The Austrian Cultural Forum in NYC presents the exhibition “1989: The End of History or the Beginning of the Future? Video Art Comments on a Paradigm Shift”, featuring work by Harun Farocki & Andrej Ujica.
Featuring 15 films from international artists, the show is on view from November 2 to 24, 2009. It will include two panel discussions pertaining to aspects of repression and revolution, politics of memory, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the hopes and delusions connected to the alleged end of history, presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Kunsthalle Wien in cooperation with the Czech Center, the Hungarian Cultural Center and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
1989: Twenty years ago, who would have dared to hope that the dictatorial regimes of Central and Eastern European communism would be swept away one after the other in the wake of mass protests? Within a few years, democratic constitutions and market economy structures were introduced. However, this process also caused pains, clashes and heated conflicts about the directions for the future and the interpretation of the past. The “annus mirabilis” 1989 became a historical mark from the perspective of ideology, culture, and mass psychology. Eric Hobsbwam’s “short twentieth century” came to an end. Even if most of the dividing lines within Europe have been dissolved by now, many borders still haven’t disappeared in people’s minds. Nationalistic ideologies, xenophobic and racist movements have surged alongside European integration and globalization. While new neighbors – long separated by the Iron Curtain – have begun to learn about each other, they have also started to experience new problems of migration and acculturation. The selection of films for 1989: The End of History or the Beginning of the Future? was guided by asking how artists, and in particular video artists, have reacted to these changes.
Participating artists: Marina ABRAMOVIC, Josef DABERNIG, Thomas DRASCHAN, Harun FAROCKI with Andrej UJICA, Anna JERMOLAEWA, Johanna KANDL, Jonas MEKAS, Csaba NEMES, Jakub NEPRAS, Marcel ODENBACH, Marek PIWOWSKI, PUSHWAGNER, Joanna RAJKOWSKA, Isa ROSENBERGER, Nedko SOLAKOV, Miha ŠTRUKELJ, Magda TOTHOVA.
Curators: Gerald MATT, Andreas STADLER