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Vienna: Maria Loboda

September 9, 2016 - October 15, 2016

curated by_Jacopo Crivelli Visconti: The Winter of Our Discontent


Maria Loboda, Maria Thereza Alves, Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck, Saskia Calderón, Carmela Gross, Runo Lagomarsino, Pedro Neves Marques, Ahlam Shibli.

The Winter of our Discontent aims at being an idiosyncratic and provocative exhibition. On the one hand, it responds to the general concept drafted by Diedrich Diederichsen for the 2016 edition of curated by_vienna, which focuses on the relation between contemporary artists and the Oedipal figure of the father (intended here as the inspiring model), and how this relation is often “revealed in homages, references and reverences, quotations and allusions”. On the other hand, the exhibition takes into account the fact that we live in dramatic times; we witness the flight of thousands who are forced to leave their homes to meet suffering and death on a daily basis; we watch nature strike back, like a wounded beast, at the way we treat the earth; we are shocked and humiliated by the disclosure of yet another scheme of corruption and abuse of public money…

Thus, the works included in the exhibition seek to track down the figure of the “negative reference”, by bringing to the core of the discussion what or whom the artists (here, quite often, metonymically identified as “the people”) loath, despise and reject. Whether they address ecological disasters, historical events or breaking news, the selected artists, who come from different social and political backgrounds, share a deep-rooted, uncompromising discontent. Following up on the ambivalent approach to Diederichsen’s concept, the very notion of “discontent” is here used in its double meaning of both a “sense of grievance” and a “restless aspiration for improvement” (Merriam-Webster). In other words, those who traverse the dark, cold and sad land of grievance are also the ones who are never satisfied, who will not resign, who will keep on fighting for a better, healthier and more just world.

– Jacopo Crivelli Visconti