Denise Bertschi

COLD.WAR.HOT.STARS

COLD.WAR.HOT.STARS

COLD.WAR.HOT.STARS

Exhibition view at Corner College Zürich
Denise Bertschi, STATE FICTION, ‚PEACE SUPPORT‘, 2014 (right)
Thomas Galler, Untitled (Rihanna), 2010 (left)

Year: 09.12.2015 – 29.01.2016 - The exhibition Cold. War. Hot. Stars. The Iron(y) Helmet of the Intellect displays a dystopian landscape produced by asymmetric relation of delirious realism and rigorous fiction in the time of global capital, with a certain sense of alienation, coldness and distance. It intensifies these affects and creates a space of reflection and a heterogeneous perceptual field that is simultaneously a close-range haptic space of proximity, on the backdrop of the recent mass media rhetoric announcing a new global crisis in which the world has never been closer to a New Cold War, a security crisis that escalates the fears of a future nuclear “option.” The exhibition inquires into some of these scenarios for the future from the past, and traces various historiographic lines or directions through the artistic practices and art works as seismographs of global social change. They sense the current symptoms “where everything is played in uncertain games, ‘front to front, back to back, front to back …,’ ”  as consequences of the politico-social and economic developments after WW II, and the so-called Cold War, a period of propaganda, technologization and militarization of civil life in the competition between Western and Eastern blocs. The segmentary forms of the fight for control and domination altered the North and South lines of longitude and deepened the gap between the so-called Third World and the Western or advanced technological-industrial societies with their current development of a knowledge and service based economy. The exhibition undermines the stereotypes produced by binary abstract machines that overcode the divisions into a homogeneous West and a homogeneous East, into the “rich” North and the “poor” South. It proposes rather other focal points as thresholds to the outside, through which the South can be thought as a new trajectory of knowledge, aesthetics and practices of critique of cultural, ideological and technological hegemony, from which can emerge new lines of resistance and the potentiality of new cooperations, as everybody has their own South with electric palm trees, not only geographic and economic but personal and political, too. The participating artists, through their practices based on research, appropriation, poetic displacements and personal aesthetic reflections on memory, cognition, attention, mass media, territory and technologies critically interrogate the past/future tensions and give a passage to the present impossibility of isolation through securitization, militarization and ideological separations in order to increase the modes of connection. With the irony of the intellect, which is a qualitative duration of consciousness, the exhibition aims to intensify and empower movements of deterritorialization that fabulate and produce desires to repeat over and over again the melody of The Plastic Ono Band’s Give Peace a Chance, grasped as a cosmopolitical proposal for the upcoming winter – not a military machine, but a mutating living machine on which one can take a flight or just stay in bed. Text: Dimitrina Sevova