ANIMISM is a long-term exhibition and publication project first presented between 22 January and 2 May 2010 in Antwerp in a collaboration between Extra City Kunsthal Antwerpen
and the Museum of Contemporary Art
In a second stage the exhibition will move to Kunsthalle Bern from May till July 2010. Subsequent versions will be developed at the Generali Foundation in Vienna and the House of World Cultures in Berlin (with the Free University Berlin) in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The exhibition responds to a new interest in animism as a concept through which to understand the world and specifically our relation to things, animals and nature differently.
ANIMISM takes as its starting point what was once the backdrop against which modernity defined itself the boundaries between the animate and inanimate, culture and nature, life and non-life and critically reflects on the forms of knowledge and power and the aesthetic systems that it produced.
Coined by 19th century anthropologists in the context of the colonial encounter, animism was understood as a primitive belief or psychological mechanism through which objects are endowed with a soul, agency and personhood.
Fuelled by changing political constellations, ecological crisis, new technologies and shifting power relations, these modern distinctions are questioned on a massive scale. Animism outlines a challenging perspective to rethink present-day relations in the world.
The exhibition ANIMISM brings together contemporary and historical works that explore the modern boundary between humans and non-humans, the animate and inanimate.
With works by:
Agency, Art and Language, Christian W. Braune and Otto Fischer, Marcel Broodthaers, Paul Chan, Didier Demorcy, Walt Disney, Lili Dujourie, Jimmie Durham, Eric Duvivier, Thomas A. Edison, Harun Farocki, Leon Ferrari, Christopher Glembotzky, Victor Grippo, Brion Gysin, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Luis Jacob, Ken Jacobs, Darius James, Joachim Koester, Louise Lawler, Len Lye, Etienne-Jules Marey, Daria Martin, Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato, Wesley Meuris, Henri Michaux, Santu Mofokeng, Vincent Monnikendam, Tom Nicholson, Otobong Nkanga, Reto Pulfer, Felix-Louis Regnault, Jozef Robakowski, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Paul Sharits, Yutaka Sone, Jan Svankmajer, David G. Tretiakoff, Rosemarie Trockel, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Dziga Vertov, Klaus Weber, Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Concept: Anselm Franke
Curators Antwerp: Anselm Franke (Director Extra City Antwerp), Edwin Carels (Researcher KASK/HoGent), Bart De Baere (Director M HKA Antwerp); Bern: Anselm Franke, Philippe Pirotte (Director Kunsthalle Bern); Vienna: Anselm Franke, Sabine Folie (Director Generali Foundation Vienna)