22th art-symposium of eu-art-network
from 18nd to 27st August 2022
in the Rust/Burgenland/Austria
Title of this year’s symposium:
»Reset, Exit or Turn?«
Ever since spring 2020, a virus has kept the world on tenterhooks. Other important issues have faded into the background. No more public interest in climate catastrophes. Europe and the rest of the world found itself in combat mode against the virus. Initially, there were many who regarded drastic measures and regulations as a sign that fundamental change would be possible now.
However, this euphoria evaporated very quickly the longer the measures stayed in effect. People started longing for their previous social life, for a return to so-called normality. However, given the constant barrage of changes we are faced with, we must ask ourselves to what degree returning to the past is even possible.
Pushing the »reset-button« is not an option. In addition, this hope has now been violently shattered.
In the midst of a hegemonic power struggle, the deadly virus, as it is called, has been brutally erased from our perception, eclipsed by images of gun barrels and tanks rolling through Europe. At the same time, we have been seeing an increase in rigid and anti-democratic systems that show little regard for the wellbeing of people and the planet. Business logistics oriented towards profit and growth is prioritised while human and social needs are ignored, thus making it impossible for us to handle our planet with the care it needs.
Our long-held hope that hardship and poverty on this earth could be eradicated through capitalist growth turned out to be a false one and appears to be as paradoxical as the argument that peace can be achieved through militarisation. »We want our children to have it better than us one day, « was the common sentiment behind our faith in the promise of economic growth.
However, in this new millennium, an increasing number of concerned parents would rather be heard saying, »We have to do everything in our power, so our children won’t have it worse than us. « This is a clear indicator that our way is not the best way – quite the contrary. But what can we do? An »exit-strategy« is unrealistic. What possibilities do we have to promote a successful outcome of humankind’s perpetual battle for peaceful co-existence and a respectful way of treating our earth?
One thing that is for sure is that we must not stop believing that it is possible, and that we must fight for it – consistently, without violence, but with all available cultural resources. We must utilise situations to move things in another direction, we must twist and turn them. As cultural philosopher Hans Blumenberg once said, »Culture is created through taking detours. It is the irritating and the unexpected that allows us to connect with the world. «
In this spirit, this year’s symposium will provide an opportunity for artists to articulate their visions via the tools of literature and visual art. The results will be presented in exhibitions and published in our art magazine »Cahier d’art«.
Text: Wolfgang Horwath