Genossin Sonne

Curators: Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein) and Andrea Popelka (Kunsthalle Wien)

Assistant Curator: Hannah Marynissen

Artists: Kobby Adi • Kerstin Brätsch • Colectivo Los Ingrávidos • Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak • Sonia Leimer • Maha Maamoun • Wolfgang Mattheuer • Marina Pinsky • Katharina Sieverding • The Atlas Group • The Otolith Group • Huda Takriti • Suzanne Treister • Anton Vidokle • Gwenola Wagon • Hajra Waheed …

Exhibition design: Marlene Oeken & Martha Schwindling

A joint exhibition of Kunsthalle Wien and Wiener Festwochen | Freie Republik Wien

In the eighteenth century, the term “revolution” came to designate a “violent overthrow of the existing political and social order,” a meaning fixed by the French Revolution. Before that time, astronomers had long used it to describe the orbits of the celestial bodies.

This essayistic group exhibition Genossin Sonne [Comrade Sun] is dedicated to works of art and artistic theories that connect the cosmos, and especially the sun – the most important provider of energy for life on earth – to social and political movements. In light of the decentering of the human being as the subject of history, we inquire into the extent to which not just the natural environment on our earth but, on a grander scale, even the universe contributes to historical processes. For instance, is there a linkage, as the Soviet cosmists asserted, between increased solar activity (more sunspots and solar winds) and revolutions on earth? And which speculative and eminently enjoyable reflections on such questions can be found in contemporary visual art and poetry?

In the selection of works by international artists, one focus is on the moving image – on cinema, film, and video as media of light. Yet works in other media likewise radiate hypnotic, feverish, glowing, menacing affects. The sun, broadly speaking, figures both as an abundant source of life and energy for political struggles and as a symbol of warning, its vast mass and lifespan contrasting with the brevity of human life on planet earth. Plus: what if it never sets or rises again and time is thrown out of joint even more than it already has been?

The program of events accompanying the exhibition follows a specific calendar based on the course of the sun.

In cooperation, Brunnenpassage will present an open air installation by Huda Takriti. The newly commissioned work In the promise of the rising sun deepens the artist’s critical reflection upon various political and social histories and shows how the official and personal narratives thereof both conflict and intertwine with one another.

Each ticket to the Wiener Festwochen | Freie Republik Wien 2024 allows reduced admission to the exhibition for € 4.