Curated by KENDELL GEERS
Marina ABRAMOVIC, Sanell AGGENBACH, Lynda BENGLIS, Pamela BERKOVIC, Belinda BLIGNAUT, Bianca BONDI, Anna CEEH, Valie EXPORT, FXXXXism, Kendell GEERS, Gilbert & George, Susy GÓMEZ, Fabrice HYBER, Aleksandra KARPOWICZ, Thomas LEROOY, October! Collective, Tracy PAYNE, Sandrine PELLETIER, Yapci RAMOS, Anneliese SCHRENK, Lerato SHADI, Hank Willis THOMAS, Betty TOMPKINS, Iv TOSHAIN, James WEBB, Sophie WHETTNALL
With this year’s festival’s theme “Circulation” Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art is delighted to introduce “MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAME” curated by Kendell Geers, presenting 26 international artists.
The show’s title follows the idea of an infinite loop and picked into pieces a variety of single terms arises, capturing this year’s edition theme:
Every individual is connected to the world in which all is circulating.
We live in a time where voices are expressed in different ways and through a wide range of channels.
The internet has become a virtual place of emergence of the real, it is basis of global networking and carrier of many contemporary debates, actions and protest movements.
Virtual space is offering unprecedented potential of spaces of dialogue and discussion.
Many of those concluding in the same moment as others were established, it is a place of parallel existence of these voices. “The right to speak is the most basic of all human” so Kendell Geers underlining the show’s essence: Hearing of the voice is its visualization, visualization of its message.
In the antique poem “Bronte” (Greek: thunder), that as discovered as part of the gnostic Nag-Hammadi manuscripts (~350 C.E.) an anonymous voice of exhortatory character speaks out “I am the name of the sound and the sound of the name”.
Found in 1945 in Egypt the text piece is until the present day the only piece of writing that seems to be by a female author originating that time.
It speaks out in contradictions, lost between female power and its deprivation: “I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin. I am the mother and the daughter…I am the utterance of my name”. Evoking in its core an awareness of the self and the humans’ voice as the strongest instrument of power.
“History is written by the winner” states Geers on (art) history.
It is not only written by the male winner, but as well preserved by it.
Whores, saints, wives, virgins, mothers, daughters - artists have been deliberately ignored and left out, as many examples attest. Once again "MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELA" is dressing a present status quo, where exclusion is a common practise. Attempting to do so, the presented artworks take use of the core of this exclusion: The play with (historical) fear of femininity.
In the background of a time, that demands an urgent need "MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAME" postulates the replacement of Descartes “I think therefore I am”. Our time cries out loudly for honesty, determination and boldness as the show proclaims: I think therefore #IPROTEST.
Fostering the show’s character to act, four performances at the inauguration evening by Belinda Blignaut, FXXXXism (Anna Ceeh & Iv Toshain), Aleksandra Karpowicz, Sophie Whettnall invite to participate, underlining the need to act. Finally, not to go down in a MER DE LA MERDE. Or as Grace Jones once sang:
“This is my voice - my weapon of choice”