by Bibi Katholm

As society in general prepares itself for the catastrophes to come, In Case We Don’t Die pushes on, creating a pathway to potential future scenarios where new meaning can be found and used as a compass for navigating the unknown.

These days…

These days potential catastrophes are everywhere you look. You can’t go outside or turn on the TV without someone giving you an earful about the world coming to an end, global climate collapsing, or terrorists planning new attacks on their enemies (and nobody seems to know who the enemy is anymore). The world is so full of danger, threats, stress, overload and insecurity, and most of the time it feels very likely that we are all going to be dead soon, the only question is when, exactly? Assuming that we, against all odds, survive the terrifying pitfalls of the future that lies ahead, is creativity going to be the thing that saves us? Will our imagination become an escape route, a place where we can hide and pretend to be alive for real, or will it be the one thing that forcefully confronts us with the truth and gives us the strength needed to make a change? What kind of art would a generation of unlikely survivors produce, and where would they find their inspiration? Is it possible that art would regain its original connection to metaphysics and philosophy, and perhaps the supernatural? What influence would surviving a catastrophe have on our values, ethics, and our perception of truth, and how might this influence visualise itself in the art of the future?

The necessary void

The following quote by UK artist Shane Bradford is his answer to the question I’ve posed by creating the ICWDD project:

‘‘…we need a different type of illusionist to recreate the emptiness where the pure event of form can take place’ Baudrillard

The apocalypse foretold in In Case We Don’t Die is a blessing. It pre-constructs Baudrillard’s necessary void, creating the conditions where possibilities of newness can begin to be tested. What once was perceived as post-modern complexity is now revealed instead, as a cancellation and painting can begin again, without the shackles of modernist preconception and expectation. Finally, the failure of painting is matched by the breakdown of society and painting is free…’ 

One of the ways in which you can see contemporary art adjusting to the current circumstances is the merger between art and social politics, manifested in movements such as Occupy Wall Street, a local protest movement that spread like wildfire to the entire US and other parts of the world. New media and the social networks have made it possible for spontaneous online societies to form, spread and organise themselves, and staging real life, long term protests that resemble cultural events or art performances, but also represent a new kind of radical democracy that aims to “occupy the future” and resurrect the hope that’s been lost. What is most significant about current political movements such as “Occupy” in relation to contemporary art is its refusal to solidify its goals and its silence when asked to fix its purpose – a good example of the necessary void.

Future creative spaces

By creating the project ICWDD, I am trying to instigate a discussion about future creative spaces, temporary creative communities / networks, the current relationship between art and social politics, and the potential of the shared creative process.

Creativity is wanted, all the time, and we are encouraged to focus all of our efforts on developing creative strategies, cultural events, and other kinds of art related practices, in spite of the fact that the current economic climate is negating the very survival of art and creativity, and forcing artists into situations, where it is virtually impossible for them to spend their time making art work, if they want to survive. This pressure coming from a hyper tense society of doom is having a massive impact on the art being produced by the artists who manage to keep up their practice, and it is forcing others to remain passive or paralysed, while waiting for a change of current that may never come.

Exhibition history so far:

All shows curated by artist Bibi Katholm. London show at Vegas Gallery co-curated by UK artist Shane Bradford.

ICWDD, Chausseestraße 105, Tækker Immobilienverwaltung GmbH, Berlin 2010.

Berlin exhibition dates: 29th May – 12th June 2010

Artist line-up: Shane Bradford (UK), John Strutton (UK), Stephen Dunne (UK), Bibi Katholm (DK), Ida Kvetny (DK), Andreas Emenius (DK), Iben Toft Nørgård (DK), Wonderland (DK), Jacob Kirkegaard (DK), Ralph Dorey (UK), Alex Hudson (UK)

ICWDD, Vegas Gallery, London 2010.

London exhibition dates: 23rd July – 27th August 2010

Artist line-up: John Strutton (UK), Bibi Katholm (DK), Andreas Emenius (DK), Wonderland (DK), Ida Kvetny (DK), Ralph Dorey (UK), Iben Toft Nørgård (DK), Stephen Dunne (UK), Jacob Kirkegaard (DK), Pascal Rousson (UK), Alex Hudson (UK), Shane Bradford + James Lacey (UK)

ICWDD, Helene Nyborg Contemporary, Copenhagen 2011.

Copenhagen 1st exhibition dates: 18th March – 16th April 2011

Artist line-up: Bibi Katholm (DK), Andreas Emenius (DK), Shane Bradford (UK), Alex Hudson (UK), Pascal Rousson (UK), Ida Kvetny (DK), Peter Rune Christiansen (DK), Jacob Kirkegaard (DK), Ralph Dorey (UK), Stephen Dunne (UK), John Strutton (UK)

ICWDD, KPH Volume, Enghavevej 82, Copenhagen 2011.

Copenhagen 2nd exhibition dates: 14th – 22nd October 2011

Artist line-up: Kasper Sonne (DK), Bibi Katholm (DK), Nick Jeffrey (UK), John Strutton (UK), Ida Kvetny (DK), Pascal Rousson (UK), Shane Bradford (UK), Thomas Øvlisen (DK), Alex Hudson (UK), Astrid Myntekær (DK), Alan Ruiz (US), Andreas Emenius (DK), Ralph Dorey (UK)

ICWDD, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles C.A. 2013

Los Angeles exhibition dates: March 30th – May 18th 2013

Artist line-up: Frohawk Two Feathers (US), Bibi Katholm (DK), Mamma Andersson (SE), Devin Troy Strother (US), Paco Pomet (ES),  Mie Olise (DK),  Ida Kvetny (DK), Monique Prieto (US), Christine Gray (US), Andreas Emenius (SE), Chris Natrop (US),  Per Hüttner (SE), Troels Carlsen (DK), Jacob Kirkegaard (DK), Theis Wendt (DK), Mai Hofstad Gunnes (NO), Asger Carlsen (DK)


Exhibition website >  www.incasewedontdie.com