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Antarctica. A Symposium on Alienation

04.10.2018 to 06.10.2018 - Kunsthalle Wien

Antarctica. A Symposium on Alienation


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sat, 06.10.2018
fri, 05.10.2018
thu, 04.10.2018

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In a sketch for a film, Michelangelo Antonioni wrote: “The Antarctic glaciers are moving in our direction at a rate of three millimeters per year. Calculate when they’ll reach us. Anticipate, in a film, what will happen”. Anyone who knows Antonioni can guess what such a film would have been about; in the image of the polar desert, metaphorically condensed—a diagnosis as old as the modern age: alienation.

Today, climate research shows that an ice age is not to be expected. The polar ice caps are not expanding but shrinking. Similarly, beyond the climatic, signs point to a significant “warming”: Affectivity and creativity have superseded the primacy of “bourgeois coldness” (Adorno). Authenticity is the new cool. Has the diagnosis of alienation consequently become outdated?

As a prelude to the exhibition Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation, Tanzquartier Wien and Kunsthalle Wien organize a symposium on this term. The symposium aims to discuss and examine the (im/)plausibility of the concept of “alienation” today, and to engender a critical re-reading, with a view to its genealogy as well as its applicability to present-day political and aesthetic phenomena.

Kunsthalle Wien

opening hours

tue-sat:12:00 – 18:00


Museumsplatz 1,
A-1070 Vienna
Tel.: +43-1-52189-0


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