Two new works by Oliver Ressler refer to the migration and flight that war and conflict in Syria (and other states) have set in motion. Emergency Turned Upside-Down addresses the cynical and inhuman discourse that sees the presence of refugees in Europe as a state of “emergency,” although this term really should be reserved for war, terror, or economic strangulation—the very reasons that lead people to leave their homes. There Are No Syrian Refugees in Turkey is Oliver Ressler’s most recent film, made on the occasion of his solo exhibition at SALT Galata in Istanbul. In it, he allows Syrian refugees living as “guests” in Europe’s largest metropolis to analyze the political reactions of the EU and Turkey.
Emergency Turned Upside-Down, 2016, 16 min
There Are No Syrian Refugees In Turkey, 2016, 30 min
After the screening: talk with Oliver Ressler and Annie Fletcher (instead of Charles Esche).
Oliver Ressler lives in Vienna. In 2016 he was the first winner of the Swiss art prize Prix Thun für Kunst und Ethik. Exhibitions (selection): Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo – CAAC, Seville (2015); LENTOS Kunstmuseum, Linz (2014); Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (2010); Berkeley Art Museum (2006).
Charles Esche is a curator and author; director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and together with Mark Lewis founder and editor of Afterall Journal and Afterall Books, Central St. Martins, London.
Annie Fletcher is currently Chief Curator at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. She also tutors at De Appel, Amsterdam, the Dutch Art Institute Arnhem and the Design Academy Eindhoven. She recently worked on the exhibition El Lissitzky: The Artist and the State at IMMA Dublin, and Republic of Art at the Van Abbemuseum in 2015. She was lead contributor from the Van Abbe to the Museum as Hub collaboration led by the New Museum in New York from 2006–2014. Other projects include Be(com)ing Dutch (2006–2009) and Cork Caucus (2005) with Charles Esche, or the rolling curatorial platform If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, co-founded and co-directed with Frederique Bergholtz and Tania Elsgest. As a writer she has contributed to various magazines and publications.