Transnational Capitalism Examined at Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and The Gallery Apart in Rome

Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and The Gallery Apart will present Transnational Capitalism Examined, the double solo exhibition of Austrian artist Oliver Ressler curated by Mike Watson, from 27 September – 26 November 2016.

Transnational Capitalism Examined presents an overview of the work of Austrian artist and filmmaker across two art spaces in Rome: Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and The Gallery Apart.

As the economic crisis lingers three sectors of transnational capital stand out as the most aggressive and prone to seek neo-fascist political arrangements in order to maximize profit: speculative financial capital, the military-industrial-security complex, and the extractive and energy sector.  What all of these aspects have in common is their transcendence of national boundaries. Globalization, which once promised unbound freedoms has become a restrictive force as finance capitalism, punitive military actions and commodity extraction operate on a transnational level, unanswerable to individual political subjects or their governments. The problem is exacerbated by two contradictory but equally dangerous right wing tendencies: one towards nationalism and insular protectionism, the other towards a disregard for nation states and their sometimes democratically elected leaders. The former tendency finds expression in far right hooliganism and right wing electoral victories, whilst the latter is harder to detect as trade agreements (such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP) and financial deals are conducted behind closed doors. It is part of Ressler’s role as an artist to make visible things which are otherwise kept invisible, thereby opening the possibility for dialogue around political wrongdoing and strategies to challenge it.

It is with this in mind that Ressler has conceived Transnational Capitalism Examined across two sites, in collaboration with curator and theorist Mike Watson. The double solo exhibition will put existing works, partly undertaken in collaboration with the artists Zanny Begg and Martin Krenn, in dialogue with new works carried out especially for the exhibition.

Part One of the exhibition, Transnational Capitalism Examined: Dancing on Systemically Important Graves at Fondazione Pastificio Cerere brings together works from Ressler from the past 13 years. Ressler is an artist who approaches and presents the documentary form via an artistic outlook. Such an approach aims to concretize art’s critical capacity whilst exposing the effects of Transnational Capitalism. Whilst The Bull Laid Bare and The Visible and the Invisible explore the machinations of international debt and finance, The Fittest Survive examines the perverse link between corporations and warfare. Meanwhile, Leave it in the Ground examines the politics of fossil fuel extraction.

Conversely, Transnational Capitalism Examined: Border as Method at The Gallery Apart examines the visible face of global capitalism as embodied in social unrest, economic collapse, undocumented migration and the influx of refugees from the war-zones into Europe. The exhibition takes its title from Sandro Mezzadra & Brett Neilson’s Border as Method, or the Multiplication of Labour (2013), which examines the proliferation of borders which has accompanied the advance of free market capitalism and globalization, highlighting a contradiction of transnational capitalism. Though, as the book’s authors explain, this is not to say that the nation state has become resurgent as a political force in the 21st Century. Rather, they argue that, “borders, far from serving simply to block or obstruct global flows, have become essential devices for their articulation.”

During the exhibition several collateral events will be hosted by Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and curated by Mike Watson: Art. Class. War, an event bringing together VJ’s and DJ’s to present audio, visual and performance works which aim to address the issues of social class and warfare within an art environment; Boundaries and Confines, two workshops around the theme of arts and media activism with students of local universities.

A conversation between Mike Watson and Oliver Ressler  – Oliver Ressler: on the Visibile and Invisible – has recently been published at ArtReview.

The exhibition has been organised with the support of Austrian Cultural Forum in Rome.

Fondazione Pastificio Cererevia degli Ausoni 7, 00185, Roma, Italia
Transnational Capitalism Examined: Dancing on Systemically Important Graves

Opening Tuesday 27 September 2016, 7pm
27 September – 26 November2016

The Gallery Apartvia Francesco Negri, 43, 0014 Roma, Italia
Transnational Capitalism Examined: Border as Method

Opening Wednesday 28 September 2016, 7pm
28 September – November 26, 2016