"Like an Attali Report, but Different: on fiction and political imagination": Kadist Foundation.
The most radical work on view, both artistically and politically, is Yael Bartana's Mary Koszmary, 2007: In this video, leftist author and politician Slawomir Sierakowski gives a speech in English in front of Warsaw's abandoned X-lecia Stadium. After 1989, this stadium was used for the informal trafficking of cheap goods under the name "Jarmark Europa." The speech begins with the words: "Let the three million Jews that Poland has missed ... return to Poland, to your country." These words, in this place, are a provocative reflection of Polish-Jewish relations from the anti-Semitic campaigns of the late 1960s to the present, with its neoliberal forms of nationalism and anti-Semitism.
The exhibition gives plenty of room to the individual works, both in the space itself and in the curatorial setting, so that they are allowed to develop a certain autonomy and to position themselves with respect to the theme through their specific narratives. The mention of the Attali Report--a recent plan "for the liberation of French growth" by economist and political consultant Jacques Attali--places the exhibition in its immediate context, i.e., French current affairs. But its actual timeliness comes from an understanding of "political imagination" as having the power to turn us into subjects in an emancipatory sense.
In his autobiographical film Fast Trip, Long Drop, 1993, Gregg Bordowitz poignantly documents the time immediately following his contraction of HIV in 1988 with humor, intimacy, and the directness of a committed activist--reflecting his multiple identities as a Jewish son, as a young man in his midtwenties facing death, and as a member of ACT UP. In the film, Bordowitz says, "I am AIDS," a climactic moment for the entire exhibition, one in which heightened emotion and political subjectivization are expressed through language.
Translated from German by Laura Hoffmann.
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|Date:||Nov 1, 2008|
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