Inga Zimprich

The United Nations

With the project The United Nations, Inga Zimprich investigated the performative promise of the United Nations. According to Zimprich: “In the formats that constitute United Nations activity—such as the General Assembly, translation into official languages, strict protocol, spokesperson, media observation, resolutions, and recommendations—language is used in a way that establishes the United Nations as a site of great performative power. It anchors international law and adopts resolutions that constantly refer back to previous documents and decisions, as if summing up its own history in order to further the institution.

To artistically approach the ceaselessly active diplomatic entity’s language structures could mean unhinging the institution’s existing terminology and appropriating it, processing it anew, and employing it for another performative use: what forms of summoning, of assembly and appeal can be produced through artistic processes? To what place of assem-bly and political community can artistic practice invite? How do artistic gestures of summoning deal with factors like permanence, continuity, and chronology? How does an artistic space of speech relate to the internationally established site of diplomacy?”

Inga Zimprich, with the Faculty of Invisibility FOI (with Paul Gangloff, Sönke Hallmann, and guests), continued previous research on the United Nations. With a view to modes of political negotiation and assembly as seen in the United Nations, in 2010 the FOI collaborated with Transmission Gallery in Glasgow, the Shedhalle Zürich, Flutgraben e.V. in Berlin, and, continually worked at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen. At these sites, the FOI developed works about such notions as the charter, membership, and the constitution in order to designate a space in which these different institutions are already related to one another.

The FOI worked to bring these various institutions in relation to one another and to address the space in which—like the United Nations as an exemplary, diplomatic space of negotiation—language, law, and communality can be brought together at their very foundation.

Inga Zimprich presented her work and working methods at Julia Prager’s seminar Gender Studies at the Institute of Languages and Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Innsbruck.

Inga ZIMPRICH (*1979) is an artist and curator living in Berlin. The space of speech in contemporary art institutions has played a key role in the predominantly collaborative works in which she takes part. Zimprich has been developing various curatorial and artistic productions in Ukraine since 2006 and collaborates closely with Sönke Hallmann (theory) and Paul Gangloff (design), among others.