For the project Former West, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt examined how contemporary arts reacted to the tidal changes of 1989 and the resulting transformation of the political and cultural landscape. The project began with the postulation that following the disintegration of the dichotomous world order, contemporary art positioned itself within an increasingly global system of dependencies and influences – a system comprised of the eroded political and economic predominance of “the West”.
Former West had two main objectives. First, by engaging international artists, curators and researchers, it attempted to localize the current position of contemporary art production and examine what image of the future is being propagated by contemporary art today. Second, it reviewed the historic positions of the past 20 years, in which the geopolitical upheaval of 1989 played an integral role. The project took an innovative approach to designing this retrospective overview. Former West attempted to sidestep the limitation of traditional formats such as exhibitions and congresses. The project presented a ten-day “experimental arrangement” featuring performances, films and discussions as a lead-up to the presentation of documents and artwork.
Artistic director: Kathrin Rhomberg
Participants / Artists: Nancy Adajania (IND), Aernout Mik (NL), Josef Dabernig (A), Pawel Althamer (PL), Rabih Mouré (RL), Nilbar Güres (TR)
Venue: Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 18 - 24 Mar. 2013
Haus der Kulturen der Welt