Knoll Gallery, Vienna: curated by_Maja and Reuben Fowkes – #underthestars

curated by_Maja and Reuben Fowkes: #underthestars

Opening: Thursday, Oct 2, 2014, 6pm

Oct 3 – Nov 15, 2014

curated by__ 2014: maja & reuben fowkes (Knoll Galerie, Vienna) from eSeL at on Vimeo.

Tibor Horváth (*1976, l. in Berlin) 

Oto Hudec (*1981, l. in Bratislava) 

Renata Poljak (*1974, l. in Zagreb) 

Davor Sanvincenti (*1979, l. in Zagreb)

The exhibition #underthestars explores ecological alternatives to the tragic figure of the 24/7 immaterial worker who spends too much time in bed— replying to e-mails, creating clips for social media, interacting virtually, but not going anywhere. The exhibition highlights the opposite tendency of sleeping outdoors, making a bed beyond the illusionary security provided by modern architecture, and challenging the alienation of a techno- logically determined life symbolized by the bad habit of working in bed.

Sleeping under the stars could itself be a form of therapy for the distortions to natural cycles induced by over-dependence on technological com- forts, countering the psychic deprivation caused by dozing in the invisible magnetic field of the digital bedroom, with even our dreams electronically re- routed by the whir of computers awakening from sleep mode in the depths of night.

#underthestars sets out to explore the ecological critique of what has been diagnosed as the Century of the Bed, by highlighting the strategies of artists who make their home under the stars in the liminal state between heaven and earth, echoing the eco-architectural apparition of the mountain climber’s portaledge, a precarious platform suspended halfway up a rock face that invokes a radically different phenomenology of bed.

More than a century ago, E.M. Forster in The Machine Stops predicted the breakdown of a futuristic civilization based on an over-dependence on technology, in a dystopian vision of a world in which humans have lost the ability to survive on the surface of the Earth and live in subterranean cells with all their bodily and spiritual needs met by an all- powerful Machine.

Perhaps it’s time to prepare for the possibility of the collapse of today’s unsustainable systems and to recognize that letting go of the illusory security of the technological cocoon brings with it the chance to discover the world anew.

Maja & Reuben Fowkes are Budapest based curators and art historians who pursue their interests in East European art and ecology through the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art (www.translocal.org).

The exhibition takes place in the context of curated by_vienna: The Century of the Bed. The renowned architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina has created the theoretical concept for the sixth edition of curated by_vienna. The project is organized by departure, the creative unit of the Vienna Business Agency, in cooperation with 20 selected Viennese contemporary art galleries. www.curatedby.at

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