Between Worlds | Urbanfestival 12

Invisible Monuments at La Galerie, Noisy-le-Sec

Between Worlds | Urbanfestival 12

URBANFESTIVAL 12: Between Worlds

Between Worlds has had two starting points, the first being the notion of transition, which has become a notorious mantra accompanying the attempts at understanding and interpreting political and economic processes in which we have found ourselves in the post-socialist era. This in-between situation has imposed itself as the first stage on the only possible path of evolution, the one that leads towards the liberal democratic society. According to Boris Buden, this way of seeing things is a consequence of the historical master narrative in which the world of developed capitalism and Western democracy is presented as the universal norm of historical development in general, while the transition is understood as the process of normalization. However, the problem is that the transition process can turn into a real disaster[1] – an eternal waiting room in which the concept of public good and the notion of sociability not only no longer exist, but are also reduced to a bad reminiscence of the totalitarian regime.

The second starting point is that mobility has become an imperative, which underlines the reverse of the idyllic view on general mobility as the state of freedom, where travel is an adventure of discovering new worlds. In fact, calling travel adventure may seem as utter cynicism if we think of all those aspects of immigration that are more or less openly forced. Immigrants, who are often considered illegal (although there is no such thing as illegal immigrants, only illegal governments[2]) are more than obviously forced to leave for a better somewhere, which often ends with getting stuck in between, and contemporary artists are examples of a less obviously forced mobility. Owing to the system of artistic residences and the international exhibition practice, a mechanism has come to be seen as normal in which they have no steady income, no social rights, and no legal protection that would ensure fair treatment of their work. For us, who are active in the field of contemporary art determined by such practice, the forced mobility of workers (in this case artists) and the forced mobility of immigrants are two facets of the same problem, where the produced in-between states are by no means unconnected. {...}

Ana Kutleša and Ivana Hanaček