Archive: Farewell To Longing. Figurations of Homeland in Contemporary Art


The exhibition Farewell to Longing liberates the term "Heimat" from its connotation charged with longing.

The exhibition Farewell to Longing liberates the term "Heimat" from its  connotation charged with longing. Correspondingly, the artistic positions reject an "iconography of roaring deer", since this would  celebrate Heimat primarily in its kitsch antithesis. While  retrogressive interpretation patterns locate the concept of Heimat as a retroactive construction and thereby clarify the past, the project  curated by Claudia Marion Stemberger turns its back on the powerful  topic of the lost Heimat. The exhibition concept calls for a  forward-looking view of the idea of Heimat – not just beyond its  ideological discrediting, but also above all beyond the escapism of  nostalgic traditions of interpretation.

The departure from nostalgia at the same time brings up the question  of how longing might otherwise be thought of generatively. Such a  productive reoccupation opens a hopeful area of opportunity without,  however, covering the past with amnesia, and from the perspective of  social psychology it particularly stresses that the feeling of being at  home is related to action – since the realisation of utopias requires  personal contribution. The international selection of twelve artists  therefore draws attention to subjective facets of contemporary individual of an "agency of homing" – whether they are material,  communicative, emotional, reflexive or imaginative.

To go with the exhibition a catalogue is being published with contributions by the manager of the Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Christiane Krejs, and the curator Claudia Marion Stemberger.

Curated by: Claudia Marion Stemberger


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