Opening – 17/5/2019, 19:30
18 May – 07 September 2019
State of Concept Athens
Curated by: WHW
Artists: Marwa Arsanios, Lela Čermak, Dora Economou, Vlatka Horvat, Yota Ioannidou, Sanja Iveković, Adela Jušić, Gülsün Karamustafa, Rajkamal Kahlon, Theo Prodromidis, Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović, Mujeres Públicas, Želimir Žilnik
During the opening there will be a guided tour from the curators and the artists of the exhibition.
The exhibition “I’ll open the door straight, dead straight into the fire” curated by collective What, How and for Whom / WHW starts from the figure of women partisans in intertwined histories of Yugoslav and Greek anti-fascist struggle and postwar constellation of Cold War. It situates these histories in relation to various liberation and anti-colonial struggles, and a contemporary line of feminist demands for total social alternative. The brave and uncompromising quote in its title is taken from a poem “May 25th” (1978) by poet, actress and militant anarchist Katerina Gogou (1940–93).
The exhibition presents episodes and cases of documentary research along diverse artistic works that look at contributions of women in building an egalitarian and just world system, often lost in dominant heroic narratives of anti-fascist struggles and leftist rhetoric. I’ll open the door straight, dead straight into the fire asks who are the partisan women of today and tries to join various voices and approaches opposing the current conditions of re-traditionalization, enforcement of patriarchy and devastating reproduction of capitalist growth.
What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb and Berlin.
Its members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. Since 2003 WHW collective has been running the program of Gallery Nova, a city-owned gallery in Zagreb.
Since the first exhibition in 2000, WHW curated numerous international projects, among which are Collective Creativity, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 2005; 11th Istanbul Biennial What Keeps Mankind Alive?, Istanbul, 2009; and One Needs to Live Self-Confidently…Watching, Croatian pavilion at 54th Venice Biennial, 2011. Recent projects include My Sweet Little Lamb, (everything we see can also be otherwise), (co-curated with Kathrin Rhomberg), various locations in Zagreb, 2016/2017; Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb), (co-curated with Kathrin Rhomberg and Emily Pethick), The Showroom, London, 2017; Želimir Žilnik: Shadow citizens, Edit Russ Haus fürMedienkunst, Oldenburg; 2nd Industrial Art Biennial, On the shoulders of the fallen giants, Rijeka, Pula, Labin, Raša, Vodnjan, 2018…
In 2018 WHW launched a new international study program for emerging artists called WHW Akademija, based in Zagreb. In March 2019 members of WHW Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović were appointed as artistic directors of Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. WHW as a collective continues working in Zagreb with collective activities coordinated by WHW member Ana Dević.