Abducting Europa

An exhibition about the power of myths and stories in politically troubled Europe

8 August 2020
— 27 September 2020
12:00 — 17:00

Location: IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture
4,- euro (3,- with discount).

Beneath the slick surfaces of social media platforms, political debates rage in the endless comment sections where agony rules. From within these carnivalesque echo-chambers it appears as though the political consensus of the twentieth century is collapsing. Emerging from the wreckage are expressions of political collectivity that many considered relegated to the dustbin of history.

Affording ever more radical expressions of tribal identity, social media platforms are now feeding the raw material of youth culture directly into the nationalist populist insurgency that is currently sweeping across the planet. Like advertising executives and pop singers the authoritarian figures that influence these movements recognize the vital power in the cliché that “the children are our future”—as did the Fascisti a century earlier. 

Appealing to the same esoteric lore that also haunts contemporary fantasy entertainment, many of these movements traffic in mythical tales of national rebirth and “rooted” national identity. Evoking the fear of an existential enemy at the gates of Fortress Europe—or more often an enemy within—this new political style is particularly successful on the terrain of online culture war. 

The artists collected in this exhibition establish a coordinate system of autonomous realities in which intersectional forms of collective identity provide an alternative to essentialism, suggesting the power of storytelling as a means for positive and inclusive change rather than a return to a fictional past. 

The exhibition is curated by Marc Tuters, Inez de Coo and Arjon Dunnewind. With Clusterduck, Simon Denny, Andy King, Szabolcs KissPál, Annika Larsson, Sulaïman Majali, Dorine van Meel, Liliana Piskorska, Jon Rafman and Jonas Staal.


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