museum-of-now-voice-of-reason-exhibition

VOICE OF REASON

OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 20, 2020

12-14 CONTEMPORARY GALLERY, VIENNA

Vera Klimentyeva 

Rocco and his brothers

THE VOICE OF REASON IS SOFT, BUT IT DOES NOT END UNTIL IT HAS MADE ITSELF HEARD.

Siegmund Freud

About the exhibition:

 

Since the age of enlightenment in the 18th century, the concept of reason has been a central aspect of human action. It determines our everyday decisions and acts as our inner compass. 

In the political context, reason takes on a new dimension. The clear distinction between reason and unreason is no longer universally valid but varies according to the point of view and argumentation.

Thus, in the field of politics, Hannah Arendt differs between “factual truths” and “rational truths”, whereby factual truths are far more often disregarded within the political discourse.

The title of the exhibition “Voice of Reason” refers to one of Norbert Hofer’s electoral slogans in the Austrian federal presidential election of 2016. As one of the most polarising candidates for this office in the history of the country. His personal interpretation of the concept of reason is diametrically different from the rational understanding of 53.8 percent of voters, for whom a vote for Hofer’s opponent Alexander van der Bellen was the sensible option at that time.

The exhibition “Voice of Reason” focuses on the striking element in politics, especially election posters of the FPÖ, which are re-contextualized by the Berlin based artists’ collective Rocco and his brothers in the form of a house of cards. The rhetoric of the posters is continued in an exaggerated form by a video work with sequences of public speeches by the FPÖ candidate for the office of Vienna Mayor 2020, Dominik Nepp.

The exhibition takes place immediately after the Vienna FPÖ’s slump by 23 percent from 30 to seven percentage points. The house of cards stands for the this historic moment. After the party’s years of high results, built on populist rhetoric and fueling of fears, the success was abruptly interrupted by the so-called "Ibiza afair" around Vice Chancellor HC Strache.

VOICES OF REASON

VERA KLIMENTYEVA

ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS

CURATED BY

JAN GUSTAV FIEDLER

Duration of the exhibition:

October 30, 2020 - November 20, 2020
Appointments by arrangement:

gallery@12-14.org
Address and contact:
12-14 contemporary
Schleifmühlgasse 12-14
A-1040 Vienna
www.12-14.org

Vera Klimentyeva’s poster series “Fairy Tales of the Wild East” are a collage of motifs from Russian folklore, political characters, deconstructed heraldry and feminist symbols. In the aesthetics of a card game, these works continue the theme of Rocco and his brothers’ House of Cards and address the spectrum of power, transfiguration of the past and political oppression practiced by ruling forces.

More specifically, the position of “The Nine” deals with political grievances. Nine shiny black combat policemen, cast in earthenware and reduced to the shape of the traditional Nevaliashka doll combined with the iconic protective visor of the special units form a perfect unit. The Nevaliashka Doll is a stand-up manikin that always swings back to its original position. It functions as a metaphor for the almost untouchable police forces. They have no consequences to fear for their actions, regardless if they are right or wrong. This is also decisively reflected in the materiality of the figures. The flawless surface suggests a decent guardian of the law, but behind the façade, violence, corruption and abuse of power

prevail.

For politics, art has always been a means of articulating power, and in the recent past it has increasingly used a bold approach, as in the fascist, communist and socialist propaganda posters of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. In current election campaigns, the parties also rely on the power of images. Depending on their political orientation, the motifs can be calming, stirring, disturbing, hopeful or organic. Each party builds its own rhetoric house of cards, with a message that is easy to understand, often in buzzwords or oversimplified, and depending on how solid its foundation is, it grows steadily or implodes as soon as the respective policy is no longer up to date.

The exhibition “Voice of Reason” is an attempt to articulate the current political climate artistically, whether by presenting election posters and speeches in a new context or by finding  a new formal language through the fusion of traditional symbols and contemporary social challenges.

In cooperation with

VERA KLIMENTYEVA

Voice of Reason exhibition

Vienna, 2020

very-klimentyeva-museum-of-now.jpg
rocco-and-his-brothers-house-of-cards-mu

ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS

House of Cards

Voices of Reason exhibition

Vienna 2020

VERA KLIMENTYEVA

Voice of Reason exhibition

Vienna, 2020

museum-of-now-voice-of-reason-exhibition
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