27 May—01 October 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
Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker who produces installations, projects in public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, migration, the climate crisis, forms of resistance and social alternatives.
Ressler has had solo exhibitions at Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; The Cube Project Space, Taipei; Kunsthaus Graz, Graz and comprehensive solo exhibitions at Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Seville; SALT Galata, Istanbul; MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; and Cultural Centre of Belgrade.
Ressler has participated in more than 400 group exhibitions, including Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; MASSMoCA, North Adams, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the biennials in Prague (2005), Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015), Quebec (2014), Helsinki (2014), Jeju (2017), Kyiv (2017), Gothenburg (2019) and Stavanger (2019), and at Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017 (exhibition organized by EMST).
Ressler has completed thirty-eight films that have been screened in thousands of events of social movements, art institutions and film festivals. A retrospective of his films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013.
In 2002, Ressler won the first prize at the International Media Art Award of the ZKM in Karlsruhe and he is the first prize winner of the newly established Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award in 2016.
For the Taipei Biennale 2008, Ressler curated an exhibition on the counter-globalization movement, A World Where Many Worlds Fit. A travelling show on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, co-curated with Gregory Sholette, has been presented at nine venues (2011-2016), including Pori Art Museum in 2013.
Since 2019 Ressler directs Barricading the Ice Sheets, a research project on the climate justice movement, funded by the Austrian Science Fund, that will lead to an exhibition at Camera Austria in Graz in September 2021.