Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead: Una forma de ser

BERGEN ASSEMBLY

Belgin, photo: Thor Brødreskift
Jeremy Wade, performance, Parliaments of Bodies: The Impossible Parliament, Belgin. photo: Thor Brødreskift
Canciones de la guerra social, political parties, Belgin, photo: Thor Brødreskift
Bergen Kjøtt, photo: Hans D. Christ
Front: Ines Doujak, Sing Along!, 2019, Bergen Kjøtt, photo: Hans D. Christ
Right: Capital Drawing Group, left: Alexander Kluge, talk with Otto Schily, 1978, Bergen Kjøtt, photo: Thor Brødreskift
Magdalena Freudenschuss / peter steudtner, Bergen Kjøtt, photo: Hans D. Christ
Bergen Kunsthal, photo: Hans D. Christ
Hiwa K, Pre-Image (Porto), 2014, Bergen Kunsthal, photo: Thor Brødreskift
PEROU, Considérant, 2013, Bergen Kunsthal, photo: Thor Brødreskift
KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Hans D. Christ
poltical parties, KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Thor Brødreskift
Ragel, Esqueletomaquias, ca. 1937–42, poltical parties, KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Thor Brødreskift
Ragel, Esqueletomaquias, ca. 1937–42, poltical parties, KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Thor Brødreskift
poltical parties, KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Hans D. Christ
poltical parties, KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Thor Brødreskift
Darcy Lange / Maria Snijders, Aire del Mar, 1988–94/2019, KODE 1 Permanenten, photo: Thor Brødreskift

Artistic Direction
Hans D. Christ, Iris Dressler
in cooperation with
Murat Deha Boduroglu, Banu Cennetoglu, María García Ruiz, Hiwa K, Katia Krupennikova, Viktor Neumann, Paul B. Preciado, Pedro G. Romero, Simon Sheikh, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa

Hans D. Christ and Iris Dressler, directors of the Württembergischer Kunstverein, were the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly 2019, a still young triennial of contemporary arts in Norway.

Christ and Dressler invited ten other curators to explore the concept of assembly together. They also addressed the question of allies within collective emancipatory processes and the extent to which the dead, or those who are no longer or not yet alive, are relevant to these processes. This aspect ultimately formed the substantive core of the Bergen Assembly 2019, whose title refers to a quote by the writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge: "For it is a mistake that the dead are dead."

From Bergen to Stuttgart
While the two-and-a-half-year curatorial process in Bergen came to a head in September 2019 in the form of a nine-week exhibition at five venues, this formation will be fanned out again in Stuttgart. Within the framework of three exhibitions that follow one another in time and are at the same time self-contained and interrelated, thought processes and results from Bergen will be taken up, continued, and at the same time rearranged. Several works circulate between the different parts, thus appearing repeatedly in different contexts.

With this series, the Württembergischer Kunstverein would like to try out new forms of sustainable curating that do not rely on the fast-moving nature of themes, but rather reflect on them over a longer period of time in ever different constellations.

At the center of the project Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead is life: an understanding of life beyond the supposed binary oppositions between subject and object, human and animal, health and disease, life and death.

It explores how our relationships with those who are no longer, or not yet, can be redefined: in terms of responsibility for the past and future. This involves addressing the legacy of unresolved social conflicts as well as concern for the future of the planet and its resources. It involves discrimination against and emancipation of indigenous, queer, and/or functionally diverse bodies as well as the struggle against all those economies that accept death for the sake of profit.  

These struggles require different attributes than those of the heroic or triumphant. They are based on emancipatory practices for which vulnerability and self-empowerment, mourning and joy, the dead and the living belong together.

Social imbalances, as well as the vulnerability of life, have become particularly salient with the Corona crisis. The project Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead understands this vulnerability not as a deficiency, but as a perspective to rethink existing conditions.

Due to the pandemic, the project was interrupted and postponed several times, so that it extends into the year 2021.

As early as the first exhibition in the series, which was interrupted and extended due to the pandemic, the Kunstverein initiated a shutdown program that explored the project's questions and themes in various online and onsite formats.

Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead. Politiken des Lebens
February 29 until August 23, 2020 (Interruption: March 13 until May 7, 2020)

Artists
Bergen (Belgin Sarilmiser), Lisa Bufano, Antonio Centeno Ortiz / Raúl de la Morena, Anna Dasovic, Eva Egermann, Valérie Favre, Flo6x8, Robert Gabris, María Galindo/Danitza Luna, Sonsherée Giles, Niklas Goldbach, Siri Hermansen, Suntag Noh, PEROU/Sébastien Thiéry, Pedro G. Romero, María Salgado/Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca, Ilhan Sayin, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Sunaura Taylor

Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead. Una Form de Ser
October 17, 2020 – April 25, 2021 (Interruption: since November 2, 2020)

Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead. Techniques of Becoming (working title)
May 7 – July 18, 2021

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Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart