Mapping Mobilities Exhibition, Vienna 6 June – 7 July 2012

“Cartography is the signifying practice of both location and identity, a mode of writing through which we can uncover a set of general laws. Much of the argument I am making regarding the un-mapping, re-mapping and counter-cartographies to be found within contemporary art practices revolves around the structures and signifying systems by which knowledge is organised and conveyed.”
Irit Rogoff, Terra Infirma, Geography’s Visual Culture, p. 73
The exhibition Mapping Mobilities presents six international artists who develop new and experimental approaches to mapping to explore questions around mobility, displacement and migration. Using film, installation, print and audio Gulnara Kasmalieva/Muratbek Djumaliev, Esther Polak/Ivar van Bekkum and Michael Hieslmair/Michael Zinganel blur the boundaries between art and scientific mapping to challenge the authority of official maps and their role in the nexus of power knowledge. Their mappings develop alternative visions on currently pressing socio-economic and geo-political global issues such as transnational migration, spatial implications of global commerce, border policies and the digitalisation of geographical information, thereby discrediting the grand narratives of history in favor of a focus on everyday lives, individual journeys and personal narratives.

Globalisation has dramatically changed our experience of space. It seems that the static, two-dimensional map no longer adequately reflects the constantly shifting world we live in and the global networks that migratory experience produces. Mapping Mobilities questions the traditional map as an objective representation of the ‘real’, aiming to present counter-cartographies that draw attention to what is often left off the map, by exposing the fragmentations and inconsistencies of transitional spaces in the age of migration.
The power of the map long resided in its function as a ?fixed? representation of the world. Today digital technologies such as GIS allow us to produce mobile, more fluid and democratic spatial information. The artists in Mapping Mobilities engage with mapping as a process-oriented, collective practice from different perspectives. Interested in questions of power, identity and place they chart not only geographic realities but thought processes relating to other disciplines such as colonial imperialism, urbanism and global economy, offering new potential for shaping contemporary experiences of space.
Project curator: Christine Takengny (London)
Participating artists:
Michael Hieslmair / Michael Zinganel
Gulnara Kasmalieva / Muratbek Djumaliev
Esther Polak / Ivar van Bekkum
Artist information:
supported by: BM:UKK, MA 7 – Interkulturelle und Internationale Aktivit?ten
Mondriaan Foundation
About us: Open Friday, Saturday 13.00 – 18.30 and open for the rest of the week
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Open Systems
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