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Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom. Oreet Ashery

Published at:22.07.2016

Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom is a project by Ines Doujak and Oliver Ressler that has been executed in various formats since 2014. Banners made by 12 artists will be presented on MOCAK’s elevation, showcasing utopian projections that serve the purposes of secession from and resistance to the world of now. Most of these banners were originally produced for the façade of the Secession in Vienna.

In the current month (22.7–21.8.2016) we are showing the work:

Oreet Ashery, The World Is Flooding, 2014

The starting point of the work is Vladimir Mayakovsky’s drama Mystery-Bouffe from 1921, written to commemorate the anniversary of the October Revolution – an ironic, moralist synopsis of the history of mankind from the Great Flood through the feudal times to the Revolution – depicting the struggle of the Clean (bourgeoisie) and the Unclean (proletariat). The former have failed to achieve the promised social equality and, having created an apparent democracy, continue to exploit the latter.  In his foreword, Mayakovsky implied that the drama had a universal message and that the directors should adjust the content to suit their contemporary circumstances. He thereby assumed that – regardless of the political epoch – salvation through politics is a utopia.

The author of the banner is making a stance against class inequality. Into the story, she has introduced a symbolic character, the Eskimo, whom she presents as a political ingénue. The newcomer sticks his finger in the ground, discovering the hole (the crisis) and the flood that represents everything that is overflowing: emotions, demands, traumas. The boat that makes salvation possible is akin to Noah’s Ark: only the privileged will be able to come aboard.