press release

Why do you resist? exhibition introduces artists from Eastern and Western Europe, who deal with power structures and who understand their creative work as a form of resistance against the apparatuses of power. After the collapse of the socialism a new generation of artists have arisen in the former socialistic countries. Their works reflect the changes in the Europe, for example the founding of the European Union and its expansion. These artists deal with democracy, capitalism, globalisation, resistance movements, immigration, terrorism and ethnic or racially motivated suppression mechanisms. They are analysing how the governments or EU structures of power are dealing with these matters.

Since the end of the 19 th century at the latest, artists use their works in the fight for a better world. Art is at the same time not primarily a supplier of works, but artist is a citizen who directly intervenes in life. The artists aim is to arouse the aesthetic consciousness, civic mindedness and resistance. Participating artist Thomas Hirschhorn expresses his worldview in the following way: “I want to turn towards the negative. I don’t want to look the other way. To agree with the world doesn’t mean to approve of it. To agree means not to look away. To agree means to put up resistance and resist the facts.”

Why do you resist? exhibition undertakes a selective stock-taking of the forms of political resistance in contemporary art and shows widely varied types of approaches on the subject in a variety of media. There is a interface of aesthetic representation and political social responsibility. Control mechanisms, constructions and representations of power are made visible. This thematical approach to resistance against power can also lead to visual forms of resistance to artistic methods, which stands in the avantgarde tradition. Language, content and artistic concepts are in the process frequently linked and the borders between artistic staging and political act disappear.

Why do you resist? exhibition has been touring in varied formats in Kunstmuseum Thun (Thun, Switzerland), Center for Contemporary Central European Art (Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic), Forum Stadtpark (Graz, Austria). The exhibition continues from Pori to Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok, Poland.