this chapter of screenings in D’EST brings together artistic strategies and methods for unsettling, decontaminating, and queering artificial mono-histories, which stem from the urge to untag and distance the subject from the constraints of conformity, imposed belonging to a certain ethnic group or community, and identitarian politics in general.

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  • The changing role and function of language before and after the “transition” cannot be discussed without considering the dimension of authoritarian speech acts in the last phase of socialism. Anthropologist Alexei Yurchak shares the observation that during the authoritarian speech act, sign and reference, language and gesture, word and action merge into each other. This thesis is the foundation for an understanding of the variety of linguistic and performative experiments in post-socialist video art. The curators will focus on video works that reflect upon shifts in language and meaning and employ diverse silent, verbal, performative, activist, and other strategies to discuss collective and personal memory, identity, power relations, gender roles, and socio-political change.

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  • The curatorial selection The Suspension and Excess of Time explores the role of time within a period of radical political, social, and economical change. The selected video works focus on the changes different societies were going through during the Perestroika era, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the soviet empire. Paying tribute to speculative temporalities, curators Becker and Seehusen will trace people’s everyday experiences in the former “East” and “West” before and after 1989 / 1991.

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  • In 1957, Roland Barthes stated that in “Western” mythology the USSR would be a world halfway between the Earth and Mars to exemplify that the communist world was considered as foreign as another planet. Similar to Barthes’ literary method in his Mythologies book, curator, filmmaker and artist Xandra Popescu scripted three semi-fictional short stories to introduce major paradigms of her screening program O’ Mystical East and West.

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