"Quand l'été" dans l'exhibition "Utopia Today" à St. Pölten
Videocity St. Pölten – City exhibition trail “Utopia Today“
6.10. – 17.12.2023
Opening times vary, please check the opening times of the locations.
>> Opening on 5th October 2023 with artists and curator Walter Seidl.
Meeting point: 16:00 at STARTraum, Löwinnenhof*, Linzer Straße 16, 3100 St. Pölten.
Yana Bachynska, Filippo Berta, Sergey Bratkov, Edlyn Castellanos, Youngjoo Cho, Petra Gerschner, Abdulnasser Gharem, Zoya Laktionova, Conny Karlsson Lundgren, nagl~wintersberger, Ferhat Özgür, Karin Písaříková, Johanna Reich, Paulina Ruiz Carballido, Markus Wintersberger, James Stephen Wright, James Stephen Wright & Polina Chizhova,
Curators: Andrea Domesle, Walter Seidl and the Videocity team
With thanks to: Stadt St. Pölten Kultur, Kultur Niederösterreich, Bundesministerium Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport.
Videocity St. Pölten brings video art into the everyday life of the city for the third time presenting videos by Austrian and international artists on the theme of "Utopia Today". As the videos are presented in public space, the city becomes the soundtrack of the videos and coincidences of everyday life intervene in the compositions. The surroundings allow the works to be seen in a new light in the city of St. Pölten.
The 2023 video cycle differs from the representation of "utopia" in the art historical tradition. Our approach includes saying goodbye to the antonyms "utopia" and "dystopia". The focus is not on the question: "what if?" but "what can we do now? It is not supposed to be about a future ideal world, but about the actions that every person can do here and now to improve the world – be it small steps in everyday life. This cycle aims to amplify critical voices that focus neither on the positive nor on the dystopian, yet remain hopeful.
"While the utopian tendencies of the 1960s manifested themselves strongly in the fields of design, architecture and film, culminating in the moon landing in 1969, the utopian hopes of the 1990s, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, also proved to be more of a dystopian relationship in the decades that followed, as the eastern half of Europe could only gradually be embedded in an overall structure. After the crises of 2001, 2008, the need for a climate justice movement, the pandemic and finally the war of aggression on Ukraine, the former utopian expectations tilted and were visibly transformed into a dystopian scenario from which there seems to be no way out.
However, the artists of the cycle "Utopia Today" are not concerned with negotiating existing dystopian scenarios, but rather with trying to detect utopian moments in the present, even if they have only minimal visibility, and to put them into the picture artistically. This is also a young generation that is less burdened by history and fully exploits the possibilities of the digital age, creating parallel worlds to current political constellations. The project shows a large proportion of videos by younger women artists that mark transformation processes in their lives. Likewise, there is a dissolution of classical gender models and a fluidity of identities and (digital as well as physical) realities that creates new parameters for a possible future."
(Walter Seidl, Co-director Videocity Austria)
20 videos by 17 artists and filmmakers will be presented on monitors in shop windows or inside institutions in St. Pölten's city centre as well as in the Festspielhaus St. Pölten and the FH St. Pölten. Even though some videos have a soundtrack, they are exhibited without sound with the sounds of the environment replace any original soundtrack in outdoor location. In the case of indoor presentations, visitors can listen to the original sound via headphones – the audience is invited to experience the differences in perception. At Famos Delikatessen, virtual films can be generated via QR codes.