26.09.2015 - 20.10.2015
Art Agenda Nova
Batorego 2, Krakow
Coordination: Mirka Bałazy
The opening: 26/09/2015 / 6 pm
Open exhibition: Monday - Friday, at 9am - 6pm
At the exhibition Failed investments, Oliver Ressler presents two latest works prepared for the 7th edition of the ArtBoom Festival. The show of digital prints is accompanied by a projection of the movie Leave It in the Ground (18 min., 2013).
Uncontrolled capitalism in Poland had a direct impact on the direction of urban development, the form of housing and the type of transport. In Krakow - and probably also in many other Polish cities - a single-family house seems to be the preferred housing option. It is directly connected with a very visible cult of private property in Poland, which is particularly praised by Polish politicians. Currently in Krakow, many buildings are under construction: single-family houses, terraced houses, blocks of flats, often built in the form of closed housing estates. As the city no longer finances housing, the sector was dominated by private investors.
As Dorota Leśniak-Rychlak remarks - an art historian and architect, in Krakow "urban urban planning is practically non-existent. There are several entities with such competences, but most of them are inefficient. The result of the lack of urban planning is also general acceptance of adaptation of areas with low ground prices by investors and creation of objects that do not match the environment there. "
Increasing suburbs, an increase in the number of housing estates whose residence requires the use of own means of transport, the transformation of "garden cities" into "gated cities" and the expansion of private heating systems polluting the environment - all this can be perceived as the result of insufficient urban planning. In times of peak oil (peak peak oil production) and global warming - which can only be counteracted by the planned economic transformation of the opposing hegemony of neoliberal policy - all these investments will soon prove to be non-ecological and unsuccessful.
Huge billboards located throughout the city and encouraging to buy flats, are conducive to the creation of advertising smog - another type of smog in the region, which is already rated as one of the most polluted in Europe. As part of the Failed Investments / Failed Investments project implemented during the 7th edition of the ArtBoom Festival, in the urban space, next to the already existing, countless billboards, several additional (6 x 3 m each) are exposed, constituting a critical commentary on the current direction of housing development. Two of the large-format prints presented in the urban space were transferred in a reduced form into the exhibition space. The first of them (Failed Investment) is the assembly of a bursting bubble with the house visible in the center, which is directed towards the leaking pipe. The pipeline running across the landscape is the work background. The second printout (Ruralization. Suburban House. Failed Investment) shows a burning suburban home, referring to the weaknesses of inhabiting this type of construction during periods of drought, which are more and more often due to the extreme temperatures caused by global warming. Both prints are a negative comment of suburban housing, showing them as unsuccessful investments and propagating the fossil divestment as the first rational step towards changing this state.
English versions of the original billboards from the urban space are presented here in the dialogue with the film Leave It in the Ground (18 min., 2013). In recent years, countless weather anomalies clearly show that climate change is not a phenomenon of the coming future, but it is happening now. Some of the effects of global warming - desertification, more frequent droughts, less frequent but more intense precipitation, lower yields - fuel existing social conflicts. In the countries of the South (collectively referred to as Global South), climate change is exacerbated by the crisis of poverty, violence and riots that are the result of the legacy of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. This vicious circle acts as a fuel for humanitarian crises and civil wars that reinforce political, economic and environmental disasters.
Despite clear warnings, the ruling authorities do not have a political program with a sound strategy to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels - the main cause of global warming. Fundamentalism related to their exploitation seems to be dominant throughout the world.
Some time ago, a group of Norwegian politicians supported oil production in one of the world's largest fish spawning and aquatic life areas - in the sea that surrounds the Lofoten archipelago. Deep-sea drilling would have unpredictable consequences for fish populations, as well as for waters that are considered one of the cleanest in the world. With the idyllic landscapes of the Lofoten archipelago in the background, Leave It in the Ground describes the climate crisis not as a technical and scientific problem but as a political one. The film discusses how ecological and humanitarian disasters caused by global warming could overthrow old orders and open up opportunities that lead to long-term social and political changes, both positive and negative.
Oliver Ressler, born in 1970, lives and works in Vienna. He creates installations, projects in public space and films in which he deals with topics related to economics, democracy, global warming and forms of resistance as well as alternative social models. Oliver Ressler had solo exhibitions at leading institutions such as the Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Platform Garanti Center for Contemporary Art, Istanbul; Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque in Madrid; Forum of Contemporary Art Alexandria in Egypt; Cube Project Space in Taipei; Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdańsk, Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz; and now at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo - CAAC in Seville. Ressler participated in over 250 group exhibitions, including: Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid; SALT Beyğlu in Istanbul; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven; MASSMoCA in North Adams, USA and at the biennial in Prague (2005), Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015) ), Helsinki (2014) and Quebec (2014). The retrospective of his films took place at the Center d'Art Contemporain Genève in 2013. At the Biennale 2008 in Taipei, Ressler curated the A World Where Many Worlds Fit project. The project on the financial crisis, It's the Political Economy, Stupid, whose co-curator was Gregory Sholette, has been shown in eight places since 2001. In collaboration with Ines Doujak, Oliver Ressler was a co-curator of Utopian Pulse - Flares in the Darkroom at the Secession in Vienna in 2014.