«Every crisis has its good sides»: people have tried to comfort themselves with these words in recent years. Is the phrase «everything will be okay» still credible today?

            The North American queer theorist Jasbir K. Puar conjoins in her research questions regarding disability and an analysis of neoliberalism. «This ‹crisis› is today no longer marked by transience, but is prolonged into a kind of normalization of the state of emergency.»1 The crisis also has an impact on the health and psychological state of a society and its individuals. The two exhibition concepts evolved along the catchwords deviance and abnormality as well as society and isolation.

            Puar: «The reconfiguration of bodies and capital implies huge shifts; the narrative structure of ‹it’s getting better/worse› is transposed onto a neoliberal structure that no longer needs to overcome disability and debility. On the contrary: they are veritably flourishing due to the shocks to the system, which is benefitting both physically and economically from the way the crisis is being upheld as a normative state.»2 

            The exhibition «On Uncanny States and Bodies» curated by Eva Egermann can be seen as a response to Puar’s statements. It is an assemblage of works of art – Artenjak’s cosmologies, Belsky’s sound installations that dock onto everyday situations, Bernien’s und Schrödinger’s cutting to the core of the worlds of color and feeling in order to decipher learned certainties, Fowler’s archival biographical film footage on the anti-psychiatrist RD Laing, Gaberz’s sound and image collages of «Bodies and ­Conditions,» as well as Timischl’s video/ painting diptych – all of which raise a host of questions about the presence of deviance and inner conflict in today’s individuals.

            The second thematic focus on «Crises. States» looks at society as well as the inability to create and maintain a society, resulting in individual isolation. Monika Vykoukal’s exhibition «Unsocial Sociability» (Kant) presents various forms of coexistence and cohabitation, and Erik Ruin and Cindy Milstein portray in their picture stories the departure from a community life of shared everyday moments and how this feeling of solidarity is restored by protest movements. Sarah J Stanley’s combined image and text works and sculptures propose counter-drafts to the regimented notion she remembers from childhood of what constitutes a Christian family. The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home is an artist duo, Lena Simic and Gary Anderson, who developed a critical art practice from their daily family life with their sons Neal, Gabriel and Sid; they will put on a family performance in Klagenfurt as well as showing The Institute’s Anti Oedipus Home Movie.


Hedwig Saxenhuber, Christian Kravagna


1   «One of Many Nodes. Tim Stüttgen in an interview with the queer theorist Jasbir K. Puar on issues of post-humanism», springerin 1/2013 – Posthumanism, p. 46

2   ibid.