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The Culture Collider: Post-Exotic Art


In her new project, the Vienna-based curator Goschka Gawlik refers to the situation of contemporary art, which is created in the global village, undergoing ongoing mutations, mutual influences and impacts, using multiplied quotations and references. An international group of artists, using different techniques and styles, share a desire to transcend the frames of their own cultures, an openness and a curiosity for otherness. The European artists gladly refer to the signs, symbols and stereotypes of the Far East. The artists from Asia, who have internalized the achievements of modern art and can use them with ease, while being aware of their own cultural background, engage in a kind of dialogue/game with Western culture. The works on display, already saturated with meanings, interact with one another and take on new meanings. The culture collider in the title (in reference to the Large Hadron Collider, in which collisions of particles result in the creation of new particles) does not stand for confrontation but rather for the creation of new artistic qualities.

Bogna Dziechciaruk-Maj

Dyrektor Muzeum Manggha



Today’s societies in Far Eastern countries (e.g. India, Pakistan, South Korea, North Korea, China, or Vietnam) are becoming more and more modern, increasing their economic influence and cultural self-assurance. In this New Global World, cultural differences gain significance comparable to the importance of ideological, political and economic ones. At this stage of postcolonialism and confronted with the ever changing economic interrelations and political contradictions, the artists from Asia and Europe who have been invited to take part in the Manggha Museum’s exhibition are trying to answer questions about the cultural condition in terms of history, values, mores, aesthetics, origin, language, the role of institutions, and the revival of religion.

Considered from this position, the subjectivity of an artistic entity manifests not as an indivisible centre or a solistic point of reference but merely as a discreet Deleuzean ‘fold’ on the surface of the shared cultural idiom in the contexts of cultural dissimilarity.

The attempts of artists creating post-exotic art towards fusion with the ‘Stranger’, who actually has long ceased to be the ‘Other’, and the agonistic (as the term is used by Chantal Mouffe), i.e. divergent interpretations of the jointly adopted rules, often radicalise well-established categories and concepts of cultural values, also provoking a new ideal of aesthetic sensitivity in their audiences.

In the planned exhibition, the ‘collision’ of Eastern and Western art takes place not as a linear accumulation but rather as congruences and suspenseful comparisons, oppositions and complementations between the various works of art as elementary particles in a selected setting. The media include painting, sculpture, objects, installation and video.

Goschka Gawlik