Haroon Mirza, Adam, Eve, Others and a UFO. 2013, courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery
“If the end of the twentieth century can be characterized by futurism, the twenty-first can be defined by presentism.”
Artists: Giorgio Andreotta Calò / Cevdet Erek / CM von Hausswolff / Roger Hiorns / Lyndsey Housden / Jonas Lund / David Maljkovic / Aditya Mandayam / Miranda Meijer / Haroon Mirza / Nishiko / Ahmet Ögüt / Sarah van Sonsbeeck / Berend Strik
This year’s REWIRE Festival’s Momentum exhibition focuses on art in the time of the endless now. In a society where live, real time and ‘always-on’ viewing are constantly increasing, our capacity to process impressions is changing. Binge watching, second screen and the ‘festivalizing’ of leisure time change our attitudes towards art and culture – but not always for the worse. While we read alarming reports in the newspapers about our reduced attention spans and inability to concentrate, we see more images, listen to more music and, online, we read more than ever before. All the culture in the world is just a click away.
In this super-inundation of information and possibilities, finding focus for visual art is a challenge. Biennials and festivals are tried-and-tested forms for reaching many people in a given time span. These events are the larger, cultured form of binge watching: trying to see as much as possible in a short space of time. Spectacle art is another way to reach people, as is creating networks, for Museum Nights, for example, or collective purchases by the Van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
But how does one find their audience when they are smaller and have fewer resources? As an artist, how do you develop a practice when the speed of turnover in our attention economy is higher and higher? And what kind of work evolves from an age that wants more and more while investing less and less?
In the Momentum exhibition, the REWIRE Festival creates space to ask these questions. At GEMAK, various artists spend five weeks contributing to the search for creative dynamics and public involvement, each at their own pace. Supported by the festival and its visitors, and inspired by the self-organizing potential of international protest movements and the DIY mentality of young generations in general, Momentum investigates possibilities for art as it needs to be today.
Momentum, curated by Non-fiction partner Juha van ‘t Zelfde, is a co-production of two of the Hague’s adventurous festivals: REWIRE Festival and State-X New Forms. It serves as a laboratory for critical reflection within the respective festivals. The exhibition opens on 8 November, together with the REWIRE Festival, and will hold its finnisage on 14 December, during the State-X New Forms Festival.