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Invisible Violence, Artium Museum, Spain (2014-2015)

12 September 2014 – 11  January 2015


Invisible Violence, ARTIUM, Basque Museum-Center of Contemporary Art – Vitoria, Spain
Curators: Zoran Erić, Blanca de la Torre and Seamus Kealy

Kader Attia | Itziar Barrio | Ursula Biemann | Rosella Biscotti-Kevin van Braak | Sarah Browne | Declan Clarke | István Csákány | Willie Doherty | Harun Farocki |Daniel García Andújar | Dejan Kaludjerović | Vladimir Miladinović | Locky Morris | Adrian Paci | Christodoulos Panayiotou | Garret Phelan | Nicola Radic Lucati | María Ruido | Francesc Ruiz | Jonas Staal | Nedko Solakov | Zoran Todorović | Milica Tomić


Invisible Violence is coproduced by Artium, Basque Museum-Centre of Contemporary Art, Vitoria, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade. This collaboration involves two distinct but jointly curated exhibitions and the first one opened to the public last spring in Belgrade.

The project explores so-called invisible violence as it is discernable within quotidian, domestic, work-related, and everyday life; administrative and bureaucratic violence; visual violence in advertising and media; as well as subtle forms of sectarianism and community animosity from recent historical circumstances. These are forms of violence that are arguably globally omnipresent. These comparisons of violence are being explored by bringing together artists’ work that problematize territorial, nationalistic, mythological and identity-related topics, without being bogged down by dualistic, partitioned or oppositional representations.

The theme of violence as a subject for an exhibition is naturally a sensitive and perhaps provocative one, and sometimes generative of Manichean definitions of “us and them.” It is thus an aim for the curators to resist undue focus on issues of war, genocide and extreme violence, while enabling these to be a tangible, if unseen, backdrop to the project. The violence to be explored mainly – that which is depicted or investigated throughout the invited artists’ work – is forms of violence within language, within representation, as a result of shifting socio-economic conditions, and shifting ideas and policies that may be identified as enacting a cultural violence upon geo-political bodies and individuals. This does not mean that these more topical and more pronounced forms of violence (terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing and genocide) are explicitly avoided in this exhibition, but that instead they do dominate the field of references, which itself aims to cast several beacons on different forms of cultural and contemporary violence simultaneously.

The content and thematic focus of the project considers some important and sensitive areas in the production of new European identities. By fostering the public debate on the issues of invisible violence that are occurring in each corner of Europe, both in EU countries and others that are in the process of joining it, this project emphasises the need for production of a common public sphere in Europe, and to revisit essential ideas of European citizenship, and thus to put a spotlight on the EU from within.

We are today arguably facing a situation where new laws, legislation and inter-state agreements within the European Union may generate capacities for new types of violence. In total, this project aims to emphasize a universalising aspect of new forms of invisible violence as they are currently prevalent throughout Europe; forms of violence that are seen as a central threat to the production of egalitarian ideals of European citizenship.


Artists on screening: Iratxe Jaio | Francisco Ruiz de Infante | Pepo Salazar | João Salaviza | Ferhat Özgür | Jesse Jones | Pavel Braila

Invisible Violence is a coproduction by Artium, Basque Museum-Centrer of Contemporary Art, Vitoria, Spain, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia
With the support at Artium of the Provincial Council of Alava and the Basque Government
With the help of: Culture Ireland | British Council – Northern Ireland | ProHelvetia-Swiss Arts Council | Instituto Cervantes | Austria Cultural Forum | Goethe Institut