Utopian Pulse

Flares in the Darkroom

Salon Public Happiness

Christoph Schäfer

10.09. - 16.09.2014



Recent spatialized struggles have managed to create resistance on the slippery postfordist ground. Salon Public Happiness invites people who think of happiness as something collective, something public: people who are active with artistic means in urban struggles in Istanbul and Hamburg. Videoccupy is part of the multi-facetted Gezi-Taksim-movement. The groups from Hamburg support the inhabitants of the ESSO-Häuser and struggle for a social urban transformation. In the context of the Occupy and Right to the City struggles, they develop new ways of recording, distributing and working with private experience, with the imagination that jumps forth from everyday life. The invited artists don’t intervene from outside, they would much rather act, think, reflect, document, dance, design, plan, produce within movements. They develop imagination and languages from the everyday life of cities, with and for the people who live in cities. The Salon’s title brings back a phrase used by the American revolutionaries of the 18th century, whose views were shaped in political assemblies, discussions and collective operations. According to Hannah Arendt, the phrase “Pursuit of Happiness” in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence originally referred not to an individual right but to the “public happiness” that the fathers of the constitution experienced in the revolution.

With Videoccupy; PlanBude St.Pauli; Esso-Häuser Filmteam (Bude, Jörg, Sobczak); Echohäuser (The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Frank Egel); Esso-Häuser Echo (Megafonchor/Sylvi Kretzschmar), Der Investor (Die Goldenen Zitronen, Gaier, Duve, Schierhorn)

September 10, 7:30 pm
introduction by Christoph Schäfer

September 13, 7 pm
introduction by Christoph Schäfer; Videoccupy Collective presentation; discussion with Irene Bude,
Margit Czenki, Oksana Smakova; about tactical media in the context of struggles for urban space

September 14, 4 pm
ESSO-Houses St. Pauli Film – workshop talk with Irene Bude and Oksana Smakova; discussion with Videoccupy

6 pm PlanBude, EssoHäuser, Renée Tribble, Esso Häuser Echo – an obituary Megafonchor / Sylvi Kretzschmar (language: German), Wien TV: Pizzeria Anarchia


Mariam Ghani

17.09. - 23.09.2014



In the Salon of the Whirlwind, inspired by Kandahar’s mid-century Salon-e-Girdbad, we will use three unfinished Afghan feature films from different moments of the Communist period (early, middle and late) as the focal points for an exploration of how the Afghan Communist project disintegrated. We will trace this history through the desires and fears reflected in the films, and also through a series of supplementary materials and discussions, including newsreels, interviews, and a visual timeline of the entire period, constructed from archival photographs and propaganda posters. Finally, we will consider what it might mean to finish the unfinished projects, both artistic and political: these unfinished films, whose directors are still alive but have no access to their negatives, and also the unfinished political projects encoded in the films, the contrary projects of revolution and reconciliation. And we will ask: is it possible for utopian ideals to survive the whirlwind?

Archival images from Afghan Films, the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University (Nancy Hatch Dupree, Louis Dupree, and Jean Stewart collections), and an anonymous propaganda collection . Archival films from Afghan Films, including newsreels and raw footage 1978-79 (the Red Tapes collection), an excerpt from Farar / Escape (Eng. Latif Ahmadi, 1985), Those Who Fire (1989), and The House of History (Qader Tahiri, 1996). Interviews with Khwaja Ahmad Shah Siddiqi, Juwansher Haidary and Faqir Nabi, conducted by Nabila Horakhsh, Mariam Ghani, and Zainab Haidary, translated by Rajni Prakash at Pad.ma. Film posters by Mariam Ghani, Edith Poirier & Daniele Rossi.

