Axel Braun

Junior Artist in Residence
Period of Stay: 
October 2015 - March 2016
Multimedia Artist
Project Title: 
Some Kind of Opposition: Revisiting Gabcikovo-Nagymaros
Project Abstract: 

„Commitee secretary János Berecz . . . spoke of a 'certain group’ which was moving in the 'direction of some kind of opposition.’ “[1]

My artistic research project revisits the history of Duna Kör – one of the first environmental initiatives in Eastern Europe – and the related controversy about the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Dam System on the Danube between Slovakia and Hungary.

On the one hand it is a story about a civic movement that successfully opposed an authoritarian regime. On the other hand it provides an ideal example for the complex processes that characterise the developments of our living spaces in the age of the Anthropocene.

In cooperation with activists and eyewitnesses I will contextualise historical documents with contemporary landscape representations to make them accessible to the public in the framework of a multi-channel video installation. As an artist I understand controversies about large technologies and infrastructure projects as complex discursive fields that need to be mapped – and whose aesthetical qualities merit visualisation. My installation aims to provide multi-sensual accesses to the topic for in-depth experience of rhetoric strategies and visual narratives.

The intended exhibition is envisioned as a place for reflection and exchange. It is meant to contribute to current discussions in the context of sustainable development as a global project, European integration, as well as anti-democratic tendencies in Eastern Europe.

SOME KIND OF OPPOSITION is part of the long-term project Towards an Understanding of Anthropocene Landscapes: since 2011 I have been conducting case studies about comparable controversies in Europe and other regions of the world that I aim to compile in further installations and an anthology-like artist book.

[1] „B-WIRE / 02-JUN-86 04:59“ 2 June 1986. HU OSA 300-40-1: 276/3.; Energetika, Erőművek, Vízerőmű, Bős-Gabcikovo-Nagymaros, 1986 [3 of 3]; Records of the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Research Institute; Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest

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