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Europe: Ancient Future

Catalog, 2021
17,0 × 24,0cm, 160 pages
New release

The catalog was published on the occasion of the exhibition Europe: Ancient Future (23.04.2021 – 15.08.2021) at HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark.

On the occasion of its institutional launch, the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark focuses on the concept of Europe with the extensive exhibition project Europe: Ancient Future. The exhibition brings together selected ideas on the subject of Europe and sheds light on them beyond common attributions and pragmatic criteria. Of particular importance for the exhibition are various forms of retro-futurism, i.e. forms of the future that refer to the past: With recourse to ancient and partly mythological concepts, we want to contribute to the understanding of Europe, to step out of thinking about the status quo and to design a possible "Perfect Futur". It is about the design of a utopia that is aware of its own ephemerality and always already refers to the past. Europe: Ancient Future is thus conceived as an experiment which reflects on transnational communal life in the European area. In doing so, we would like to focus on a Europe of cultural and ideal diversity, to engage with its historically complex starting point. Throughout the exhibition, a mental arc will be traced that stretches from antiquity to the present, focusing on the good relationship of the individual to both local and international communities. The search for a critical balance between the individual and the group already characterized ancient Greece; Aristotle, for example, emphasized an egalitarian approach to society without undermining the autonomy of the individual. These considerations have recently been taken up and further developed in contemporary discourse by the American political scientist Danielle Allen. Allen's concern is to develop a new understanding of political freedom and equality, centered on democratic participation and self-empowerment. Beyond its economic and political developments, Europe is to be foregrounded as a cultural-historical project, analyzed for its utopian potential.

The exhibition Europe: Ancient Future works with stories and ideas from the perspective of the invited artists whose images and works refer to a past that radiates to our present and its possible future. About a dozen renowned artists deal in very different and yet very specific terms with the broad theme that, for all its contrasts, holds together the interest in a good interplay between the individual and society, which since antiquity has been constantly reformulated and rehearsed with playful seriousness.

Artists:

Jimmie Durham, Haris Epaminonda, Ira Goryainova, Renée Green, Franz Kapfer, Barbara Kapusta, Jutta Koether, Oliver Laric, Shahryar Nashat, Steven Parrino, Franco Vaccari, James Welling, Franz West.

Europe: Ancient Future