Europe has become a refuge for the disregarded and persecuted people in the regions of war and conflict all over the world. The whole of Europe? No, a big part of European populations is frightened by strangers and refuses to welcome refugees. The fear of the unknown stirs up emotions and partly evokes xenophobic affects. Especially in Eastern parts of Europe, a majority of the populations balk at the reception of refugees – while their governments make use of this tense atmosphere by strengthening an increasingly populist and authoritarian style of politics.
What are the reasons for? Where to find the socio-psychological origins of these phenomena? What mysteries and phobias plagues people? Eight artists and three artistic collectives from Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Rumania and Germany dealt with these questions. What came out are artistic reflections about the fear of refugees, the dread of the unknown and the raise of xenophobia, racism and populism in Europe. The exhibition at Galerie Kunstpunkt in Berlin shows selection of participatory artworks from Fear of The Unknown exhibition made by Kunsthalle Bratislava earlier this year. In the aftermath of the exhibition “The Fear of the Unknown”, the political pressure prevented Kunsthalle Bratislava from realizing any other exhibition.
“Multi-ethnicity is a typical characteristic of many cities all over the world, but in Middle and Eastern Europe it is a rarely known phenomenon”, says Juraj Čarný, the former director of Kunsthalle Bratislava, who brought the exhibition to Berlin. Together with the chief-curator of Kunsthalle Bratislava, Richard Gregor, and the Leipzig-based curator Lenka Kurkurová, he originally conceptualized the show for the Slovak capital. From 7th October 2016 on, parts of the exhibition can be visited in Berlin. This was possible also thanks to the collaboration of Juraj Čarný with Mark Gisbourne, the curator of the exhibition for contemporary art, Rohkunstbau, which takes place annually in Brandenburg. The show “Mirror of Alterity” is part of the European art project “REALISE - The Resilience of Art in Liquid Crises”, coordinated by Heinrich-Böll-Foundation Brandenburg and funded by the European Union.
“Mirror of Alterity” aims at analyzing phenomena of otherness and deconstructing the imagination of the unknown or the not recogniced. How much familiar is projected onto the alien? And what tells our image of the other about ourselves? The show does not claim to give political answers. It is not an exhibition that allows visitors to simply enter into dialogue with the artworks from a safe viewpoint. The artists direct at integrating visitors into the processes of artistic production. This approach provokes unexpected barriers and opens unexpected perspectives.
Curator: Juraj Čarný
Artworks of: Radovan Čerevka (SK), Alena Foustková (CZ), Lukáš Houdek (CZ), Susa Gunzner & Grandhotel Cosmopolis (DE), Oto Hudec (SK), David Koronczi & Martina Szabóová (SK), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Tomáš Rafa (SK), Kateřina Šedá (CZ), Ján Triaška (SK) and Nová Věčnost (CZ).
7th to 31th October 2016
Fr. and Mo. 2pm -7pm
Sa. and Su. 12am –5 pm
Opening of the exhibition:
7th October, 7 pm
The entry is free of charge.
Information and contact:
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Brandenburg e.V.
Organizer: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Brandenburg, „Mirror of Alterity“ ist a part of the project "REALISE – The Resilience of Art in Liquid Crises” promoted in line with the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.