A new exhibition at HeK (Basel) explores the radical shift in the boundary between fiction and reality in a world increasingly governed by ‘post-truth’ politics.
Yesterday (May 22), a thrilling group show opened at HeK, focusing on critical artistic practices, which hover at the intersection between politics, the arts, theory, activism, and the media.”How much of this is fiction” focuses on politically inspired media art that uses deception in all its forms, and will be showing at HeK until 21 May 2017.
At the heart of the exhibition is the desire to address one of today’s most urgent political issues: the radical shift in the boundary between fiction and reality in public discourse, in a world increasingly governed by ‘post-truth’ politics. The exhibition shows the artist as ‘dark jester’, as trickster, using a variety of hoaxes, hacks and ruses to reveal the hidden workings of power structures and the possibility of alternative futures.
As well as acting as a timely reflection on the nature of truth in a time filled with fake news, misinformation, and tactical propaganda, the show also serves a historical purpose. Many of the high-speed media interventions showcased in the show are, to a degree, legacies of ‘Tactical Media’; a cultural and political movement that flourished in the late 90s. Tactical Media was the first to combine the power of art, the practices of PR and advertising worlds, and an experimental approach to digital media, to mount hit-and-run interventions in the media sphere aiming to create chaos as a means of generating political opportunity.
The exhibition, curated by Annet Dekker and David Garcia (in collaboration with Ian Alan Paul) assembles works by Morehshin Allahyari, Heba Y. Amin, Arabian Street Artists (Caram Kapp and Don Karl), Mathieu Cherubini, Paolo Cirio, Coco Fusco, Paul Garrin, Maia Gusberti, HeHe, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Robert Ochshorn, Julian Oliver & Danja Vasiliev, Ian Alan Paul, Superflux, The Yes Men, UBERMORGEN and Wachter & Jud. Also the spatial and graphic design, developed by Ruben Pater engages with themes of political protest, systems of control, and acts of obfuscation.
The different works shown at the exhibition shall trigger the discourse of how the influence of this media movement remains all around us. Whether it be the social media meme tactics of political extremists, the live streaming of police shootings to social and mainstream media platforms around the world, Trump’s midnight tweets, the exposure of the surveillance state through Snowden’s actions, or information unveiled by Wikileaks, it is clear that the critical role of “do it yourself” media politics is as crucial as ever.
Pavel Anshon, March 2017
23.03.2017 – 21.05.2017
HeK – Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel
4142 Münchenstein / Basel
Admission: 9 / 6 CHF