International 2011 Archives
Animism, Modernity through the Looking Glass
Generali Foundation, Vienna (Austria)
Press release by E-
Animism. Modernity through the Looking Glass takes up the current broad-
By the end of the nineteenth century, animism is defined as a set of superstitious beliefs, as a "projection" and misapprehension of reality in which the "primitive mind" populates the world with souls and spirits, endowing things and nature with life, agency, and subjecthood. At the height of European colonialism, animism becomes the quintessence of civilization's opposite. To be modern meant to leave animism behind and to separate the world in accordance with the dualist divides that have been in effect since Descartes: soul and body, mind and matter.
The "new" animism -
In the context of a critique of the dualisms and static categories of modernity, anthropologists have recently begun to reassess animism. Avoiding Western notions of what "life," "soul," "self," "nature," "supernatural forces," or "belief" are, can we understand animism as a practice that revolves around different experiences of the relations between subject and object? In light of current ecological, technological, and biopolitical developments, finding novel ways to rethink the boundaries between nature and culture, between human and non-
The exhibition negotiates these boundaries along aesthetic processes in which the museum, as an objectifying and mummifying apparatus, comes under critical scrutiny as well.
The many works in the exhibition use a variety of media and heterogeneous strategies to trace lines of demarcation, thresholds, and transitions across the canonical divisions, displacing, exaggerating, and transforming them. Animism. Modernity through the Looking Glass suggests a revision and decolonization of not only our traditional understanding of animism but also the modern imaginary it articulates.
Exhibition September 16, 2011 -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved
The artists : Agency, Marcel Broodthaers, Adam Curtis, Didier Demorcy, Walt Disney, Jimmie Durham, Eric Duvivier/Henri Michaux, Thomas Alva Edison, León Ferrari, Walon Green, Victor Grippo, Candida Höfer, Luis Jacob, Ken Jacobs, Joachim Koester, Yayoi Kusama, Maxim Komar-
Concept: Anselm Franke
Curators: Anselm Franke with Sabine Folie
Animism is a collaboration between: Extra City – Kunsthal Antwerpen, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA), Kunsthalle Bern, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, and Freie Universität Berlin.