The will to change

Ed Fornieles, Gašper Kunšič, Max Kolten
09.11. — 10.12.2020


Alexandra-Maria Toth
The will to change
2020

In “the will to change”, writer and literary scholar bell hooks describes the patriarchy’s perpetual effect on men and society as a whole and how the time is ripe for change. By exploring cultural productions of masculinities with an approach of critical empathy, hooks acknowledges the pain and suffering caused by the patriarchy and calls on women and men equally to reject patriarchal demands and instead suggests embracing practices of love, healing and intimacy.

In CEL (2019) Ed Fornieles draws attention to patriarchal structures by documenting a 72 hours Performance – a so-called Live Action Role Play (LARP), in which the artist himself and nine other participants embody a fictional group of alt-right gamers in a simulated reality. Rules and protocols lead the characters to explore ideologies, which generate highly aggressive behaviors commonly known as masculine. The most important rule in this simulation is to encourage the participants to fight physically, mentally or verbally against each other in order to avoid any kind of human bonding and to reach superiority (“You must always have someone lower than yourself”). Only by death, can these structures and rules fall apart, leaving the characters of CEL without guidance but with the possibility to create a new protocol, that differs from the violent simulation they were thrown into. In Addition to CEL, Ed Fornieles developed DEBRIEF (2019), a video work, which allowed each participant to reflect and talk about their experiences cultivated within the simulation. Participants described the environment of CEL as painfully familiar and some felt reminded of their teenage years, where violence was acceptable to demonstrate and maintain a position of power.

bell hooks identifies core families and its hierarchical rules as heavily charged with patriarchal ideologies. She explains, that in order to end domination and experience love, we must begin to reject these rules in our closest relationships. Perhaps at this point, the work of Gašper Kunšič aligns with CEL and hooks by addressing traditional and religious beliefs towards gender roles and structures, which are often apparent in parental homes. His black sculpture is reminiscent of the crown of thorns and presses down on us from above, like an inevitable burden. The naked self-portrays of the artist appear bold and independent – yet vulnerable. The images are partly covered by colorful architectural elements, which create the impression of Kunšič being eighter protected of – or locked in by various harmful outside influences or demands. His smiling heart is hidden, but present to spread a hopeful and healing aura.

Lingering on the walls are the two figurative metal sculptures by Max Kolten. These fragile works discuss the deeper relationship between gender and power, and focus on how certain ways of “being a man” are privileged within different cultural settings. His recent exploration of toxic masculinities and bullying behaviors amongst men within gay culture exposes the reality of subordinate variants of men. These left the artist exhausted - yet eager to discuss utopian scenarios for societies that are characterized by emancipatory thinking and equality. His drawings are incorporated with elements of pre or post-patriarchal cultures and thoughts of rebirth. Each work is supplemented by a poem, written by his partner Alejandro Rubalcava to reveal a strong (male) interest in welcoming and supporting feminist and queer thoughts to the world and therefore a (the) will to change.


The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
1 — The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
2 — The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
Ed Fornieles, CEL, 2019
3 — Ed Fornieles, CEL, 2019
Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
4 — Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
5 — Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
6 — The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
Ed Fornieles, CEL, 2019
7 — Ed Fornieles, CEL, 2019
The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
8 — The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
Max Kolten, Anxiety & Emancipation III (+ Text „Yoga“ by Alejandro Rubalcava), 2019
9 — Max Kolten, Anxiety & Emancipation III (+ Text „Yoga“ by Alejandro Rubalcava), 2019
Max Kolten, Anxiety & Emancipation IX (+ Text „Matriarca“ by Alejandro Rubalcava), 2020
10 — Max Kolten, Anxiety & Emancipation IX (+ Text „Matriarca“ by Alejandro Rubalcava), 2020
The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
11 — The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
12 — The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
13 — The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
Gašper Kunšič, MEIN ZUHAUSE (CROWN), 2020
14 — Gašper Kunšič, MEIN ZUHAUSE (CROWN), 2020
Gašper Kunšič, HIDING (PROPOSAL FOR A BALCONY II), 2020
15 — Gašper Kunšič, HIDING (PROPOSAL FOR A BALCONY II), 2020
Gašper Kunšič, HIDING (PROPOSAL FOR A BALCONY I), 2020
16 — Gašper Kunšič, HIDING (PROPOSAL FOR A BALCONY I), 2020
Gašper Kunšič, HIDING (PROPOSAL FOR A BALCONY III), 2020
17 — Gašper Kunšič, HIDING (PROPOSAL FOR A BALCONY III), 2020
The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
18 — The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
Gašper Kunšič, PALE HEART, 2019
19 — Gašper Kunšič, PALE HEART, 2019
Max Kolten, Anxiety & Emancipation VIII (+ Text „Baile“ by Alejandro Rubalcava), 2020
20 — Max Kolten, Anxiety & Emancipation VIII (+ Text „Baile“ by Alejandro Rubalcava), 2020
Ed Fornieles, DEBRIEF, 2019
21 — Ed Fornieles, DEBRIEF, 2019
The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
22 — The will to change, exhibiton view, 2020
The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
23 — The will to change, exhibition view, 2020
Ed Fornieles, CEL, 2019
24 — Ed Fornieles, CEL, 2019
Gašper Kunšič, PALE HEART, 2019
25 — Gašper Kunšič, PALE HEART, 2019
Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
26 — Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
Max Kolten, untitled, 2018
27 — Max Kolten, untitled, 2018

Info

curated by Alexandra-Maria Toth
Image credit: Flavio Palasciano

This exhibition was highly supported by the Bundeskanzleramt Wien - Sektion IV, Möbel vom Wiesinger, New Jörg Wien, Gallery Georg Kargl, Gallery nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Gallery Zeller van Almsick and the VBKÖ - The Austrian Association of Women Artists.

Location

New Jörg
Jägerstrasse 56