A Utopian Stage: ACT III

Within the framework of this year's MaerzMusik, we cordially invite you for a day of Invocations which will summon performative responses and critical conversations by an eclectic group of artists, performers, composers and thinkers who are invited to activate the contents, discourses, histories and points of reference relating to the radical and experimental spirits of the 1960s and 1970s. We invite the participants to zoom in and out of  The Shifting Sands of Utopias: A Cultural Atlas (which is the very entry point into the exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary). The open platform of Invocations invites responses, interpretations and engagements with the emancipating ambitions and contradictions of ‘the age of modernism and revolution’ and the transcendentalisms, internationalisms and the radical desires to unlock utopian potentials.

A Utopian Stage is a multi-faceted and (open-ended) evolving project that revisits the radical aspirations of the hyper-modernist networks of artists and experimentalists which defined the 1960s and 1970s. This reconstruction of a complex space of international modernity is defined by the ‘third worldist’ sensibilities of the immediate post-colonial period. The project traces a cultural atlas through which knowledge was exchanged across alternative (often non-European) plateaus. This process of global ‘reorientation’ takes us through a reconstruction of the gaze – subverting the single ‘reading’ of West to East into a more cyclical model, engaging in cultural, philosophical and political negotiations from East to East, East to West, South to East, South to South – constructing a panoramic exchange of global philosophical and artistic discourse. The project explores how in the aftermath of the collapse of European hegemonies and the rise of the Global South a fluid artistic exchange was possible across geographies, histories and forms in ways and on a scale that had never been possible before. The ideals and the highs and lows of 20th century modernist universalisms are explored from the vantage point of the sensibilities and urgencies of the emerging Global South and their alliances with the international avant-garde.

Text by Vali Mahlouji