Art is politics as someone no doubt said. To create is to comment and influence: sometimes indirectly, sometimes a little more forcefully. The Overground Resistance exhibition in the MuseumsQuartier leans toward the latter.
- Showcases diverse works created by artists working with or within the climate justice movement
- Hosted at the frei_raum Q21 exhibition space
- All information in English and German
- Free entry
- Runs Aug 26 – Nov 21, 2021
- See also: MuseumsQuartier
Art and climate justice
Every week seems to bring a fresh reminder that the climate emergency has not taken a sabbatical while we deal with COVID.
Sadly, the forest fires, droughts, record temperature extremes, hurricanes, melting glaciers, and other symptoms (not to mention the views of just about any qualified expert) have yet to attract an adequate response from politicians.
Governments and other institutions continue to fail to transform words and platitudes into necessary action. Which explains the anger and activism of the likes of Greta Thunberg or Extinction Rebellion.
The works on show in the Overground Resistance exhibition stem from across the globe. The artists or groups involved are either part of or closely associated with climate justice movements; what you might call art within activism, where art is – in many cases – the activism itself.
You can certainly feel the rage.
So, for example, you have posters designed by Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy III from the USA. These address the Dakota Access Pipeline and seem to combine street, comic, and indigenous styles in their calls to protest.
Or Seday’s spray work where his medium is bank walls, not canvas: an example where art activism merges with civil disobedience.
Quite apart from the artistic value of the works (mostly posters, films, and collages), you should come away with some fresh insight on the climate crisis, too, such as how issues are appropriated to shift responsibility away from those most able to enact change.
Artist and filmmaker, Oliver Ressler, curated the exhibition, with the display designed by Magdalena Hofer. Ressler’s current long-term research project (Barricading the Ice Sheets, financed by the FWF Austrian Science Fund) explores the work of those climate justice movements, with an emphasis on the role of his fellow artists and other cultural workers.
Overground Resistance draws on this research and even features Ressler’s own film contributions. That same project will also yield a series of solo exhibitions in, for example, Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany and the UK in late 2021 and 2022.
Tickets and dates
Explore the Overground Resistance exhibition from August 26th to November 21st, 2021. The frei_raum Q21 exhibition space opens from 1pm to 4pm and again from 4pm to 8pm (closed on Mondays).
This is one of the many artistic experiences within the MuseumsQuartier that are free to view (see also the MQ Art Box, for example).
How to get to the exhibition
Find your way to the MuseumsQuartier and Overground Resistance occupies a tract on the far left as you face the main entrance from outside (more or less opposite the mini golf facility).
If you’re interested in art and the environment, a hot tip is the Kunst Haus Wien (home to the Hundertwasser museum and inspired by his eco-friendly philosophy). The installations and exhibitions often have a strong green theme.
Address: Museumsplatz 1/5, 1070 Vienna