With Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Vanessa Gravenor, Gabriella Hirst, Sonja Hornung & Danielle Tognozzi, Nicoleta Moise, Sebastian Moldovan, Ania Nowak, Maryam Tafakory, Meghna Singh & Simon Wood. Curated by Larisa Crunțeanu.
"Dioramas are understanding machines [...] slices of time from the social organisms that created them." (Donna Haraway, Teddy Bear Patriarchy, 1984)
The exhibition Research for Tomorrow. Video-dioramas is a time-sensitive presentation of works and installations that employ documentary methodologies in order to question and respond to a series of issues raised by the legacy left by past generations to new generations (politically, economically, colonially, ecologically, etc.). From the bodies rendered invisible on which the capitalist economy rests to the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) formats that threaten global economic stability, from the privacy by proxy displayed on Iranian television to the landscape of a river confronted with its contemporary droughty version, from the symbiotic existence of a network of mycelial networks surviving in ruins to educational duck and cover cartoons for nuclear war preparations, from the group of women behind the most famous Romanian monumental work of art to the multiple forms through which a broken heart can take control of the body and the path of healing a wounded wing....
In the labyrinthic space of Rezidența 9, each work cuts a slice of the cake of time to balance the precarity of imagining a collective tomorrow, in the context of the overproduction and maximisation of a profoundly individualistic today.
Opening: March 28th, 19:00 - 22:00
Visiting hours: March 29th - April 20th, 2023 Tuesday - Friday: 16:00 - 20:00 Saturday - Sunday: 13:00 - 20:00
Project implemented by White Wave, co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration (AFCN)*.
Project realised with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR), with further support from Goethe-Institut, French Institute, Polish Institute, ARAC, Vag.on, VRStudio.ro, DiscoNotBisco.
*The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the financing.
When are we? And when did this show really start? When you entered the door? When you read the word door? When was that?
Between Presentism and Eternalism, Block Universe and its forever equally existing past, present and future, A-Theory of Time and B-Theory of Time, there seem to be an infinite number of times philosophers thought about time.
In order not to get lost, a particular view, partially shared by Donna Harraway and Sylvain Lazarus, will act as our spotlight. In Lazarus’ work, the ‘politics of time’ hold a key position. According to the philosopher, political struggle is not just a matter of changing material conditions, but also a matter of changing the way we understand and experience time. He argues that dominant ideologies and power structures impose a particular understanding of time on society, which is often designed to maintain the status quo and prevent change. For example, capitalist ideology emphasises the importance of individualism, consumerism, and immediate gratification, which can make it difficult for people to imagine and work towards a different kind of society. In his understanding, in order to challenge dominant power structures and effect real change, it is necessary to develop a different understanding of time and thus to create new temporalities. This requires a kind of "political invention" that involves creating new social practices and institutions that break with the dominant understanding of time and create alternative temporalities. Which leads to his argument that movements like feminism, anti-racism, and workers' struggles are all examples of political invention, insofar as they challenge dominant temporalities and create new possibilities for the future.
"The struggle over time is a struggle over the future. It is a struggle to create new possibilities for the future, to open up new paths, and to break with the past." (from "Time and Politics")
A similar view of time as something impossibly non-neutral, but rather shaped by power relations and cultural assumptions comes from Donna Harraway. Her critical view of linear and teleological understandings of time, which posit a clear beginning and end point for history and see progress as the inevitable result of human action helps further the argument that these understandings of time are often used to justify oppressive political structures and ignore the complex, messy realities of social and ecological relationships.
Her concept of "temporalities" helps understand the passage of time as a bearing of political and politically charged power, that varies greatly for different groups and individuals. She argues that understanding these temporalities is key to creating more just and equitable societies, as it allows us to recognize and challenge the power relations that shape our experiences of time. As an extension of temporalities, chronopolitics is, for Harraway, the equal of Lazarus’ politics of time: "Chronopolitics is about the power to control the flows of time and the distribution of its potentials for change." (from "Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin")
But unlike Lazarus’, Haraway’s perspective on time as a central concept in understanding power relations and political struggles leads back to the concrete. Like many of the works in the show, her writing emphasises the ways in which the control of time is intimately linked to the control of bodies, technologies, and information, which leads to the obvious conclusion: creation of alternative temporalities is a key part of political resistance and change.
The works present in this exhibition explore the complex temporalities of different social and cultural contexts, from the slow, cyclical time of the natural landscape to the fast-paced, constantly changing rhythms of urban existence and media consumption. Through installation art, sound and video, the artists present a multiplicity of perspectives on time, challenging the dominant linear and teleological understandings of history and progress. Yet, as Lazarus and Haraway both argue, the impossibility of escaping time is equally matched by the impossibility of being a non-political subject. Time is always already political, shaped by power relations and cultural assumptions that structure our experiences and understandings of the world. The works in this exhibition demonstrate this reality, where time is a site of struggle and resistance, as well as a space for creativity, performativity, compassion, and collaboration.
By confronting the viewer with the inescapable reality of time and its intimate link to politics and ideology, the show challenges us to reflect on our own experiences of time and the ways in which they are shaped by power relations and cultural assumptions. It invites us to imagine alternative temporalities and to resist the dominant structures of time, while recognizing the impossibility of ever fully escaping its grasp.