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Eurotopia. What is Your Europe?

Roman Agora, Athens

Photo: HK

The Open Call Eurotopia. What is Your Europe? is an integral component to our upcoming exhibition Europe: Ancient Future, curated by Sandro Droschl set to open the newly formed HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark in April 2021.

Europe: Ancient Future presents an extensive selection of international contemporary positions that focus on the history of ideas, myths, values and ruptures of a – currently rather reserved – united Europe, which is being examined beyond its economic and political developments as a hotly debated cultural-historical project with utopian potential.

Evoking the political philosopher Danielle Allen, we would like to ask: who has power and, based on which institutional structures, resources and possibilities? Could it be that in recent decades, in the shadow of an abstract liberal ideal of equality, we have forgotten how to see the concrete power relations and inequalities of our societies – and have therefore been relatively unprepared for the new economic upheavals and right-wing populist mobilizations?

Allen develops a new understanding of political equality for societies of great social and cultural diversity. The starting point for her analysis is the relationship between negative and positive rights. In contrast to the influential liberal theory à la Rawls, Allen argues that both should be given equal importance – and thus arrives at a theory of justice based on the principle of difference without domination”. In light of this principle, problems of social cohesion within Europe can be productively addressed. Genuine political equality, according to Allen, can only be realized in democratic societies with strong social ties. To achieve this, differences must be endured and new cultures of interaction must be established.

The Open Call invites artists, and thinkers to acknowledge the cultural assemblage of a European living reality, and to imagine a utopia that allows for a multitude of perspectives.

We ask for your thoughts and artworks to further unpack, question or strengthen the transnational connections that are a defining feature of contemporary Europe. This Open Call probes the political and social significance of a pluralistic society and makes a case for incorporating transnationalism more systematically into the future imagination of Europe.

With their project nextmu​se​um​.io, the Museum Ulm and the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf are exploring the question of how digital means can be used to make more democracy in the art world possible. The questioning of institutional work by nextmu​se​um​.io thus reflects the themes of the exhibition Europe: Ancient Future exhibition: What should the museum of the future look like? What should the Europe of the future look like?

With nextmu​se​um​.io, the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and the Museum Ulm have developed a digital platform on which curators, artists and institutions, as well as visitors and all those interested can participate in the conception of exhibitions. The cross-institutional platform nextmu​se​um​.io invites you to actively participate in shaping cultural spaces and to create new ways of participation and empowerment. The methodology strongly resonates with the deep-seated interest in the further development and new emphasis on democracy, the central theme of the exhibition Europe: Ancient Future”.

We kindly ask you to submit works that allow us to see a variety of European Futures: What is your Europe? Is it a utopia or reality? Where do you see yourself represented?

All contributions will be accessible online via the platform nextmu​se​um​.io and via the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark website of the institution. Selected pieces will be highlighted through an inhouse event and, if possible, discussed with protagonists who will be invited to Graz.

The submissions will be reviewed editorially and only then put online. The editorial team reserves the right to disregard unsuitable contributions without giving reasons.

Roman Agora, Athens

Photo: HK