September 17, 7 pm

Saturday, September 20th & Sunday, September 21st, 4 pm
Screening of never-before-seen footage from three unfinished feature films from Afghanistan’s Communist period, followed by Afghan tea service and informal discussion with Mariam Ghani, political scientist Abassin Nessar, and Peter Taylor (Rotterdam Film Festival). Roughly 30 minutes of each film will be presented in a new cut, assembled by Ghani from the black-and-white, silent rush prints based on interviews with the directors and actors. On Saturday September 20th, Ghani, Nessar and Taylor will be joined by Drs. Zamiruddin Mihanpoor and Parwin Zaher-Mihanpoor for a post-screening conversation about the political context and unfinished projects of the Parcham regime, which commissioned the films. On Sunday, September 21st, musicians from the radical free improv project 4 States Sessions will spontaneously improvise scores for the films, followed by a post-screening conversation about the radical potential of unfinished artistic projects. Featuring Emil Gross (percussion), Igor Gross (vibraphone), and Luca Kezdy (violin & effects).

Almase Siah / The Black Diamond (Abdul Khalek Halil, 1984)
Starring Nuroshan Abir, Nassima Jalal, Abdullah Samadi, Asadullah Aram, Zarghuna Aram, Esturay Mangal, Qader Faroukh, Mari Omeid, and Farida
A man’s involvement with a gang of diamond smugglers leads to unfortunate consequences for his family, especially his rebellious teenage daughter. Almase Siah not only takes as its subject the trafficking that provided income for the mujahidin, but also replicates in some scenes specific stories that circulated during this period.

Soqoot / Falling (Faqir Nabi, 1986)
Starring Farid Fayz, Adela Adeem, Qader Faroukh, Esturay Mangal, Zarghuna Aram, Juwansher Haidary, Saboor Khinji, Said Mira, and Farida
A police officer goes undercover to infiltrate a criminal organization, but finds his new life dangerously seductive, and begins to have trouble balancing between truth and lies. Soqoot reflects the paranoia of the mid-1980s, when Afghanistan’s secret service (KhAD, mentored by the Stasi) was believed to have placed informants in every profession and neighborhood, through a story that turns on signifiers of surveillance: infiltration, eavesdropping, bugs and wiretaps, stakeouts with telephoto lenses, and always people watching each other, both openly and furtively.

Kaj Rah / Wrong Way (Juwansher Haidary, 1990)
Starring Farid Fayz, Estoray Mangal, Faqir Nabi, Habib Zorghai, Faif Azouly, Fay Ebadi, Mari Omeid, Asadullah Aram, Saboor Khinji, Faqir Kawider, Sharif Kheir Khwo, Tsang Chikan, and Homeira
The conflicts within and around a border village represent in miniature the conflicts of the war between regime and mujahidin, the personal ties between fighters on both sides, and the ways in which each has diverted from the right way or straight path. Kah Rah (which also translates as ‘crooked path’) was shot just before Najib’s ‘reconciliation jirga’ of 1991, and is part of the same mood swing towards reconciliation; its director originally planned to incorporate that historic meeting of Communists and mujahidin into the film itself.

Salon Orizzonti Occupati

Bert Theis

24.09. - 30.09.2014



We were looking for Utopia from the very start, we never met her but she was always close by:
– when we occupied the former ‘La Stecca’ factory and turned it and the two parks of the Isola district in Milan into a centre for art and neighbourhood activities,
– when Christoph painted his ‘Strategic Beautification’ mural onto the Isola newspaper stand,
– when we threw seed bombs with Oliver into the longed-for but still closed Isola Pepe Verde area,
– when we occupied the Galfa skyscraper and attached to it the banner “we could also consider flying”,
– when we tried to win back our horizon with Nikolas Sun-Cloud.
And then, when we thought we were reliving Paul Signac’s In the Time of Anarchy in the summer in San Mauro Cilento, Utopia was flying past laughing over our heads on an Ape scooter.
Now we continue the search every day at the Secession, producing and presenting texts, banners, photos, videos, models, murals, screenprints, songs, discussions…

With Aufo, Bad Museum, Zanny Begg, Antonio Brizzioli, Tania Bruguera, Angelo Castucci, Antonio Cipriani, Francesco Citro, Cooperativa Nuovo Cilento, Comune di San Mauro Cilento, Fornace Falcone, Maddalena Fragnito, Edna Gee, Mariam Ghani, Grupo Etcétera, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Isabell Lorey, Philippe Nathan/2001, Valentina Montisci, Denis C. Novello, Walter Novello, Nikolay Oleynikov, Creative Olive, Maria Papadimitriou, Camilla Pin, Edith Poirier, Vincenzo Onida, Steve Piccolo, Gerald Raunig, Oliver Ressler & Dario Azzellini, Daniele Rossi, Gak Sato, Mariette Schiltz, Christoph Schäfer, Superstudio, Camilla Topuntoli, Nikola Uzunowski, Jiang Zhi and others.


