State of Exception

In 2014 Media-Scape hosts its first edition at Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, after eleven episodes in Zagreb and four in Novigrad. The twenty-year-long continuity of the already famous presentational format of interesting creative personalities from the field of contemporary visual production, its founders, curators and managers Heiko Daxl (passed away in 2012) and Ingeborg Fülepp, who has now continued their endeavor, have built bridges between the pioneering age of media art and the latest trends. Supporting content as the basis of their selection, they have represented both foreign and Croatian, both established and emerging artists of all generations.

The beginnings of Media-Scape were characterized by a focus on contemporariness, on media art, under-presented and under-acknowledged in these areas, which raised awareness and recognized the capacity of the unexplored and unfamiliar resource that referred equally to the advent of new technologies and the portent of changes that would significantly alter the man’s perception and view on reality. Therefore, in 2014 they continue the active practice of indifference towards the affirmation of a particular branch or direction in the development of media art. They maintain a detached position regarding enthusiasm and great stories about technological superiority, at the same time observing the changes that occurred in the last four decades in a constant exchange between the real and the possible. Media-Scape is interested in the influence of tradition on future prospects, dynamics of gaps and coinciding between the desired and the achieved.

This is also accompanied by a gradual depletion of media criteria to the expense of dynamic intertwining of different media or genre characteristics. Inter- and multidiscipline back this need, and each movement a particular work might bring can be interpreted as a state of exception. We borrowed the term from Giorgio Agamben’s1 theory in order to denote that each such case, unlisted in the index of the existent, is important for the change of the known and tested path. These subjective personal views do not happen by chance and do not pass unnoticed, but appear as uniqueness arisen from necessity. A state of exception assumes all shifts from the trajectory of the expected, regardless of the direction.

As a metaphor, a state of exception aims at a genristic (lack of) direction of the biennale. In that sense it envisages around thirty authors, selected by the criteria of content and language interest.

Even though many of the works display a non-linear structure, multiplicity, layers and temporal basis – the main characteristics of the media art alphabet – here we do not intend to make a case for them. We will rather focus on the issue of city as the most densely populated human habitat and therefore a place of fastest changes, ideal for testing the applicability of IT age heritage. The exhibition will show several works in which the artists challenge quality and the feasibility of change, not out of necessity, but on behalf of a desire for improvement as innate human motivation. We also add rare and therefore interesting works with a critical view on contemporary aesthetic qualities. The examples presented at Media-Scape exhibition are exceptional since particularity cannot be standardized nor humoured.

The programme of Media-Scape 2014 encompasses:

  1. Presentational programme: exhibition at the MMSU with an accompanying catalogue printed after the exhibition

  2. Educational programme: media workshops in collaboration with the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka .

Curators: Ingeborg Fülepp, Sabina Salamon

1 Giorgio Agamben: Izvanredno stanje, Deltakont, Zagreb, 2008.