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Past is Not Post

Group Exhibition in the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art
02 February 2017, 14:00 - 19 March 2017, 18:00
Opening: 01 February 2017, 19:00

Past is Not Post examines a growing number of artists working in relationship to archival research or investigations of historical memory. While the sites, methods, and circumstances of these practices remain diverse, there is a common artistic impulse to work through history as a backdoor when options in the present seem closed. Given the ambiguous role of artists in contemporary societies, particularly the difficulty of connecting to existing political and social struggles, the intersectional and incomplete stories of the past offer alternate approaches. Can this engagement of the past create spaces to rearticulate our collective possibilities and demands, spaces emblematic of both resistance and retreat?

Why do artists continue to find revisiting the past a useful way of working? How do we ask such questions while at the same time recognizing the many important inventions and struggles by artists, filmmakers, and historians to render visible histories of oppression and marginalization? This production takes place amid perpetually unfolding global ecological and political crises, on the one hand, alongside insurrectionary protests and massive popular mobilizations on the other. The present, with its shifting urgencies and fleeting attention spans, complicates our relationship to these projects: one moment they may resonate as insurrectionary and powerful, the next as a form of refuge from more pressing questions. Past is Not Post corresponds with an ongoing inquiry of the Edith-Russ-Haus into artistic revisitations of history and the use of archival materials to interrogate the present. Here, in a constellation of almost twenty projects, what can we learn from the points of  resonance and dissonance that emerge through their spatial and thematic adjacency? Broadly, these works invite one to consider the cultural production of meaning and knowledge. They call upon us not as recipients of history, but as agents of the future.



          Lasse Lau, Sound from the Hallways, 2012 
    Photo by Alessio Valori
  Regina José Galindo, Tierra, 2013                          With thanks to producer Mostafa Youssef. 
  Photo by Bertrand Huet Realized during the Les          With support from Danish Arts Council and DCCD
  Moulins Residency Program. With thanks to the
  associate curator Clare Carolin.With the support
  of the University of the Arts London and
  La Maréchalerie centre d'art Versailles.



Artists in the show:

Pia Arke & Anders Jørgensen

Petra Bauer

Matthew Buckingham

Kajsa Dahlberg

Michelle Dizon

Benj Gerdes

Andrea Geyer

Regina José Galindo

Jan Peter Hammer

Sven Johne

William E. Jones

Lasse Lau

Maha Maamoun

Robert Ochshorn

Rania Rafei & Raed Rafei

Benjamin Tiven

Sarah Vanagt & Katrien Vermeire

Raed Yassin

Akram Zaatari


Benj Gerdes, Years of Saturdays, 2015                       Benjamin Tiven, A Third Version of the                                                                                           Imaginary-Description, 2012

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
Ein Ausstellungshaus der
Stadt Oldenburg