geert lovink on Sat, 5 May 2001 08:48:55 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Shedhalle Zürich: "Never Look Back"

From: "shedhalle zürich" <>
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 3:27 AM
Subject: "Never Look Back"
Never Look Back
Politics of Friendship -Critical Art Practice
Shedhalle Zurich
Archives, Events, Collaborations -1st June -22nd July 2001
International Meeting from 1st -4th June 2001

We would like to invite you to a 4-day meeting under the title "Politics of
Friendship", from 1st -4th June 2001, that will take place in the framework
of "Never Look Back" in Shedhalle Zurich. It is important to us to instigate
a discussion on the institutional and formal conditions of the political and
cultural strategies of projects that have taken place up to now in
Shedhalle, as well as in many other locations, institutions and
self-organised contexts. This discussion will also lead on to the
development of a perspective for further projects and collaborations.

Never Look Back
Since 1994, Shedhalle has been defined as a place for experimentation with,
and production of, new forms of contemporary artistic and cultural
practices. The starting point for the majority of the projects, exhibitions
and discussions, developed in this framework, was the examination of modes
of questioning and complexes of topics with socio-political relevance, and
the conscious expansion of the pure artistic field of action into the
interdisciplinary fields of feminism, and critical city sociology, as well
as cultural and post-colonial studies. The exhibition was considered as an
independent medium, which was particularly suitable for the combination of
knowledge, modes of action and cultural products from various social
spheres. A knowledge-producing practice emerged in accordance with the ideas
from "social movements". This was influenced by aesthetic considerations,
experiences, collective political actions and desires, which were created
with the aid of spatial arrangements of information and the
versatile references thus created, as well as meetings, discussions, events
and actions by the individual producers. The exchange between theorists,
artists, architects, students and activists, as well as the collaboration
with many independently organised groups, and befriended projects,
initiatives and institutions was crucial for such projects and
Parallel to the Shedhalle programme, the cultural environment in Zurich and
elsewhere has changed drastically through the course of the nineties. A
great number of independent and self-organised projects with quite different
requirements emerged from the original opposition between alternative and
established culture scenes.  Self-organisation and the pop-culture hypes
launched through this, as  well as the desires of institutions to be part of
sub and youth culture, temporarily disabled the established order between
"subculture" and "high culture". In the meantime, the crossover between
visual arts, graphic design, fashion and music has produced a new segment of
a present-oriented trend and fun culture that is capable of winning the
masses. However, there is more to this. Art practices of Western European
art institutions now also represent marginalized subjects and productions,
which are set in an environment of feminist and postcolonial discussions.
There is hardly an exhibition organiser who wouldnít want to place herself
or himself in such a context, or who would not at least want to mention a
work of art that is based on critical practices or examinations. How do
these shifts and integrations
actually effect critical cultural practice?

Never Look Back has the aim of defining a status quo by formulating
questions in different ways, and by reappraising step by step the lateral
links between various projects of the nineties, according to their
strategies and methods. Observations of a continuous devaluation of
collectively structured activities, in contrast to a continuous increase in
value of singular phenomena, in the framework of institutional
commodification, play an important role.  Never look back will continue the
examination of an appropriate, content-oriented, formal and institutional
setting for the most independent possible production and mediation of
culture. It will examine the function (or the lack of function) of its own
(success) story, and spotlight as an alternative to logic, and
commodification - once more - the importance of social correlation and
friendly relationships and collaboration.

Seestrasse 395
8038 Zurich
Te. 0041 1 481 59 50
fax 0041 1 481 59 51

The Meeting, 1st June to 4th June 2001

The programme starts on Friday 1st June. On the basis of subjects relating
to culture-political, social and urban preconditions, as well as
developments of the nineties, the immediate context of critical cultural
work and  its changes in recent years will be discussed as a central theme.
As an example of the local situation, the evolution of Zurich No. 5 district
(Stadtteil 5) will be presented.
On Saturday and Sunday several project presentations and talks will take a
closer look at the format of exhibition, as a frequently used, strategic
medium of critical art practice in the nineties.  Also, on Sunday 3rd June,
in the framework of concrete projects, there will be a presentation of, and
a discussion on, the question of sexual politics, involving central aspects
of feminist cultural practice, as well as the question of social networks
and their practical approaches to politics of friendship.
On Monday, on the last day of the event, the institution-critical
discussions, which were important up to the middle of the nineties in visual
arts, will be taken up again by involving different protagonists who,
through their work, are excluded by Western European cultural institutions,
or who make this exclusion a part of their work.

The Exhibition 1st June -22nd July 2001

The exhibition focuses on four archives, which were formed during the
nineties in different cultural contexts and in different places. This will
not only provide access to the materials used for many projects, but
simultaneously lead on to discussions on various archiving strategies, as
well as on how to deal with our own history.

The Parasite archive was developed in New York and unites project
documentation of several
North-American artists who have been committed to political and social
causes for some time. The archive is based on lists of artists and groups
whose work is to be made accessible through it. The varied activities of the
Parasite group, as well as their archive, are an attempt to counteract the
indifference that established institutions harbour towards this type of art

The pelze collection comprises an extensive archive of all the activities of
the autonomous artistsí pelze multimedia project, which emerged in the
Berlin of 1981 from a street project and existed up to the mid-nineties.
Besides the locational setting, which was an important part of the
autonomous womens movement of Berlin, the city itself played an important
role by providing the space for self-organised exhibitions, performances,
discussion events, readings, film bars and infamous parties, as well as
enabling international exchange between artists.

The Shedhalle archive has been reworked, expanded and made accessible on a
permanent basis. It
discloses information, publications and videos of projects from the nineties
onwards that deal with subjects and issues such as critical views on GM
technology, technology and economy in general, gender politics, city
development, pop culture, media practice, and political art, as well as
post-colonial discourse.

The archive of Kunsthalle Oerlikon documents a chronological collection of
invitation cards, press releases, reviews, and the collected correspondence
and photographs produced during their 10-year history as an exhibition space
organised by artists. This institution was of great cultural and political
importance for the alternative scene of Zurich, creating space and publicity
again and again in a variety of places in the city for the most varied needs
and positions.

In order to examine the tension/interrelations of public and private, a
private archive provides insight in the fields of memory of two artists. The
politics of forgetting and repressing is investigated, as well as the
question of success and its measurability: what are our value systems based
on? How is continuity developed without having to submit to prevailing
tastes? Friendly relationships in Zurich, Amsterdam and New York are common

Renate Lorenz (Berlin), Elke aus dem Moore (Zurich), Rayelle Niemann
(Zurich), Marion von Osten
(Zurich/Berlin), Peter Spillmann (Zurich)

Susanna Perin (Zurich), Marc Matter (Zurich), Alice Cantaluppi (Zurich),
France Santi
(Zurich/Lausanne)Charlotte Tschumi (Zurich), and others

Peter Spillmann, Sarah Mehler (Zurich), Elke aus dem Moore (Zurich/Hamburg),
Marc Matter

Further information and the current programme can be obtained from Shehalle
Tel. 0041 1 481 59 50 or e-mail"

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