Thursday, August 23, 2012
Newtopia: The State of Human Rights, will explore the numerous, complex and multi-faceted issues pertaining to human rights and its evolving discourse.
The exhibition will be divided into several distinct thematic chapters that trace the development of human rights and their rise since the post-war era. It will negotiate the different and complex facets of human rights: from civil and political rights, social, economic and cultural rights, to the right to sustainable development, to peace and to a healthy environment, while emphasizing the indivisible, interrelated and interdependent nature of these rights. Newtopia will also track the evolving nature of human rights discourse, as well as its problematics, such as the conflict between universalism and cultural relativism, one of the key debates surrounding human rights. It will contain work by over 65 artists of different generations working in diverse media and will examine a rich variety of artistic responses in relation to the basic tenets of human rights. Many of these artists come from countries and geographies where human rights has been or is a particularly pressing issue such as the Arab World, China, India, Latin America, South Africa, Russia and certain former Soviet countries such as Belarus or the Ukraine. However, the exhibition will also explore the situation in the Western world in the post-1989, post-9/11 era, a time during which human rights seem to be increasingly disregarded, and hard earned civil liberties and social rights are currently under serious threat.
Kostis Velonis, Model for a Life Without Democracy, 2012
220,5cm x 20cm x 120 cm
The exhibition will trace the artistic responses to the development of human rights in the last 100 years or so, and especially since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, paying particular attention to the significant rise of human rights since the 1970s and their current state. It will be divided into four chapters. The first chapter will explore so-called 'first-generation' human rights, which revolve around issues of freedom and participation in political life. Civil and political at root, these aim to protect the individual from excesses of the state and to ensure participation in democratic processes. The work in this chapter will address issues such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to a fair trial, and the right to vote. The second chapter will focus on so-called 'second-generation' human rights, which are social, economic, and cultural in nature and tied to the establishment of the welfare state, now increasingly under threat. They call for equal conditions and treatment of citizens. This chapter will include contributions by artists whose practice has focused on issues of work, housing and health care, as well as social security and employment. The third chapter will focus on the current state of human rights, and on rights which are a response to post-war economic and geo-political developments such as de-colonisation, globalization, multi-culturalism and the consolidation of global capitalism. These rights go beyond the civil and social, covering a wide spectrum related to contemporary socio-political issues: minority rights, the rights of immigrants, asylum seekers and sans papiers; gay, lesbian and trans-gender rights, and the right to self-determination; the right to economic development; the right to a healthy environment and rights to land, air, water, natural resources and sustainability; the right to 'difference' and cultural rights.
Artists: An-My Le , Ravi Agarwal , Amsab , Kader Attia , Sami Baloji, Yael Bartana , Taysir Batniji , Elisabetta Benassi , Edward Burtynsky , Fernando Sanchez Castillo , Cengiz Cekil, Alejandro Cescarco, Olga Chernysheva , Johan Creten , Ninar Esber, Stelios Faitakis , Ali Ferzat, Ziyah Gafic, Ganzeer , Eduardo Gil / El Siluetazo, Kendell Geers with Special Guests: Marina Abramovic, Belinda Blignaut, Ganzeer Ilse Ghekiere, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov , Barbara Kruger , Nedko Solakov , Betty Tompkins , Kara Walker; Sandra Vasquez de la Horra, Zapiro (Jonathan Zapiro), Esther Shalev Gerz, Leon Golub , David Goldblatt , Hans Haacke , Mona Hatoum , Nicoline van Harskamp , Barbara Hammer , Jan Hammer, Diango Hernandez , Lynn Hershman , Wafa Hourani , Satch Hoyt , Alfredo Jaar , Khaled Jarrar, Sven´t Jolle, International Institute of Social History , Nikita Kadan , Hayv Kahraman , Amar Kanwar , Lina Khatib, Thomas Kilpper , Jarek Kozakiewicz, Nevan Lahart, Thomas Locher , Basim Magdy , Tom Molloy , Gianni Motti , Boniface Mwangi , MadeIn , Marina Naprushkina , Jennifer Nelson /Dimitris Kotsaras, Seamus Nolan , Pablo Picasso , Pia Rönicke , Bruno Serralongue , Taryn Simon , Travis Somerville, Simon Starling , Sun Xun , Jan Svankmajer , Kostas Tsolis, Lieve van Stappen, Simon Velez, Kostis Velonis , Andy Warhol , Wilhelm Werner, Krzysztof Wodiczko , Wilchar , Wooloo
It will take place in some of Mechelen's prominent cultural institutions, which include, among others: Mechelen Cultural Centre; Lamot Conference and Heritage Centre; the Academy of Fine Arts; Museum Hof Van Busleyden; and the public space.
Curated by Katerina Gregos.
01.09 > 10.12.2012 , Mechelen, Belgium