press release

OLIVER RESSLER – HOW TO OCCUPY A SHIPWRECK
25.01.2018 - 02.04.2018

Curated by Verena Kaspar-Eisert

Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker. In his installations, films and works in the public space he explores topics such as the economy, democracy, climate change, forms of resistance, and social alternatives, all of it based on extensive research and highly elaborate productions.

This exhibition features four films from a project entitled Everything´s coming together while everything´s falling apart, which Oliver Ressler has been working on for the past three years. In these films Ressler follows the growing international movements against global warming and their battles against an economic system that is reliant on fossil fuels. Ressler documents pivotal moments in the current climate movement and seeks out flashpoints of resistance: the ZAD (or zone à défendre, i.e. zone to defend) near Nantes, France, featuring Europe’s largest autonomous territory that emerged from opposition to the construction of a new airport; the demonstrations surrounding the 21st UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015; the blockades of an open-cast lignite mine in Lusatia, Germany, in 2016; and the occupation of Europe’s second largest coal port in Amsterdam in June 2017.

Oliver Ressler focuses on mass movements of civil disobedience and on the motivations and tactics deployed by their protagonists. Placed between the four projections are life-size models of of climate activists, figures from his New Model Army project. The mannequins stand in for activists ‘whose civil disobedience ensures that no new eco-looting enterprise, however routine it may seem to stockholders, can ever be considered a done deal.’ (Oliver Ressler)

15 February 2018, 6 PM
Oliver Ressler’s work has focused on global warming as a central theme ever since he first began to exhibit. One of his first solo exhibitions was “100 Years of Greenhouse Effect” at Salzburger Kunstverein (1996).
Several exhibitions, films, installations, billboards and photographic works on the theme followed since then. With the emergence of the climate movement the artist related his work primarily to the resistance to the global heat death. Ressler will present and discuss some of these works, followed by a discussion with Maja & Reuben Fowkes (Translokal Institute, Budapest).
https://www.kunsthauswien.com/en/guided-tour-pool/talk-oliver-ressler/