27 May—24 September 2022
State of Concept Athens is happy to present the solo exhibition of Oliver Ressler, entitled ‘Assets Must be Stranded’ curated by iLiana Fokianaki, as part of Waste/d Pavilion, Episode 2 curated by PAT.
Oliver Ressler has been for many decades working in the intersection of art and politics, closely inspired by and connected with the work of various activist groups and social movements, civic society and volunteer groups. Overall his work is characterized by themes that relate to politics, the aftermath of globalization and turbo-capitalism, protest and democracy, the commons in relationship to labour and questions that relate to ecology and sustainability and how these connect to the damaging effects of the anthropocene/capitalocene.
Belonging to a group of artists that discuss politics and ideology mainly through photography and the moving image, he is known to Greek audiences, for his four film series entitled “Occupy, Resist, Produce” that is discussing the aftermaths of the economic crisis of 2007-8, since one of the films, was dedicated to the occupation of the Vio.Me factory in Thessaloniki, by workers that took over and operate it to this day.
For this exhibition, Oliver Ressler presents works that will resonate very much to Greek audiences who the last decade witnessed protests and massive mobilization against extraction and pollution throughout the country: from the case of Erimitis in Corfu to the resistance against wind turbines in the historic Agrafa mountains, to the goldmine in Skouries in Northern Greece.
Ressler has been following the environmentalist movement and has produced a series of films examining questions of climate activism. Primarily the artist will present his most recent film The Path is Never the Same (2022), discussing the efforts of activists and local residents from 2012 until this day to stop the lignite mine operations in Hambacher Forest in the region of Rheine, Germany by occupying trees and living on them.
Audiences will also see two films from his series “Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart” that follow the struggles of local residents to halt government plans to upend their lives and ruin their surrounding environment. The first film is focused on the infamous story of the ZAD, an autonomous zone created by local residents and activists, in an effort to stop plans for a new airport in Nantes, France. The second film, focuses on the Ende Gelände, a forest in Germany where local residents and activists aim to stop lignite extraction. The exhibition also contains Ressler’s photographic works.
Waste/d Pavilion is part of State of Concept Athens’ new research chapter ‘Coalition of the Care-full’, a project of the European Pavilion, an international programme of the European Cultural Foundation that brings together art and culture initiatives that encourage critical thinking and radical imagination, and fuel bold perspectives on Europe and our common future. It unfolds through a series of “episodes,” focusing on different thematics: labor, body, ecology, and language. Artists, researchers, and scientists from Greece and abroad have been invited to present different conceptualisations of the notion of Waste/d, through various ways of viewing, circulating, and developing methodologies for an anti-Waste/d front.
Oliver Ressler’s exhibition was made possible by
The support of Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport (BMKÖS).
The European Pavilion project of the European Cultural Foundation