The Exhibition "ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS, ALTERNATIVE SOCIETIES", Oliver Ressler
The exhibition "Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies" focuses on diverse concepts and models for alternative economies and societies, which all have in common a rejection of the capitalist system of rule. In the specific context of Serbia and Montenegro, which is facing one of the most "painful" processes of transition and "predatory" capitalism implementation in the region, this art exhibition offers solutions and examples of concrete models of political and social organizing realized in different parts of the world and in different historical epochs. In the context of extremely right-wing politics in Serbia and these incredibly fast economic transformation processes, there is a conviction that the exhibitions have the potential to appeal on questioning and rethinking the local system of rule and to create the bases for thinking about social and economic alternatives. "ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS, ALTERNATIVE SOCIETIES" Author of the exhibition: Oliver Ressler, Vienna Producers of the exhibitions in Serbia and Montenegro: New Media Center_kuda.org, Novi Sad Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade Coproducers of the exhibitions in Serbia and Montenegro: Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art Novi Sad After the loss of a counter-model for capitalism - which socialism, in its real, existing form had presented until its collapse - alternative concepts for economic and social development face hard times at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In the industrial nations, broadly discussed are only those "alternatives" that do not question the existing power relations of the capitalist system and representative democracies. Other socio-economic approaches are labeled utopian, devalued, and excluded from serious discussion if even considered at all. The thematic installation, "Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies" focuses on diverse concepts and models for alternative economies and societies, which all share a rejection of the capitalist system of rule. An interview was carried out for each concept. Interview partners include economists, political scientists, authors, and historians. From these interviews, a video in English was produced. In the exhibition, these single-channel 20- to 37-minute videos are each shown on a separate monitor, thus forming the central element of the artistic installation. The project presents alternative social and economic models such as "Inclusive Democracy" from Takis Fotopoulos (GB/GR), "Participatory Economy" from Michael Albert (USA) and "Anarchist Consensual Democracy" from Ralf Burnicki (D). Marge Piercy (USA) presents the feminist-anarchist utopias of her social fantasies, and the underground author p.m. (CH), the ideas of his concept "bolo'bolo". Other videos focus on certain principles that might be of importance when discussing alternative economics and societies: Nancy Folbre (USA) speaks about "Caring Labor", Christoph Spehr (D) about "Free Cooperation" and John Holloway (MEX/GB) about his ideas of how to "Change the World Without Taking Power". As interesting historical models, Todor Kuljić (SCG), thematizes workers' self-management in Yugoslavia in the 1960s and 1970s, Salomé Moltó (E) talks about the workers' collectives during the Spanish Civil War (1936-38), and Alain Dalotel (F) discusses the Paris Commune of 1871. Chosen from each of these eleven videos is one quotation significant for the alternative model that it presents. The quote is placed directly on the floor of the exhibition room as a several meter long text piece. This floor lettering, made from adhesive film, leads exhibition visitors directly to the corresponding videos and thereby provides a kind of orientation within this non-hierarchically arranged pool of videos. These videos offer stimulus and suggestions for contemplating social alternatives and possibilities for action. The whole exhibition project started in Ljubljana in 2003 with five videos. Meanwhile, the installation has grown to include eleven videos with a total length of almost five hours. The project is ongoing. Further economic and social concepts will be added continually in the coming years. The installation "Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies" was/will be realized within the following exhibitions: Galerija Škuc, Ljubljana (SI), 30.10. - 23.11.03 ("Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies") Espace Forde, Geneve (CH), 06. - 19.12.03 ("There is no Alternative") Kunstraum der Universität Lüneburg (D), 08. - 16.01.04 ("Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies") Transmediale.04, Berlin (D), 31.01. - 15.02.04 ("fly utopia!") O.K - Center for Contemporary Art, Linz (A), 11.03. - 02.05.04 ("Open House") Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (A), 16.06. - 24.07.04 ("permanent produktiv") Itaucultural Institute, Sao Paulo (BR), 01.07. - 26.09.04 ("Emoçăo Art.ficial II - Divergęncias Tecnológicas") Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand (N), 06.07. - 15.08.04 ("Detox 04. Crossover Jam Culture") Wyspa Progress Foundation, Gdansk (PL), 03.09. - 03.10.04 ("Health and Safety") Centro Cultural Conde Duque, MediaLabMadrid, Madrid (E), 30.09.04 - 31.10.04 ("Economía alternativa, sociedades alternativas") Forum Stadtpark, Graz (A), Steirischer Herbst, 08.10. - 28.11.04 ("There must be an alternative") Main Trend Gallery, Taipei (RC), 21.01. - 26.02.05 ("Wayward Economy") Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Mali Salon, Rijeka (HR), 04. - 12.03.05 ("Alternativne Ekonomije, Alternativna Društva") * Photography next to is the illustration of this exhibition Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul (TR), 29.04. - 21.05.05 ("An Ideal Society Creates Itself") kuda.org - Centar za nove medije / Muzej savremene likovne umetnosti, Novi Sad (SCG), 24.05. - 03.06.05 ("Alternativne ekonomije, alternativna društva") Salon Muzeja savremene umetnosti Beograd (SCG), 04. - 10.06.05 ("Alternativne ekonomije, alternativna društva") Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (D), 08.07. - Nov. 05 ("Critical Societies") Miroquesada Garland Gallery, Lima (PE), 11.08. - 04.09.05 ("9th international Festival of Video/Arte/Electrónica") The project "Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies" received initial support as a grant from republicart (www.republicart.net) and the BKA section for the arts.