The large-scale group exhibition Systems of Belief brings together artistic positions that explore alternative belief systems. In a world in which political and ecological states of emergency determine everyday life, constants of social life such as science, economics and politics are increasingly being put to the test in public debates. As individuals, as a society and as an entire ecosystem, we are currently facing great challenges. Challenging, even overwhelming, is often the subjective processing of the complex world events that flow into us through various streams of information and shape our view of the present.
With almost limitless power, anonymized and algorithmized sources of communication often seem to have an impact on our perception. Their technological and digital structures and systems are expressions of technocratic mechanisms that shape our public sphere: evidence-based information and analysis techniques, meticulous organizational plans and smooth processes drive our political and social apparatuses that are barely tangible but omnipresent. In this depersonalizing and metaphysical sphere of technological processes, any form of irrational action within those apparatuses seems impossible. The exhibition Systems of Belief takes this supposed space of the impossible as its point of departure and, through the perspectives of different generations of artists, attempts to penetrate worlds in which technology is not used for the purpose of conformist regulations, but becomes a generator of disorder, an expression of unorthodox dogmas and spiritual self-knowledge and self-realization.
Through the perspective of these different positions, Systems of Belief not only makes it possible to reflect on the relationship between ideological or spiritual self-realization through the use and subversion of technological means, but also a reflection on the system of art. The existence of some of the artists shown here on the periphery of the established art system reveals it to be an apparatus shaped by rules and dogmas that functions on the basis of mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion as well as “systemic” belonging.
Curated by Cathrin Mayer
In the parallel program of steirischer herbst 2022