To What End?

Graz Sept. 27 — Nov. 22, 2015
Camera Austria
Co-curator: Gülsen Bal

Heba Y. Amin, Takashi Arai, Mohamed Bourouissa,
Hrair Sarkissian, Vangelis Vlahos

The exhibition To What End? raised questions about future models of existence by looking at countries that have undergone moments of crisis in political, social, and economic terms driven by every possible force of intervention (Egypt, Greece, Japan, Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the United States). Exploring new ways of thinking about the agency of subjects with a particular focus on the ever-changing understanding of cultural paradigms, the represented artists assessed the possibilities of a post-national sense of belonging in both its local and global formulations. In search of the relevance of the past and its effects on today, the exhibition focused on specific moments in recent history that have brought about changes on a global scale lingering in the present realm of political debate (for instance the economic crisis in Greece, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, or the revolution in Egypt).

To What End? engaged in notions of “heritage” as a device for relinking and reclaiming historical memory and remembrance in an effort to bring in a critique of dominant narratives and cultural assumptions. These notions reflect distinct stages of lived experience, addressing personalised histories through a variety of visual regimes by looking into the eyes of another or with the eyes of an “Other.” The artists tackled the question of how to understand the meaning of “heritage” when it comes to offering multiple voices that refer to different cultural and sometimes oppressed contexts. The general question related to how to put an end to conflicts arising from various reasoning—conflicts that cannot always be controlled but need to be resolved in order to help cultural multiplicity redeem its mandate.

© Clara Wildberger

1 Takashi Arai
2 Mohamed Bourouissa
3 Heba Y. Amin
4 Vangelis Vlahos
5 Hrair Sarkissian