Reality Manifestos - Can Dialectics Break Bricks?

A study of détournement as Art Forms


Museum Halls, WUK, Währinger Straße 59, 1090 Wien

Symposium from 19 - 20 January 2012. (Exhibition at Kunsthalle Exnergasse 19 January - 3 March 2012)

Lectures at the Symposium

dérive and détournement. How to reappropriate?

by Elke Krasny

Both, dérive and détournement, have a long history within artistic practice. The question addressed here is how the potential of both of these practices, which involve active movement, altered positionalities and changed perceptions, can be critically and conceptually reappropriated within curatorial and artistic research. As part of the research process initiated for the exhibition "Mapping the Everyday. Neighbourhood Claims for the Future" realized as a collaboration between the Audain Gallery, the Dowtown Eastside Women Centre and me, the women of the DEWC mapped their archive. They reappropriated their archive by starting to think of their collection of newsletters as an archive which could be walked through. Their archive was turned into a public reading from the vantage of claims and demands from the past entering the history of the presence. Activist feminist practices and the feminist production of space, embodied in the everyday of the Centre, met with the practices of dérive and détournement as strategies to reappropriate and to articulate.

The result was the production of new constellations oscillating between text and image. They allow for a reading between the lines, yet also a walk reflecting what it means to go in circles.

Elke Krasny is a curator and writer. She is Senior Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her work is process-oriented and research based. It deals with issues of space, urban transformation, intervention into hegemonic representations, feminism and the production of memory.