‘And if I devoted my life to one of its feathers?’ writes the Chilean poet and activist Cecilia Vicuña in her 1971 poem Precarious. With this question, which the Wiener Festwochen and Kunsthalle Wien have now chosen as the title for their joint project, Vicuña counters anthropocentric and hetero-patriarchal urges with healing and appreciation, reviving the aesthetic and spiritual bonds between human and non-human entities and worlds. In keeping with these aspirations the exhibition curated by Miguel A. López reflects on the rationale of exploitation, the fast-paced mining of raw materials, and environmental destruction as a colonial legacy. It tells the story of indigenous struggles for collective survival and celebrates encounters defined by solidarity in their resistance to misogyny, imperialist violence and state oppression. Some of the contributions are a specific response to the Covid-19 pandemic, not just as a health crisis, but also as one of ecological and social justice. And if I devoted my life to one of its feathers? combines works by more than 35 artists from around the world in order to initiate in Vienna a unique conversation about power, sovereignty, self-representation, and the reclaiming of a plurality of life choices.
A joint exhibition by the Wiener Festwochen and the Kunsthalle Wien.