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| EXHIBITION HALL |

MARCELO BRODSKY

POETICS OF RESISTANCE

- Traces of Violence

- Stand for Democracy

(Inkjet print on cotton Hahnemühle photo rag paper, intervened by the artist with crayon and aquarelle)

28.01. - 27.03.2022

 

Artists often transcend their qualities and act upon what is happening around them, again, ever so often, mastering the universal language of the aesthetics of resistance. They alter time by turning distant news into something tangible that stays with us and creates a space with which to relate. The artist's methods turn the pain one person feels into a picture sequence where the pain is handled collectively. The news is no longer an enclosed story. It is turned into a shared condition. The coming series of exhibitions at Kunsthall 3,14 contributes to ongoing critiques of persisting colonialism and explores histories that continue to shape our present.

 

Recent images of the bloody coup against democracy in Myanmar triggered Marcelo Brodsky to create work in solidarity with the protesters, creating a visual experience for larger groups to engage—aestheticising the snapshots from the demonstrations, leaving resulting effects for mobilization. He activates personal and collective memory, communicating a message of resistance hoping to connect people across time and space, ending up working at the crossroads between visual art, poetry, and human rights activism. In the first weeks of the coup, the Myanmar army murdered seven hundred young boys and girls in the streets. Images from this event were turned into a series of hand-coloured photographs with text added subsequently to the images—a formal construction now a signature of Brodsky’s practice. He became profoundly involved in the protests: collaborating with demonstrators and getting help from the Human Rights Art Initiatives in Switzerland and in Asia. Stand for Democracy was also activated and used in a local campaign where Myanmar-based civil society, human rights defenders, gallerists, and visual artists worked together. The youth-led civil disobedience movement and Myanmar's peaceful protesters live incredibly precariously and are frequently subjected to systematic state-sanctioned murder. Their struggle is highly risky; help from abroad is safer but still risky. These matters will be discussed further in a seminar during the exhibition period.

 

Myanmar is far from Argentina, where Brodsky is living. But if we look into the artist's biography, we learn that military violence, loss of family members, and living in exile are very much personal experiences for him; his practice is deeply rooted in direct, dramatic experience of state-sponsored terror in Argentina.

 

Like the artworks in the exhibition, mediation is 3,14’s tool to spread awareness and express the importance of collective resistance, crossing geographic, ethnic, and social groups. As Brodsky says, ‘solidarity is resistance and resistance is empowering’.

 

Deep structural conflicts like Myanmar are rooted in colonial oppression. In the Brodsky exhibition at 3,14, Poetics of Resistance, we meet another historical event of colonial darkness in the work Traces of Violence. The works are the product of the resistance by the Herero and Nama people's civil society to speak truth about what happened to them and to not accept anything but an official apology from the German State for the "Kaiser's Holocaust", and a proper settlement. To this day, the Germans refuse to do this, instead increasing development cooperation to the central government, the benefits of which will not necessarily trickle down to the Herero and Nama. Their struggle continues and Brodsky's work is a strong part of their advocacy, a type of "torch” carefully lit in cooperation with them shed light on and to seek to raise attention to this historical wrong and to seek justice.

 

The work Traces of Violence display the irrefutable evidence of the brutal violence of the German perpetrators for us to view. He developed the series based on collected photographs from the archive taken by the colonialists or their helpers (soldiers, missionaries, etc.), radically reworking the images in a fashion consistent with a theory of social change, identity politics, and human rights photography expressed in books like Decolonizing the Camera, written by the British curator and cultural historian Mark Sealy. Brodsky enlarged and reworked the photographs, again underlining the aesthetics of the motifs via hand colouration. The beautiful became more beautiful; the horror became more horrific. As is typical in his work, the textual elements mediate the colonisers' voices and points of departure. Its violence is explicit and disturbing for the viewer as we know what unfolded during the German Nazi regime.

 

Intellectually, we know that terror, viruses, and pollution spread across the world rapidly and with enormous consequences, exceeding national borders and mental comprehension. This knowledge has become embodied knowledge for more or less every single human living today. We feel it and we have felt it for some time. Maybe this experience can be a game changer, helping lift apathy. Not connecting with victims of war and climate devastation is a reality in the West today, a far from sustainable approach.

Curated by Malin Barth.

Marcelo Brodsky (1954) lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An artist and political activist, Marcelo Brodsky was forced into exile in Barcelona following General Videla’s coup in Argentina in 1976. He studied economics at the University of Barcelona as well as photography at the Centre Internacional de Fotografia in Barcelona. His work is exhibited world wide and part of major museum collections such as the Tate Gallery in London,Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, The center for creative Photography in Tucson, University of Arizona, Sprengel Museum in Germany, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in Brazil, Lima Art Museum in Peru, Colección de Arte del Banco de la República in Colombia and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

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March 17th: Kunsthall 3,14, together with Human Rights Arts Initiative, the Rafto Foundation, and the Norwegian Human Rights Fund are organizing a special gathering taking place in connection to the three exhibitions presented at the gallery, consisting of:

- A dialogue between different stakeholders invested in these issues, discussing the ways and means available to politicians, human rights organizations, and art institutions together with local and international artists.

- A panel discussion with the Norwegian Minster of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen (to be confirmed); artist Marcelo Brodsky; Head of Department of The Art Academy in Bergen, Frans Jacobi; Executive Director of Norwegian Human Rights Fund, Ingeborg Moa; Executive Director of the Rafto Foundation, Jostein Kobbeltveit; Human Rights Minister of the National Unity Government in Myanmar, Aung Myo Min; and Chris Duckett from Human Rights Art Initiative.

 

Kunsthall 3.14 is known for creating spaces for voices outside the art field. We would like to know more about how politicians, academia, and human rights organizations can use art. We believe this could result in a meaningful gathering of sharing and acquiring knowledge.

more information coming here >>>