Galerie Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem
curator Ksenija Orelj
December 7th 2016 until January 19th 2017
with: Gildo Bavčević, Tomislav Brajnovicć, Kristina Benjocki, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčková, Jasmina Cibic, Matthew Cornford & David Cross, Christian Jankowski, Zlatko Kopljar, Mirna Kutleša, Siniša Labrović, Gabriel Lester, Ola Pehrson, Hans Richter, Boris Šitum, Damir Žizžić & Kristian Kožul ,Petar Brajnović, Željko Kipke, Joseph Leard, Leo Junek
The great difference between an ordinary casino which you can go into or stay away from, and the global casino of high finance, is that in the latter we are all involuntarily engaged in the day’ s play. (Susan Strange)
The casino age was conceived in the seventies, in parallel to the collapse of the welfare state and the rise of the neoliberal system.It is recognised as the regime of floating rates and speculative financial values proliferating in the global economic fuss,alongside risky investments and systemic corruption. In other words, once denunciated as a vice, or at least as licit but spatially and temporally restricted activity, the casino practice seemingly appears nowadays as the rule of the day. The underlying dynamic can be summed up as fundamental disconnect between the informational sky above our heads and the existential ground beneath our feet. (Brian Holmes) And it seems to contribute to the growing reliance on the super-natural forces in the everyday. Specific examples can be found in the widespread interest in betting and lottery or in astro-psychological advices, which build some of the reference points of the exhibition. Linking grey economical areas with those of the societal sphere, it tries to follow the effects of the financial market on the daily basis where hasty oscillations between social euphoria and social panic become ordinary. Assembling mainly recent artworks made in the post-transitional context, the exhibition addresses the relations of prosperity and austerity, increasing consumer offer and disability to use it, grasped by the corporative narrative on individual happiness and financial success.
Revolving around ubiquity of financial industry and ubiquity of the self-help industry, it re-appropriates the terms like speculation, fictive capital, hazardous passions, volatility and sense of fatality, as hype-coordinates of the present. In the gathered artworks they are mostly reversed as dark humoresque. Collective forms of addiction towards fast gains are reflected, at once stunning and disturbing. At stake is the normalization of the gambling logic, which seems to turn complexity of societal practices into individualist drive to compete and submit, or in a more notorious way, into mere urge to survive.