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05 Sep 2012

Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz: Untimely Stories

Tamás Kaszás and Anikó Lóránt; part of Famine Food project, since 2011, courtesy of the artists

Untimely Stories
Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz


21 September – 2 December 2012 Opening: 21st September 2012, 6 pm
ms², Ogrodowa 19 St: tue: 10.00 am. – 6.00 p.m.
wed – sun: 11.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m.

Martyna Sztaba
(48 42) 639 98 78
(48 42) 632 99 41

4. ms2 – Muzeum Sztuki
19 Ogrodowa St
91–065 Łódź

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Untimely Stories is an attempt to recognize the contemporary and upcoming situation of Europe through art. At a time when the social contracts and ideas that the European model had been based on are eroding, requiring new ideas for future, art may offer diagnoses and suppositions without making claims to being a solution to current problems. Politics of art (contrary to conventional politics) makes particular use of fiction in which it sees the function of truth. It creates stories which signals the truth of what is contemporary or upcoming.
According to Nietzsche, to act untimely is to act counter to our time and thereby act on our time and thus 'for the benefit of a time to come'. Expanding upon Nietzsche's theory, Giorgio Agamben identifies the untimely with the contemporary. According to him, who is truly contemporary goes beyond his or her time, beyond the present moment, beyond the pragmatic logics of punctuality. Those who inscribe themselves into the present perfectly are unable to see it. Only an active, often conflicting, attitude with one's time makes it possible to recognise it properly and act accordingly – in agreement with subjectively perceived truth about time.
The works presented at the exhibition are untimely in this sense. They become contemporary by means of going beyond their own moment in time. They are an act of opening to that which is to come and to the upcoming effects of our past.
Untimely Stories created by the artists present perspectives different from Europe's currently dominant, integration-driven economism, in which the management of resources is construed in a highly limited way. They oppose it with a general economy (which also includes gift and hospitality economies, the politics of friendship, the critique of non-human reason, innovative ecology, non-systemic modes of survival and so on). They propose a reversal of present geopolitical relationships, determining dependencies between centres and peripheries. They confront the coming of communities which will go beyond current models of liberal democracy. They suggest an urgency of adaptation to that which is unforeseeable and yet unrecognised in the traditions of western European modernity. The exhibition does not provide solutions to be pragmatically applied or visions to be realised. Rather, it suggests ways in which we could think, see and feel in order to make a different kind of action possible. Europe should be thought, perceived and felt differently if it is to overcome current crisis. The exhibition is being prepared when as a civilisational model, political project, source of inspiration and inspiring myth, Europe is becoming a spectre. This especially applies to the European Union which was designed to become a fulfilment of this model or myth, and a practical application of the project. That is why 'Europe' ceases to be a notion associated with any system able to propose solutions for increasingly complex social, political, economic and cultural issues, becoming a synonym instead for a problem that possibly requires a solution itself. When all that was supposed to be solid melt into air, art confronts us with the spectre of what is to come, or what may come.
The works created by artists translate various, often contradictory, ideas, views, preoccupations and attitudes as well as ideologies, myths and stereotypes into the language of art. The exhibition space will be a place for all of them to meet.
Perhaps it will combine the singular voices into accounts that, rather than cancelling each other out, will resound together, forming a polyphonic narrative about Europe. It is an attempt to think of art as an artificial, fictional language for expressing the kinship of the dissimilar.

Artists and groups:

Akademia Ruchu, Mohamed Bourouissa,  Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, Jérémie Boyard, Peter Friedl, Jens Haaning, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Aleksander Komarov, KwieKulik, Anikó Lóránt & Tamás Kaszás (ex-artists collective), Nástio Mosquito, Ahmet Öğüt, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Janek Simon, Slavs and Tatars, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor

Curators: Jarosław Lubiak and Joanna Sokołowska
Exhibition architecture: Krzysztof Skoczylas

Exhibiton Untimely Stories is a part of Europe (to the power of) n which is a transnational project of the Excellence Initiative of the Goethe-Institut. It is a collaboration of the Goethe-Institut in Munich and the Regional Goethe-Institutes in Central and East Europe, South-East Europe, North-West and South-West Europe and East Europe/Central Asia, in Belgrade, Istanbul, Beijing and Warsaw, Brussels, London, Minsk, Vilnius, Oslo, Madrid with ten institutions in and outside the European Union. Europe (to the power of) n is coordinated by Sabine Hentzsch, Goethe-Institut in London. Artistic Director is Barbara Steiner.

The external partners are: Co-Organisers: Curating Contemporary Art Programme / Royal College of Art, London; Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden / Oslo; Associated Partners: Contemporary Art Study Centre / European Humanities University, Vilnius; Novaja Europa Magazine, Minsk; Galerie Y, Minsk; SALT, Istanbul; Muzej savremene umetnosti Vojvodine, Novi Sad; Sint-Lukasgalerie, Brussels; Taipei Contemporary Art Centre, Taipei; Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing / Guangzhou; San Telmo Museoa, Donostia-San Sebastián, Office for European Capital of Culture 2016, Donostia-San Sebastián.

The project has been supported by Goethe-Institut, the Culture Programme of the European Union, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung and Allianz Cultural Foundation.