Seeing Through the Affects of Violence. Part 2

Alfredo CRAMEROTTI (Kurator), Natalia GUMENYUK (Journalistin), Mykola RIDNYI (Fellow)

Mykola Ridnyi, aus der "Speck in the Eye" Serie, 2021.

Die hybride Veranstaltung (Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen | Online) findet in englischer Sprache statt.

Using various media such as photography, film, installation and text, Mykola RIDNYI’s artistic practice employs historical research methods and the investigation of current political events. Ridnyi counters the sensational visualization and aestheticization of brutality with a distanced critical approach by addressing the representation of violence without its reproduction. In the post-truth era, facts have to be constantly checked, but the traditional way of presenting information needs to be questioned as well. Is there still a space for trust in both critical journalism and socially engaged art? In the second edition of a discussion series in the context of his Fellowship in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, the artist talks with Natalia GUMENYUK, Ukrainian journalist, author, and founder of the Public Interest Journalism Lab, and Alfredo CRAMEROTTI, author, curator, and director of MOSTYN Contemporary Art Centre in Wales about the contradictions and similarities in the visual approaches of artists and journalists.

The broadcasting of violent images has always been at the core of the news business, the media’s modus operandi. However, with the invention of 24/7 TV cable news in the 1990s, and the later appearance of social media and live-streaming, the global audience is constantly exposed to a multitude of images of violence of both domestic and international conflicts. While the commercialization of news forces journalists to edit news videos in a way that resemble action movies, the normality of human existence is cut out to keep the audience hooked by better selling visuals. In her talk, Natalia GUMENYUK will address the following questions: is it at all possible to ‚un-edit‘ the world we see in order to put violence in its place? Are we ready to sacrifice the aesthetics of violent and emotional imagery to bring back a raw version of reality at the risk of being boring?

In his book Aesthetic Journalism, Alfredo CRAMEROTTI describes different strategies of the interaction of aesthetics and information, such as witnessing, interactivity, hijacking and disclosing. He claims that ’aesthetic journalism works by combining documents and imagination: the necessity of the former and the desire of the latter [sic], since desirability is almost an antidote to the often senseless accumulation of information’. In his talk, Cramerotti will explore how the artist can find ways to ’import’ journalism into art and reintroduce an artistic approach to the information industry. The talk will posit a reflection on the concept of public opinion – does it work as an aggregate, and is it open to critical understanding?

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Mykola RIDNYI ist Künstler, Filmemacher und Essayist und lebt in Kiew, Ukraine. Seine Arbeit ist medienübergreifend und reicht von frühen politischen Aktionen im öffentlichen Raum bis hin zur Verschmelzung von ortsspezifischen Installationen, Fotografie und Bewegtbildern. In seinen jüngsten Filmen experimentiert er mit nichtlinearen Montage- und Collagetechniken an der Schnittstelle zwischen Dokumentation und Fiktion. Die Verbindung mit alternativen Zeiten und Phänomenen, der Einfluss der Vergangenheit auf die Gegenwart und Zukunft sowie die drängende Polemik der Manipulation des historischen Gedächtnisses, die sich aus zeitgenössischen politischen Agenden ableiten lässt, gehören zu den Hauptthemen, die sich in seinen Engagements, Initiativen und Projekten zeigen.
Ridnyi war Gründungsmitglied der Gruppe SOSka – ein Kunstkollektiv, das seinen Ursprung in Charkiw, Ukraine, hat. Er ist mitwirkender Herausgeber von Prostory, einem Online-Magazin über Kunst und Gesellschaft. Seine Werke wurden u.a. auf der Biennale für zeitgenössische Kunst in Venedig, der Biennale Schule von Kiew – Kiew, der Pinakothek der Moderne in München, der daad galerie in Berlin, der Transmediale in Berlin, dem Zentrum für Kunst und Medien in Karlsruhe, der Galerie für Zeitgenossische Kunst in Leipzig, dem Museum für Moderne Kunst in Warschau und der Bonniers konsthall in Stockholm ausgestellt. Er war u.a. Stipendiat der Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Iaspis in Stockholm und Gaude Polonia in Krakau.

Natalia GUMENYUK is a Ukrainian author, documentary filmmaker, and journalist specialized in conflict reporting, human rights and foreign affairs. She is a founder and runs the Public Interest Journalism Lab to popularize public spirit journalism and overcome polarization. Its method combines social research and visual storytelling. Since the Revolution of Dignity and the beginning of the war in Ukraine, she has been reporting on events in the Donbas and on a few journalists regularly traveling to occupied Crimea. In 2020 Gumenyuk published a book consisting of reportages, The Lost Island. Tales from Occupied Crimea based on six years of her reporting. The book has been published in German.
She has worked as a reporter in more than 60 countries and is the author of the book Maidan Tahrir. In Search of a Lost Revolution (2015), based on her reporting in the Arab Spring. Gumenyuk is co-founder of Hromadske TV and was from 2013 – 2020 a special correspondent for this TV station. She is German Marshall Memorial Fund Fellow 2017 and Draper Hill Fellow at Stanford University (2018).

Alfredo CRAMEROTTI is an author, curator, and director of MOSTYN, Wales UK and Adviser to the British Council Visual Arts Acquisition Committee and the Art Institutions of the 21st Century Foundation. He curated radio and television formats in Germany and Denmark, three national pavilions at the Venice Biennale, EXPO Film & Video in Chicago, and the biennials Sequences VII in Reykjavik, Iceland and Manifesta 8, Region of Murcia, Spain. He serves as Vice-President of AICA (International Association Art Critics), President Cand. of IKT (International Association Curators Contemporary Art), Co-Chair of VAGW (Visual Arts Group Wales), Executive Committee Member of ICOM UK (International Council of Museums), and is a member of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art). He holds a PhD in Communication Design and Photography and has had over 200 texts published on art, media and curatorial practice, contributing to a large number of books, catalogs, monographs and online journals. Alfredo is Editor-in-Chief of the Critical Photography book series (Intellect Books), and his own publications include Curating the Image: Notebook for a Visual Journey (2020); Forewords: Hyperimages and Hyperimaging (2018); Unmapping the City: Perspectives of Flatness (2010); and Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform without Informing (2009, published in the Büchs’n’Books series). In 2007-08, Alfredo Cramerotti was Fellow in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, where he worked on the book Aesthetic Journalism.


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