September 24, 7 pm
Fragments and Moments for New Utopias, Introduction by Ines Doujak, Oliver Ressler, Bert Theis, with contributions by Gerald Raunig and Isabell Lorey.
Sound experience by Steve Piccolo (bass and voice) and Gak Sato (theremin).

September 24-30
daily 9 am – 4 pm – Wo-men at work (architecture, drawing, painting, silkscreen printing, photography, video), video screenings.
daily 4 am – 6 pm Experimental music workshop with Steve Piccolo and Gak Sato.

September 25, 3 pm
Video screening: Streik – The new Student Movement in Luxembourg, video by Luca Andreolli, 8’17”, 2014, presented by Milena Steinmetzer, (language German), discussion.

September 27, 4 pm
Presentation of the “Hypotopia”-project, by Transdizipinäres Planungsteam Milliardenstadt, Vienna, (language German), discussion.

September 28, 11 am – 6 pm
Sign the petition for the Final Abolition of Hell, a project by Etcetera with Bifo and Léon Ferrari.

September 30, 7 pm
Presentation of the workshop’s production:
Isola Utopia Revolution (video) by Camilla Topuntoli , Isola delle Rose (architecture) by Philippe Nathan (2001), The time of Anarchy, or the Time of Harmony? (drawing and painting ) by Edna Gee and Edith Poirier, Printing 4 Utopia (silk screen printing) by Daniele Rossi, Along the Red Thread (web doc about the Isola Utopia experience in San Mauro Cilento) by Antonio Cipriani and Valentina Montisci, with a contribution by Gianfranco Marelli, Utopian Street Signs by Kristina Borg, Flying Desires (Nicola Uzunowski’s Isola Solar Cloud and others) by Bert Theis,
– Concert: The Utopian Theremin Pulse, by Steve Piccolo, Gak Sato and other musicians.

Salon Fluchthilfe

Zanny Begg

01.10. - 07.10.2014



Utopia is often imagined as a desireable and elusive place. In Salon Fluchthilfe it is imagined not so much as a place (with borders) but as a journey or non-place (defined by its borderlessness). The German word Fluchthilfe has no easy English translation – it is a positive term used to describe those who help others cross borders to escape persecution (whereas English has only derogatory translations, such as people smugglers or human traffickers). This exhibition is located within the politics of contemporary refugee struggles but aims to challenge the binaries of refugee/citizen that have framed this debate.
Salon Fluchthilfe eludes a neat connection to any specific identity by encompassing both refugees and their supporters who form an underground web of knowledge and support that allows bodies to move. Salon Fluchthilfe will explore the potencia of relationships based on hospitality, solidarity and reciprocity. In a context defined by borders, camps and check-points this exhibition perversely explores the utopia of borderlessness.

Exhibition participants: Barat Ali Batoor, The Silent University, Katarzyna Izabela Winiecka, Mindj Panther, Undrawing the Line, Pilar Mata Dupont, Escape from Woomera, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Mariam Ghani

October 1, 7 pm
Talk by Clifford A. Erinmwionghae, Yusuf Haibeh and Katarzyna Winiecka, on current and past “Fluchthilfe”-trials against Refugee Activism and Selforganisation and the demand for Freedom of Movement.
Performance by Mindj Panther

October 2, 4 pm
Lecture: “Who are Ezidi Kurds?”, Sherko Jahani Asl, The Silent University, Sweden.
This lecture will provide a background on the traumatic situation for the Ezidi people who are currently being massacred by Islamist extremists in Northern Iraq. This lecture will uncover the “forgotten” Ezidi people, their culture, history and religion. Sherko Jahani is a political refugee from Mahabad, Iranian Kurdistan. He is a journalist, writer, human rights activist, Kurdish Language Teacher and photographer.

