ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012

Networks and Systems. Globalization as Subject

In this section, networks commonly made up of collaborating artists of different nationality confront systems that have established new power structures in the global world. Pinky Show and RYBN, to name two of the artists’ groups represented here, have committed themselves to the task of exposing the global play of forces, or manipulating the mechanisms of the stock market with bots. It is with an apparent sense of irony that with her installation on free trade within the G8 countries The Greater G8 Advertising Market Stand (2007–2009), the artist Anawana Haloba Hobøl invites viewers to participate in an interaction without consequences. The three artists of The Xijing Men collective proclaim a fictional artists’ state with Olympic flags in their work Xijing Olympics (2008). Cynical games such as Tadej Pogačar’s MonApoly, A Human Trade Game (2004) make the viewer a player in an abstract planning game on the subject of human trafficking. The artists’ group Ghana ThinkTank exposes in its works the absurd solutions which are demanded as part of Western aid to developing countries when they ignore or manipulate their local partners. In such projects, the artists use similarly subversive methods for analyzing the system, not infrequently using the metaphor of a story line as mask. Such art production is global to the extent that this is its theme. Across the borders of today’s systems, artists feel challenged as contemporaries to react critically to the growing problems of globalization.