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In the run-up to this year’s Impakt Festival, we present the fourth Capitalism Catch-22 themed event. Austrian artist Oliver Ressler studied capitalism in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Armenia. At Impakt’s invitation, he will present the resulting two films on 25 June 2013.
Oliver Ressler’s work can be viewed as both art and activism. He produces installations, projects in the public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Over the years, he collaborated with the artists Zanny Begg (Sydney), Gregory Sholette (New York), David Thorne (Los Angeles) and the political scientist Dario Azzellini (Caracas/Berlin).
In last year’s festival Impakt screened his film The Bull Laid Bear, which focuses on the financial and economic crisis post 2008.
Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt, What comes Next?
The project Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next? focuses on the political and economic situation in the Republic of Armenia, one of the successor states of the Soviet Union. The project materializes in two different formats: The short film, “Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next?” (19 min., 2010), and a 2-channel video installation that will be accomplished by a photo-based floor piece.
The film Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next? was recorded in summer 2010 in Yerevan’s largest bazaar, called “Bangladesh”. Every day more than 1000 people try to survive as traders in the “Bangladesh” bazaar, where an average vendor does not earn more than 100 to 250 Euros per month. In the film, the market’s traders talk about their struggles to survive during crises in a post-socialist state that closed most Soviet-era factories and dissolved social safety nets. The market’s traders, primarily former factory-workers, describe how their living conditions worsened after the end of the Soviet Union; they speak about their hopes and expectations for social change. While they live in misery, a small but highly influential class of corrupt politicians and super-rich oligarchs team up with international corporations in order to fill their pockets with profits from transferring state property and licenses for mining.
In neighbouring country Georgia, privatisation also led to enormous prosperity for the chosen few, while the majority of the population still live in poverty. Ressler is currently finishing off his The Plundering project in Tblisi, which records the destructive consequences of privatisation in Georgia. He will screen this new film as a work in progress.
Please note! This event will not be held at Impakt’s headquarters, but at BAK:
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht
More info on Oliver Ressler can be found on his website.