October 4, 4 pm
Artist talk by Barat Ali Batoor. Batoor was born in Pakistan in 1983 in a family that was driven out of Afghanistan by the civil war. He returned to Afghanistan for the first time after September 11, 2001. Batoor started photographing in 2002 and launched his first solo exhibition in 2007. His works are published in journals such as The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Afghanistan Times and he was the recipient of a photography grant from New York’s Open Society Institute for the project “Child Trafficking in Afghanistan/The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”. Batoor’s photograph “The first day at sea” was named the 2013 Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year and he was awarded the 2014 Communication for Social Change Award by the University of Queensland. For this exhibition he will include The Unseen Road to Asylum, documentation of his own attempted journey to Australia by boat.

October 7, 6 pm
The refugee protest movement mobilization in Austria and EU.
A forum organised by Marissa Lôbo and Marina Gržinic.

Speakers: Khan Adalat, Ilker Ataç, Clifford A. Erinmwionghae, Njideka Stephanie Iroh, Ines Mahmoud , Gin Müller

This forum will discuss how in the period after the Fall of the Berlin wall and 9/11 capitalist discourse has shifted from protection of human rights into a policy of bare life, seclusions and deportations of refugees and asylum seekers. The refugee movement in Vienna in 2012 showed a power of self-mobilization and self-articulation. The self-organized refugee protest movement, that was supported immediately by many activists and students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, has been put under harsh pressure and criminalization procedures. After almost 2 years here it is again another possibility to speak in public providing an analysis what was done and what is to be done. Discussions will include the reproduction of white supremacy within the Refugee Protest Camp Vienna, the methods of criminalization of the refugees by the Austrian state repressive apparatuses and the hypocrisy of EU politics.

Artist biographies


AND AND AND with Ben Morea and friends

08.10. - 14.10.2014


AND AND AND is a conjunction of artists and collectives spanning several continents. Beginning in 2010, a series of occurrences, inquiries and actions were organized in Detroit, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Tunis, Beirut, Amman, Yerevan, New York, London, Marcahuasi, Carbondale, Rotterdam, Houston, Iowa City, San Cesario di Lecce, and Kassel. In the summer of 2012, in the context of dOCUMENTA (13), this conjunction resulted in 100 days and nights of gatherings, in-activities and un-workshops.
The encounters included: a convergence against the weapons industry in Kassel and beyond; attempts to rethink the relation between capitalism and the body; a gathering of farmers-innovators in the field of composting; thinking about decoloniality; science fiction and autonomy; the non-capitalist internet; unearthing the anti-university; communist fiction; the politics of small groups; learning practices like seed-saving, worm composting and documentary sewing.
AND AND AND has been a collective research into modes of thinking and doing that are intrinsically related to a culture of a common(s), that disavow a capitalist way of life (patriarchal, racist, class-based) and revoke the forms of doing and work which the societies assuming these ways have produced, imposed, and today police.
In Vienna, some of the contributors to AND AND AND will convene to activate one of the hoped-for un-workshops which never manifested that summer in Kassel. It will explore an animist perspective in the context of common(s), non-capitalist life, and revocational practices.

It is convened with Ben Morea, one of the protagonists of Black Mask and Up Against the Wall Motherfucker. Ben and ‘the Family,’ in which he played a critical role, were among the key proponents of anarchist thought, action and art as embodied in the 60’s counter culture and political radicalism.

October 8, 7 pm

For an updated schedule of events, additional gatherings and details including un-workshop with
Ben Morea please check http://commoningtimes.org
For those interested in taking part in the un-workshop organized with Ben Morea, please write to commoner(AT)commoningtimes.org.

Cuartos de Utopía

Pedro G. Romero and Máquina P.H.

