»One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image«
The exhibition »One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image« shows voices from the period of East European disintegration, and brings together within one show already exhibited, well-known artists whose works are exhibited throughout the world, and works by those who, to date, have been given as good as no attention. Here, the title » One Sixth of the Earth« indicates the amount in per cent, of the earth’s total continental surface formerly located within the confines of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Since its decline in 1991, this area opened new political as well as economic interests. However, over the course of this opening process it was especially the cultural-artistic facets of the country which once again flourished.
The moving image, whether film or video has a unique history especially in the East: “In the previous century, we became accustomed to the idea that the first techno-avant-garde of art originated in Western Europe and North America. This idea is wrong. Almost all the foundations for the development of electronic image and sound worlds were discovered and invented in the East.” (Siegfried Zielinski)
During the communist era, the moving image was a common art form, which was mostly used for propaganda purposes; today, it functions primarily as a decisive force for critical artistic expressions. The utopian claims of early socialism proved themselves redundant during the struggle for survival and the experiences of a commercially and economically ruined society. Hence, for the purposes of the exhibition, focus was placed on the image as a medium of expression. For the exhibition a selection was made of those artists who worked primarily with the moving image. What they all share in common is their reflections on contemporary social conditions, whereby the exhibition provides an overview of the artistic ecosystem of those Eastern European countries that managed to step out of the shadow of demise then underway within the Soviet Union.
Text: Dominika Szope