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Kunstverein Medienturm
Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz

Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Wed-Fri 3-6 p.m.
Closed: 19.7.-6.8.2011

Opening: May 27, 7 p.m.
Curator: Sabine Winkler

Thanks to: KulturKontakt Austria, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e. V. (ifa)

exhibition in dialogue with "Der tägliche Aufstand", rotor, Volksgartenstraße 6a, 8020 Graz

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The exhibition is about imaginary, symbolical and real action structures and behaviour patterns. The question about the “real“ conduct is preceded by a general insecurity, which concerns individual and social action structures.

Peter Sloterdijk’s essay „You must change your life“ advocates that practice would become increasingly more necessary as a means to stand the pace with an achievement-oriented society. He thus approaches neo-conservative issues, which understand performance and achievement-oriented action as a prime principle – without studying the life conditions linked to it or seeing their consequences. To what extent does the communication of neo-conservative values influence and impact every day life, work and the private realm without paying enough attention to this development? Are not precarious work conditions, the withdrawal of the welfare state, privatizing, a redistribution from the bottom up, restricted migration politics but also the transference of target- and performance-oriented action in the private realm, for instance in dating, internalized as normal or necessary behavioural patterns? To what extent do those competitive rules determine the individual life conditions and how are they transferred?
The exhibition analyses two phenomena of transference of this development, that has influenced the last three decades: on an imaginary level it is questioned, how far behaviour models propagated in movies and serials also influence private action. Do these role models intend the definition of a self-image and standard behaviour? And are not exactly these behavioural patterns trained in the frame of coaching programmes in order to drill the success-efficiency-formula that is borrowed from the economy and sports and broadcasted in serials? And is this principle of behaviour not transferred to all spheres by embedding these action models in the every day consciousness. The integration of these symbolical social classification systems and the appropriation of the competitive competences linked to it, is presented as necessary means to succeed. The interaction and connections of perception, transference and action shall be explored.

Perceptions which are based on imaginary levels like film and television can influence behavioural patterns or initiate action. For example, the study of certain subjects, behaviour patterns which are ascribed to a certain life style or transport issues of a certain value system, as well as discipline measures can be transferred. Neo-conservative issues are transported by the media and are used as basis for the training of particular behaviour patterns, which shall lead to certain coded action. Performance, increased efficiency, optimization and applicability are thus made the crucial standards of capitalized societies and are sold not only as formula to succeed but as imperative necessity. The claim for an increased performance runs parallel to the economic growth, a development aiming at undermining and abolishing social systems. The interest is focused on an indoctrination of neo-conservative issues, moral concepts and guidelines for action to such an extent that they are internalized in the society with the result that all alternative economic and social action is disparaged as utopian or socialist.

Beside the action patterns that aim to trigger certain behaviour and are trained in coaching programmes, the question of a code of ethics on a real level, beyond standardized action is posed. The confrontation with the real or the resulting action refers to and uncovers these standard structures.

Claudia Aravena Abughosh, Frank Westermayer / Sylvie Boisseau, Daniela Comani, Marianne Flotron, Andrea Geyer, Melanie Gilligan, Ana Husman, Nina Höchtl, Sinisa Labrovic, Stefan Panhans, Dita Pepe / Petr Hrubes, Laura Ribero, Chto delat? / What is to be done, Carey Young

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Ana Husman, Lunch, 2008. Betacam SP, 17'. View: Kunstverein Medienturm, 2011. Photo: Johanna Glösl