15.10. - 21.10.2014



Flamenco people are a remainder rather than a multitude, and have hardly aspired to emancipation or any political project. And yet, there they are: on the one hand, they inspire many forms of life that are today considered utopian – nomadism, community, the right to idleness – and on the other hand, they contribute poiesis to the new forms of political imagination – playfulness, camouflage, resistant forms-of-life.
With the help of Ketani in Linz, we will present an archaeological inquiry into the so-called Gypsy Urbanism that inspired Otto Neurath in the urban transformations of Red Vienna in the 1920s. We will introduce a case study of the present political situation in Spain: the role of the flamenco imagination in the fight of the Corrala de Vecinas La Utopía [Utopia Women Residents Corrala[1]], involving activist artists like flo6x8 and Los Flamencos.
Alongside this, in the form of an open archive, the exhibition project outline Living Machines. Flamenco and Architecture in the Squatting and Evacuation of Spaces, curated with María García Ruis and Antonio Marín Márquez, will be presented at the Wittgenstein House, the current cultural headquarters of the Bulgarian Embassy in Vienna.

Pedro G. Romero / Máquina P.H.
with: María García Ruiz, Antonio Marín Márquez.
Marco de Ana, Javiera de la Fuente, Stefan Voglsinger.
Introducing: Tomás de Perrate & Amador Gabarri.
Ocaña, Charo Martín, Israel Galván, Rocío Márquez, La Esmeralda de Triana.
Pie Flamenca, LaFundició, 4Taxis, Los Flamencos, flo6x8, Ketani, Wein Klub (former Ost Klub), Zikkurat.

*The cuarto, back room, at the edge of the main room, outside of the most public space of a house or a café, is the place where flamenco keeps its alleged secrets. Cuarto, in Spanish, is also a measure of capacity, a quarter: we could understand it as a decrease, a reduction of utopia. Cuartear – to cut into pieces –, to cut up utopia, to fragment it, selling it in pieces, if we were to put it in the cocaine dealer’s jargon.

[1]          Corrala is the Spanish term for a specific type of block of flats, built around a big interior courtyard from which hallways and staircases give access to the different flats.

October 15, 7 pm

Spanish caravan… A trip to the origins of Gypsy Urbanism. Stefan Volgsinger (with María García Ruiz, Javiera de la Fuente, Marco de Ana and Pedro G. Romero)

October 16, 11 am
Yo vengo de Hungría (I come from Hungary), A trip to the origins of Gypsy Urbanism. María García Ruiz:presentation of case studies: Otto Neurath, Marie Reidemeister, Gerd Arntz, Helios Gómez, Peter Alma, Lazlo Moholy-Naghy, Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Willy Röhmer, Milča
Mayerová, Erwin Schulhoff, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, August Sanders.
3 pm performance: Javiera de la Fuente. With the collaboration of Miguel Pérez. Mariana de las afueras.
5 pm performance: Marco de Ana. With the collaboration of Miguel Pérez and Rudolf Rostas.Farruca del extrarradio.
8 pm concert, Schwarzberg*: Miguel Pérez with Javiera de la Fuente & Marco de Ana. Sound Stefan Voglsinger.

October 17, 11 am
Los montes de Armenia (The hills of Armenia) A trip to the origins of Gypsy Urbanism, meeting with Roma Kulturzentrum Wien (Roma Cultural Centre of Vienna), Kulturverein Österreichischer Roma (Culture Society of Austrian Roma) and Ketani
12 noon distribution of the handmade illustrated edition of Giorgio Agamben’s Languages and Peoples among members of the Roma and Sinti communities.
10 pm concert, Zikkurat*: Spanish caravan. A trip to the origins of Gypsy Urbanism. Morenito de Triana & Band; Rudolf Rostas & Family; Nikola Zaric; Amir Kasra Zandian; Marco de Ana & Javiera de la Fuente;
Stefan Voglsinger; and various DJs on Romani Music.

October 18, 5 pm
Máquinas de habitar (Living Machines). Flamenco in the squatting and evacuation of spaces; presentation of case studies: Pedro G. Romero and María García Ruíz.

