Social lubricant & water politics

an international group show.

Curated by : Georgij Melnikov, Ale Zapata, Lluís Lipp, Justina Špeirokaitė, Oona Zyman / Text by : Barbora Horská

02.07. - 10.07.


Untergrundbahn Bogen 6-7
A-1060 Wien

Martin Grandits – Anna Vasof – Björn Segschneider – God's Entertainment/Super Nase & Co - Sarah Maria Rechberger - Laia Estruch - Simon Contra - Eduardo Ruiz - Luz Broto - Albert Sánchez Piñol - Kamen Stoyanov - Gedvile Tamosiunaite - Hui Ye - Ramiro Wong - Pille-Riin Jaik and Nazira Karimi - Tomasz Vollmann

This year's edition of XX ART FLANERIE 2021 is dedicated to the theme May you live in liquid times and thus to an approach to our present with the help of cultural, regional and historical contexts. The focus of this year's festival is the artists' examination of socially significant themes, with regard to the past century and today. Special reference is made to the XXs of the 20th and 21st century. The transition from solid modernity to postmodern liquid modernity resulted in the dissolution of familiar structures, in volatility, rapid change and creative destruction. The works shown by the more than 40 participating artists* aim to challenge existing habits of thought and dissolve traditional "fixed" genres and forms by exploding conventional frameworks. Instead of analyzing negative perspectives of the future, the main aim is to aesthetically elaborate the ambivalent potential of our crisis-ridden times.

The international group exhibition entitled "Social Lubricant and Water Politics" at KUBO makes strong reference to the delicate, highly controversial and often hidden decisions of water politics. Highly topical again today as we turn our gaze toward the Mediterranean Sea. Water is a life-giver and a life-threat, a hundred years ago as well as today. Drinking water problems, water privatization, water scarcity, drought and floods - what ecological and economic challenges and opportunities do we face?

Artists presented in the exhibition reflect on these questions from different angles. Using a variety of mediums and art forms, each of them brings a unique addition to the discussion about water politics, with a particular focus on historical events of the 19th century.

Water, used as a medium itself or just a metaphor, translates the fluid nature of an obstacle while highlighting the hidden strength and duality of the material's character. Featured artworks communicate the conflicting feelings of fear and pain of displacement, war, and lack of resources, with joy and excitement that come along with the birth of something new. They confront the viewer with stories of those who have been silenced and forgotten.

While some of the artists invoke ancient traditions and rituals to tell the stories of human history, others use direct interventions to the environment, tackling the political aspect of the human right to access clean water. The issue that incited creativity in establishing what we now consider drinking culture is experiencing a comeback to the forefront of our attention with continued abuse of land by growing capitalism and strongly related climate change.

Through objects, video, performance, and site-specific installations, authors visualize our interdependencies and create a rich tapestry of social systems' metaphors. While questioning our ability to differentiate between natural and artificial when it comes to territory, fantasy, and human existence, they also reminisce about the culture of the working-class neighborhoods at the beginning of the 20th century. This critical discourse with a hint of nostalgia creates a well-balanced show addressing the topic's true complexity from the 19th century until now.



17:00-18:00 / Comissioned Performance from God’s Entretainment “This is no Aquarell?” by Super Nase & Co

18:00 - 19:00 / Performance “Straight No Chaser” by Ramiro Wong

Gedvile Tamosiunaite

Photo courtesy of : Gedvile Tamosiunaite

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