ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
World Time. The World as Transit Zone

The Relevance of Temporary Locations


Ala Ebtekar »Ayanadeh-nameh«, 2011

Frauke Schnoor: A Review

“Why did you choose where you live?” was artist-in-Residence, Will Kwan's reply to my question about what he would ask other artists, curators and scientist connected with the exhibition The Global Contemporary. What I found interesting about Kwan’s question was its forceful skepticism with respect to the claim that globalized art is a space that no longer has a location, at least, not any concrete one. Will Kwan was born in Hong Kong and lives in Toronto. Stephanie Syjuco, who crochets Italian bags in Karlsruhe, was born in the Philippines and lives, just like Ala Ebtekar,, in San Francisco; Ebtekars family comes from Iran. While in Karlsruhe, he visited his uncle, an immigrant Iranian poet in Germany. Where are we talking? And what does this say about that of which we are talking?

The Global Contemporary opened six months ago in Karlsruhe. The extent to which this location impacts upon what we say is something that repeatedly gave me food for thought as the exhibition ran its course – not only because those artists who participated and their projects would time and again disrupt our idea about the global by reminding us of the stubbornness of our own locality. Eko Nugroho christened us the Alien Nation; in Borderline Chess Ghana ThinkTank had Schwaben go against Baden, and Mechac Gaba demonstrated what we can expect not to see in Karlsruhe. But the dynamic of the temporary stay in “other” places also played a role. Shortly before the opening in September, I sat opposite Andrea Buddensieg who enthusiastically spoke about the unpredictable resonances between the works that had arrived in Karlsruhe from all over the globe. It was not only for this reason that, as a result of these months, I understood globalism to be more than something that does not negate but presupposes the relevance of the concrete location: as something that inscribes itself into the things when the variously characterized localities, in turn, prismatically mirror one another, flatter one another, and pose questions to one another.

When the exhibition came to a close, The Global Contemporary-Blog bade farewell. I would like to take this opportunity to express my warm thanks to all those who participated for their goodwill and their contributions, for their constructive criticism and comments, for their joy and their openness.


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