Christine Meisner | Mathias Poledna
Lisl Ponger | José Alejandro Restrepo

7 June 2008 – 6 July 2008
Opening: 06.06.2008, 7 pm
Hall 25, Campus Leuphana University Lueneburg

Curated by: Christian Kravagna
in cooperation with the Kunstraum der Leuphana Universitaet Lueneburg and its project group, organised by Kerstin Stakemeier
Organisation: Polina Stroganova

The exhibition deals with the stories and manifestations of a collective imagination structured by the polarity of centre and periphery and which can be generally subsumed under the title "Eurocentrism". The title of the exhibition has been borrowed from a book by the literary scholar Mary Louise Pratt (Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, 1992), in which she delineates the manufacture of a European "planetary consciousness" on the basis of travel writing and the activities of collectors since the 18th Century.

The establishment of the systematic natural sciences since that time and parallel entrepreneurial European expeditions paved the way—along with adventure literature and travel writing—for a consciousness of European centrality, from which vantage point the rest of the world proffered itself both as an immense spectacle and as chaos in need of classification. Alongside the hardened techniques of economic exploitation and political control of overseas territories, "soft" literary, scientific and artistic techniques of surveying the world, the ordering of phenomena and the representation of differences shared in the consolidation of colonial ways of ruling, which in turn reached their zenith around 1900. The traces of the Eurocentric world view in the structures of individual consciousness and feeling extend beyond the colonial era, whereas since the mid 20th Century they have been subjected to post-colonial critique. The exhibition probes the current status of planetary con sciousness on the basis of artworks concerned with the genesis of a European worldview in cross-genre stagings of the centre/periphery model against the backdrop of (post-) colonial dispositives. If one regards this worldview as mythical knowledge, then it is precisely artistic methods and procedures themselves that seem appropriate to evoke the often diffuse and conceptually challenging structures of feeling of centrality and planetary consciousness and furthermore to identify them—very much in Barthes' description of the mythologies of knowledge—as "formless, unstable, nebulous condensation."

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