< rotor > center for contemporary art

Guerilla of Enlightenment
They Won't Bear Hiding Behind Walls and Fences


Opening 22.9., 13:00
Opening statement by
the writer Olga Flor


Part of
Collateral Program 2018

Production specifics
Responsible for the program: Margarethe Makovec, Anton Lederer

With Babi Badalov, Petja Dimitrova, EXTRA-TERRITORIA – Róza El-Hassan / Branimir Sojanović / Milica Tomić, Petra Gerschner, e.d gfrerer, Manaf Halbouni, Oto Hudec, Maryam Mohammadi / Joachim Hainzl, Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić, RISOGRAD, Tim Sharp, Barbora Šimková, Hannes Zebedin, ZIP group

Supported by steirischer herbst

Since June 2018, < rotor > center for contemporary art has been examining current political and social developments in a series entitled Guerilla of Enlightenment. The focus is on the resurgence of nationalist trends in combination with populist right-wing parties and movements in Austria and other European countries and the structural racism and politics of fear that often go hand in hand with these phenomena. A stance observed throughout Europe has recently met with the approval of many voters, a stance that Olga Flor describes as “antihumanism as new pragmatism.” In her book Politik der Emotion (Politics of emotion, 2018) the author explains who has to pay for the current success of right-of-center governments: “Severity and becoming hardened to other people’s suffering is declared to be a political necessity and proclaimed a social norm.” As Ines Aftenberger remarked almost ten years previously in her scientific paper Die neue Rechte und der Neorassismus (The New Right and Neo-Racism, 2007): the nation-state “no longer presents itself as the welfare state but rather as an instrument for ‘securing the location’ [Standortsicherung] and repression that exploits New Right discourses of mobilization against migrants.” People seeking refuge in Europe have thus long been demonized by the populist right. The artworks and stances of the artists in this exhibition set out to oppose this.