October 21, 11 am
Corrala de vecinas La Utopía (Utopia Women Residents Corrala). María García Ruiz: presentation of case studies: flo6x8, Belén Maya, Los Flamencos, Rocío Márquez, Juan Pinilla, Niño de Elche, Manuel Gerena, Santiago Cirujeda, FAAQ, Arquitectura y compromiso social, Tony Gatlif.
5 pm Tomás de Perrate & Amador Gabarri at Haus Wittgenstein; presentation of case studies: Diego del Gastor/ Darcy Lange; Karawane / Hugo Ball; Morphine / Emmy Hennings; Soleá de Casa Wittgenstein; Tangos de Lo Real; Seguiriyas en Casapuerta; Corrales por bulerías; with the collaboration of María García Ruiz
10 pm concert, Schwarzberg*: Tomás de Perrate & Amador Gabarri

*All the events will take place at Secession, Vienna, except the concerts indicated to be taking place at the Schwarzberg and Zikkurat.

Kulturverein österreichischer Roma
Roma Kulturzentrum
Verein Ketani
Schwarzberg (*former Ost Klub), Schwarzenbergplatz 10/1, 1040 Wien
Thanks to UNIA arte y pensamiento and alpha Cassio.

Salón de Belleza

Miguel A. López

22.10. - 02.11.2014



Salón de Belleza (Beauty Salon) presents various pieces (photos, videos and performances) that explore techniques of body intervention, cosmetic rituals, and spaces where the body (or certain parts of it) get a “treatment”, associated with colonial history, migration, indigenous memory, affectivity, and queer beauty. This salon explores personal and collective fantasies of the self, questioning dichotomous conceptualization of gender and imagining a diversity of possible identities through the transformation of the personal appearance and/or of the destabilization of the visual memory of the so-called normal body.
Some of these pieces, such as the video The Defeated by Carlos Motta, the installation The Transvestite Museum of Peru by Giuseppe Campuzano and the photo series The Confeti of India by Andres Masseno, retrace the points of origin of history through androgynous-indigenous cultures and representation. Some other pieces such as the performance Beauty Salon by Sergio Zevallos, the performance with the Voz Files archive by Jaume Ferrete, the haircutting experience with a queer and trans friendly attitude by Open Barbers, the installation Studio Butterfly by Virginia de Medeiros and the video The Devolution of the Vucub Caquix Penacho by Sandra Monterroso, observe the overlapping of politics with the makeover of bodies, and how this transformation defines, ensures or modifies the identity of the person.

With Carlos Motta, Sandra Monterroso, Giuseppe Campuzano, André Masseno, Sergio Zevallos, Virginia de Medeiros, Jaume Ferrete, Open Barbers (Greygory Vass and Felix Lane).

October 22, 7 pm
a listening performance with recordings from Voz Files project by Jaume ›Mal‹ Ferrete Vasquez.

October 25/26, 11 am – 6 pm
Open Barbers Pop-up Shop by Greygory Vass and Felix Lane.
Thanks to 25hours Hotel Wien for providing barber chairs for this event.

November 1, 3 pm
Beauty Salon performance by Sergio Zevallos, a performative research about politics, the body, the personal appearance and collective fantasies of the self.
Access only from the side entrance.

Salon Klimbim

Fahim Amir, Ines Doujak




Feeding vegetarian tigers – entertaining utopian sensibilities

Participating performers:

Ayreen Anastas / Rene Gabri, Elke Auer / Esther Straganz, Zanny Begg, Mariam Ghani, Miguel A. López: Guiseppe Campuzano, Die Schefin, Alexander Nikolic, Bert Theis, Schon-Schön-Girls, Tanz durch den Tag, Ines Doujak/John Barker: Vitali Leson, Maja Osojnik, Sexy Deutsch, BAM of the Jungle Brothers, Christoph Schäfer, Susiklub, Franz Kapfer, Krõõt Juurak, Oliver Ressler, ProllPositions, Maja Osojnik, Hermann Seiwald / gabarage, GOLEM, Pedro G. Romero / Archivo F.X.: Marco de Ana, Niño de Elche, Martín Acosta / Chiara Cirillo, Zsófi Pirók, Laia Fabre, Stephan Voglsinger, Brigitte Langer, et.al.

