The exhibition is part of a research project Eastern Sugar by the artist Ilona Németh, which examines the history of the sugar industry and its wider social and environmental impacts. The autonomous exhibition project LISTENING TO VOICES follows the discourse of the Eastern Sugar project developed on the platform of international cooperation.
Artist(s) Melanie Bonajo, František Demeter, Nicoline Van Harskamp, Satch Hoyt, Thomas Kilpper & Massimo Ricciardo, Khvay Samnang, Pilvi Takala
Curator Mira Keratová, Caroline Krzyszton
Venue Futura, Prague
All images Tomáš Souček / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Futura, Prague
The concept of the exhibition follows possible perspectives for the decolonization of the future from the deconstruction of the following colonial ideologies related to land and further capital, respectively wealth, through the decolonization of language, education, technology, etc. Through decentred positioning, the idea of the exhibition is to address inherited and unconsciously adapted, perpetuating oppressive systems of neoliberal post-growth era, characterized by grief from climate change and deepening inequalities, which remain the dominant and uninterrupted social concept even in times of global pandemic.
The aim of the exhibition project LISTENING TO VOICES is to contribute to the ongoing emancipation processes that anticipate the future of healing and justice through psychoanalytic and feminist approaches of: Radical Ethics with its psychology of contemporary trauma and using a relational perspective as an empathic projection towards ethical co-emergence with Others; and Ethics of Care, which, in contrast to the idea of so-called Universal Justice, instead of abstract principles of morality, deals with justice based framework through Relational Ethics, developed through the individual relational acts in a concrete real-life situations and through responsibility to Others, who are, however, specific individuals.
Visual representation and aesthetic reflection of social or political conflicts should aim at sensitizing the viewer, exploring the ethical dimension of political action and a liberating vision of the world of equality: from questioning fixed norms of behavior (P. Takala) to situational learning (S. Hoyt), through the involvement of digital ecofeminism (M. Bonajo) and traditional cultural rituals related to the environmental impacts of neocolonialism (K. Samnang) to the critique of the new (capitalist-consumer) ethics commodifying the needs (F. Demeter) – from solidarity and inclusive justice (T. Kilpper, M. Ricciardo) to dialogical engagement of dystopian feminism (N. Van Harskamp), to the act of the fictive language of social constructs and shared ideas.
EASTERN SUGAR is an international, interdisciplinary, contemporary visual art project with strong focus on artistic research. Project reflects the recent facets of European history through the case of sugar industry in Central Europe. By the means of artistic research, curatorial cooperation, creation of new artworks, five international group exhibitions, participative installations, public and educational programs, and a comprehensive interdisciplinary publication the project investigates the “clearing” process of the Central- European sugar production. Thus, sugar can be understood as a metaphor for the notion of Europe and world under constant transformation. EASTERN SUGAR strives to bring the attention to the history of sugar industry in Central Europe and to place it on the global map of the story of sugar. While doing so, it considers colonial impact of the past as well as the present.