Individual Order investigates how diverse artistic strategies, seemingly humble or even invisible, can unfold as gestures of resistance; ultimately as instruments for radical change. Can moments of absence, immateriality, and small individual interventions literally and metaphorically transform a situation? And if so, how can these strategies maintain a reflective or critical relationship to the surrounding world while remaining almost unnoticeable as actions?
The conceptual works showcased at KARST unravel various stories as poetic comments on political situations, or even disturbances of the order of things, and provide unexpected encounters and absurd actions that rediscover the expressive possibilities of the individual against a normative standardised society.
Partly inspired by Julia Kristeva’s writings – discussing ‘what there is to revolt against’- the exhibition questions the failure and defeat of rebellious ideologies by unrestrained consumerism, and examines the role these individual acts can still play. Immaterial labour, especially in critical work, is hard to value as a commodity in a global market. However, through the psychoanalysis of Freud, Kristeva states that happiness exists only at the price of a revolt; ‘None of us has pleasure without confronting an obstacle, prohibition, authority or law that allows us to realise ourselves as autonomous and free‘. By representing absence, the loss of old foundations, the fragility of memory and the ambiguity ahead, there is potential to live with these insights; perhaps these are the cornerstones on which to build a new future.
The selection of international artists includes major players of historical importance, as well as prominent emerging figures. Mexico based but Belgian born artist Francis Alÿs is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading contemporary artists; in 2010 Tate Modern hosted a major touring retrospective of his work. Graciela Carnevale has also cemented her place in art history as a member of a notorious 1960’s Argentinian artist’s collective’ Grupo de Arte de Vanguardia de Rosario’. Adrian Piper is a first-generation conceptual artist and philosophy professor at Harvard, and a major international tour of her work was held between 2002-04. Jirí Kovanda on the otherhand is a leading figure of Czech ‘actionism’ in the late 1970s. Emerging artists Carlos Bunga (Barcelona), Karolina Erlingsson (Sweden), Maider López (Spain) are gaining international prominence as noteworthy contemporary artists, and have all exhibited extensively.
Thanks to: Adrian Piper Research Archive / APRA Foundation Berlin, Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, United States, Elba Benitez Gallery, Madrid, Jasper Architects And Associates, Buenos Aires, Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, Krobath Gallery, Austria, Plymouth Arts Centre, Raul Ortega, Reynaldo Ricart , translator, Valentina Millitello, Graphic Designer, Rosario.