Curated by Fahim Amir and Ines Doujak in correspondence with Oliver Ressler

Secession, Vienna
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Salon Klimbim was the first public appearance of the Utopian Pulse, its first flare. The steely, greedy fingers that keep a tight grip on the very notion of REALITY were prised a little looser by the Salon’s moments of utopian entertainments. For the “Vegetarian Tiger”, REALITY is open to all. The smug dichotomy of what is serious, what entertaining, was tossed into the waste bin while our tiger had no need to display any Green “credentials”. Salon Klimbim presents a range of performances on utopian ice. No intellectual dress code applied, no Frontex patrolled the borders of contemporariness, and no gatekeepers watched over this utopia. Instead, there were politics and party, dance and folly, screenings and seduction, intervention and agitation, in short: movements and entertainments.


Utopian Pulse at Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart



From June 20 to August 16, 2015, the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart will be presenting the exhibition and program Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom.

This project initiated by the Austrian artists Oliver Ressler and Ines Doujak took place last year at the Secession in Vienna. Focusing concrete sociopolitical situations, it follows utopian projections that serve the purposes of secession from and resistance to our particular present. Utopia here is understood as an always incomplete alternative, the invocation within the given world of something incompatible with, and hostile to, given conditions. It is a recognition of “something missing,” but also a necessarily imperfect assertion of that which is not extant—yet: utopia as the assertion of the unrealized in and against the real.

In Vienna, Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom was shown in the form of eight salons, taking place one after the other, each for one week. Four of these salons will be presented in Stuttgart in a different form and transformed to accommodate the format of an exhibition: the Salon Klimbim (Fahim Amir and Ines Doujak), the Salon Public Happiness(Christoph Schäfer), the Salon Fluchthilfe (Escape Aid; Zanny Begg), and Cuartos de Utopía (Spaces of Utopia; Pedro G. Romero and Máquina P.H.).

Situated at the heart of the exhibition is a large tent made of colorful strips of fabric, forming the Salon Klimbim display together with a disco ball and a series of platforms. In Vienna, it served as a framework for the Utopian Pulse opening event—a roaring celebration and political manifesto in equal measure, which in Stuttgart will attain presence in the form of a film. In Stuttgart, the tent provides the space and frame for a series of lectures, workshops, and performances revolving around artistic and activistic designs, projections, and projects related to the theme of utopia.

The three other Salons fathom the limits and potentialities of utopian ideas in the context of contested urban space—specifically, in Hamburg and Istanbul (Salon Public Happiness)—as well as escape with related approaches fostering openness towards the other (Salon Fluchthilfe) and flamenco cultures (Cuartos de Utopía).

Another facet of the exhibition involves sixteen artistically designed banners created for the exhibition in Vienna and adapted for the Stuttgart venue.


Link to Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart



The politics of Utopia have already produced a rich and varied literature – St. Simon, Buber, Bloch, and many others. Utopian Pulse explores this tradition from the perspective of art practice and asks how we can engage with and contribute to it. This book will be published alongside an exhibition of the same name and will include artwork from the exhibition itself.
The work’s contributors invoke Utopia as an always incomplete alternative and a recognition of something missing, which opens up the possibility of asserting something which is not yet but will be. International artistic researchers, artists and artist-curators contribute different modes of engagement which they are already constituting through their own practice. More than just a theoretical treatise, this book is an overveiw of a series of works and projects that are brought to life and which the book seeks to document. This book will serve not only as a contribution to the existing literature on Utopia and Utopian politics, but also as an inspiration to artists seeking to realise these ideas through their work.

Ines Doujak and Oliver Ressler (Eds): “Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom”, April 2015, 288 S., London: Pluto Press.

Halil Altindere, AND AND AND, Oreet Ashery, Dario Azzellini, John Barker, Zanny Begg, Alice Creischer, Ines Doujak, Antke Engel, Etcétera, Fluchthilfe & Du, Mariam Ghani, Matthew Hyland, Miguel A. López, Nobodycorp. Internationale Unlimited, Fernanda Nogueira, Daniela Ortiz, Oliver Ressler, Pedro G. Romero/Máquina P.H., Christoph Schäfer, Sophie Schasiepen, Bert Theis, Marina Vishmidt, Wealth of Negations

Order publication here.