We’re going back to the future with artist-in-residence Alicja Rogalska.
Tonight Alicja screens a selection of her short films that utilise the space the future offers to free up our thinking – and allows us to speculate about other possible futures for ourselves, society and our planet that go beyond the current capitalist growth-at-all costs model.
Join us for an evening of film, with an introduction by curator Jess Twyman, and the films will be followed by Q&A amongst the audience.
Refreshments will be served.
Dark Fibres (2015-2021) 5 mins
A song about scavenging, economic exploitation and post-internet reality performed by a Georgian polyphonic choir and based on a story of Hayastan Shakarian – an elderly, illiterate woman from the village of Armazi near Mtskheta, who in 2011 allegedly cut the internet cable connecting Georgia and Armenia whilst looking for scrap metal to sell. The story became global news though Shakarian denied any involvement, famously saying she had never heard of the internet, and many people disputed its veracity. The lyrics were sung to the tune of Chakrulo, a medieval Georgian song about peasants preparing for armed rebellion against their feudal master. The song was sent into space in 1977 on Voyager 2.
Commissioned by Arts Territory for Myth exhibition, Artisterium Festival, Tbilisi (song), filmed at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and supported by the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program (video)
Dreamed Revolution (2014-15) 13 mins
A video based on documentation of a performance conceived and directed by the artist, in which local activists were invited to take part in an experimental workshop and, hypnotised by a professional stage hypnotist (Jurij Mokriszczew), collectively articulate possible scenarios for future society. Hypnosis was not only used as a meditative tool to increase focus and facilitate creativity but also to remove learned thinking barriers. For the people not susceptible to hypnosis it was also a chance to share their wild visions of the future in a safe space open to thought experimentations and contradictions. The project was an attempt to move beyond the forms of subjectivity created by the ideological hegemony of global neoliberal capitalism which inform rational thinking and affectivity and limit the horizons of imagination.
Commissioned by Teatr Nowy and Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź for Avantgarde and Social Realism project and curated by Aleksandra Jach
NOVA (2020) 28 mins
A group of Vienna-based feminist and queer activists participate in a LARP (Live Action Role Play; written together with Ana de Almeida) to collectively improvise and create a piece of feminist political fiction – a future world free of patriarchal oppression. Due to a structural imbalance of forces, grassroots initiatives are often limited to a reactive position. Fighting against attacks upon their organisations and for the survival of their activities, they are often left with the feeling of being one step behind. Creating a speculative space allows the participants to explore different identities, interpersonal relations, affects, desires and organisational ideas free from the sometimes suffocating weight of present conditions and structures. Collaboration with Ana de Almeida and Vanja Smiljanić.
Commissioned by Kunsthalle Wien for Cybernetics of the Poor exhibition and supported by CHASE. Curated by Diedrich Diederichsen and Oier Etxeberria.
Alicja Rogalska is an interdisciplinary artist based in London and Berlin and working internationally.
Her practice is research-led and focuses on social structures and the political subtext of the everyday. She mostly works in specific contexts making situations, performances, videos and installations in collaboration with other people to collectively search for emancipatory ideas for the future.