Without Firm Ground – Vilém Flusser and the Arts (GAMU, Prague)
05.04.2017 – 07.05.2017, GAMU (Gallery AMU)
Following presentations at ZKM Karlsruhe, AdK Berlin and West Den Haag, the next stop of the exhibition »Without Firm Ground: Vilém Flusser and the Arts« is in Flusser’s native city, adapted and enriched with local ties. The unique project takes place at GAMU, Prague, and presents the life and thoughts of one of the most acclaimed Prague-born intellectuals of the 20th century through the combination of rare documents and artistic collaborations and inspirations. It aspires to weave the threads of Flusser’s private and professional life, marked by various migrations, with those of his thinking and writing through dialogues, influences and collaborations.
Vilém Flusser was born in the Bubeneč district of Prague in 1920 and was educated in a middle class Jewish intellectual family. In 1939, after the occupation of the Germans, he fled with his wife-to-be, Edith Barth, first to London, and eventually to Sao Paulo Brazil where he would live for over thirty years. Flusser brought his training in the classics, in Enlightenment Humanist philosophy and literature, to bear on his new environment, revelling in the utopian promise of the radically alien modernity into which he was thrown. Fighting through the despair of the extermination of his family and the horror of the Holocaust, Flusser carved out scintillatingly original, uncompromising philosophical insights into a world of scientific progress, automation and migration. During the 1980s he became one of the most respected philosophical guides of the upcoming electronic era. Even though he died only at the dawn of the Internet age his understanding of networks and communication is every bit as insightful to our contemporary condition as it was then. Through his life, Vilém Flusser sought a new utopian form of thinking, emerging from the crushing disappointment of modernity. He called this »synthetic thinking« using »technical images«. The exhibition will feature, beside biographical trajectories, objects from Flusser’s archive, his typoscripts and positions from artists who knew and loved him, some unique artistic collaborations where he would attempt to enact and elaborate the utopian modes of »synthetic thinking« he described. The selection of artists influenced by Flusser includes renowned personalities of Louis Bec, Michael Bielicky, Fred Forest, Harun Farocki, Joan Fontcuberta, Jiří Hanke, Dieter Jung, Martin Kohout, Andreas Müller-Pohle, Lisa Schmitz, Jiří Skála, among others.
Die Ausstellung ist entstanden in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Vilém Flusser Archiv an der Universität der Künste Berlin.
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