Political Populism at Kunsthalle Wien

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Artists: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Saâdane Afif, Darren Bader, Keren Cytter, Simon Denny, Christian Falsnaes, Evgeny Granilshchikov, Flaka Haliti, Rosemary Heather, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, Anna Jermolaewa, Johanna Kandl, Erik van Lieshout, Minouk Lim, Goshka Macuga, Jumana Manna, Mián Mián, Marcel Odenbach, Ahmet Öğüt, Trevor Paglen, Hito Steyerl, Jun Yang

Exhibition title: Political Populism

Curated by: Nicolaus Schafhausen

Venue: Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Date:  November 7, 2015 – February 7, 2016

Photography: Stephan Wyckoff, images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunsthalle Wien

Note: Exhibition booklet can be found here

Not only is political populism on the rise, but it is also making much stronger use of pop culture and artistic methods and aesthetics than in earlier years. Social media, advertising aesthetics and media staging have lent a progressive appearance to simple or simplistic slogans. Rapping politicians, YouTube clips aimed specifically at young people, TV formats and pop concerts that present political themes and aim to make prejudice socially acceptable – these are all part of the current media landscape. In turn, artistic works reflect or comment on this tendency or lend it a further, subversive level that uses the mechanisms of political populism against this trend. The exhibition brings together works by international artists who address various facets of populism and analyse it, diffract it in an ironic manner and above all point out how omnipresent it has become.

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Simon Denny, Secret Power Highlighted, 2015, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Buchholz Berlin/Cologne and Galerie Petzel, New York

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Simon Denny, Secret Power Highlighted, 2015, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Buchholz Berlin/Cologne and Galerie Petzel, New York

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Goshka Macuga, Model for a Sculpture (Family), 2011, Courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Of what is, that it is; Of what is not, that it is not 1, 2012, Courtesy the artist and Prada Collection, Mailand

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Ahmet Öğüt, Pleasure Places of All Kinds; Yichang, 2015, Courtesy the artist

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Jun Yang, Goldenes Zimmer, 2015, Eat Drink Art Business, 2015, Paris Syndrome (Indoor Plants), 2007–ongoing, Wiener Paravent, 2015, Wiener Sitzgruppe, 2015, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna

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Goshka Macuga, Model for a Sculpture (Family), 2011, Courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Of what is, that it is; Of what is not, that it is not 1, 2012, Courtesy the artist and Prada Collection, Mailand; Jun Yang, Goldenes Zimmer, 2015, Eat Drink Art Business, 2015, Paris Syndrome (Indoor Plants), 2007–ongoing, Wiener Sitzgruppe, 2015, Becoming European or How I grew up with Wiener Schnitzel, 2015, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna

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Johanna Kandl, O. T. (Who’s got the big Picture?), 2006, M KHA, Antwerpen; O. T. (it’s the economy, stupid!), 2002, Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; O. T. (modernize or die), 2002, MUSA, Vienna; O.T. (success in global …), 2002, Boris Marte, Vienna; O.T. (this ambitious …), 2001, Arbeiterkammer Wien, Courtesy the artist

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Marcel Odenbach, Stadt der Helden, 2015, Ich bin ein Berliner, 2013, Private collection; Deutsches Symbol (Reichskriegsflagge), 1994, Deutsches Symbol (VW), 1994, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne and Galerie Crone, Berlin

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David Avazzadeh: Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents, Part 3: When the fall of the dictionary leaves all words lying in the street, 2015, Courtesy the artist and Carroll Fletcher, London

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David Avazzadeh: Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents, Part 3: When the fall of the dictionary leaves all words lying in the street, 2015, Courtesy the artist and Carroll Fletcher, London

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Minouk Lim, Navigation ID, 2014, Live broadcast intervention at the press opening day of Burning Down the House, the 10th Gwangju Biennale, Courtesy the artist

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Contra Diction (Speech Against Itself) (Detail), 2015, Courtesy the artist and Mor Charpentier, Paris, Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Stefan Jäggi

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun (Videostill), 2015, Courtesy the artist

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Christian Falsnaes, Influence (Videostill), 2012, Courtesy PSM, Berlin

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Johanna Kandl, O.T. (It´s the economy, stupid), 2002, Courtesy GfzK Leipzig

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Darren Bader, The Vagrant (Videostill), 2015, Courtesy the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery; Sadie Coles HQ; Galleria Franco Noero; and Blum & Poe

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Marcel Odenbach, Deutsches Symbol (VW), 1994, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne and Galerie Crone, Berlin

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