Representing Capital

screening with discussion
Sunday, 16th of December 2012, 19:00
Student Centre Zagreb – MM (Multimedia) Centre

screening program:
Oliver Ressler and Zanny Begg: THE BULL LAID BEAR (2012, 24 min)
Zachary Formwalt: IN PLACE OF CAPITAL (2009, 24 min 30 sec)
Isa Rosenberger: ESPIRAL (2010/2012, 12 min)

referents: Nicole Hewitt and Marko Kostanić
moderator: Vesna Vuković


PHOTO: still from THE BULL LAID BEAR by Oliver Ressler and Zanny Begg

PHOTO: still from THE BULL LAID BEAR by Oliver Ressler and Zanny Begg

In their second collaborative film, The Bull Laid Bear, Zanny Begg (Sydney) and Oliver Ressler (Vienna) focus on the financial and economic crisis post 2008. The Bull Laid Bear “lays bare” the economic recession (bear market) that hides behind each boom time (bull market). The film pokes fun at the slippery justifications made for the bailouts and austerity packages by exploring how governments in the United States, and other countries such as Ireland, turned a banking crisis into a budgetary crisis at the governmental level. The Bull Laid Bear is structured around a series of interviews with US economists and activists including: William K. Black, a white-collar criminologist; Yves Smith, the author of the blog Naked Capitalism; Tiffiniy Cheng, campaign coordinator for A New Way Forward; and Gerald Epstein, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute in Amherst, MA. The material gathered from these four interviewees has been blended with hand drawn animations to create a quasi-fictitious criminal world of gangster bankers and corrupt courts. The Bull Laid Bear probes our collective “beliefs” in financial markets, unravelling responsibility for the 2008 financial meltdown and looking at some of the causes of the spiralling economic crisis in Europe.

Zanny Begg explores the politics of space, in a wider global and a more specific local context, in her work which deals with the architecture of spaces and the social relationships which give it form. Oliver Ressler graduated from the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. He took part in residences and numerous international exhibitions. His work This Is What Democracy Looks Like! has been awarded the international multimedia award by ZKM (Zagreb Youth Theatre).

In Place of Capital (2009), a film by Zachary Formwalt, takes the Royal Exchange building in London (1844) as a pretext to look at how economic movements fail to appear photographically. William Henry Fox Talbot – the British rival of Louis Daguerre, the French pioneer of photography – captured this failure in four exposures when he portrayed the Royal Exchange building in 1845. The film is accompanied by four large-format photographs of the Royal Exchange building today, taken by the artist from the position where Talbot stood 150 years earlier.

Zachary Formwalt is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has  attended the Critical Postgraduate Program at the Malmö Art Academy and been resident of the Rijksakademie in 2008. He has presented solo projects at Kunsthalle Basel (2009), Elder Gallery, Lincoln (2006) and Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö (2005).

Espiral is Isa Rosenberger’s artistic occupation with the role of Austrian banks in the Southeastern Europe and the current economic crisis. The advance towards Kurt Joss’ expressionistic ballet The Green Table (1932), a dance-like description of the connection between power, economy and war in the environment of the Weimar Republic and the first world depression, is the central point of view. Another level of this work is based on the research on the role of Austrian banks both after the transformation processes in Eastern Europe and during the time before and after the First World War. Rosenberger establishes connections between the opening in the East and the balances and profits of the parent companies in the West.

Isa Rosenberger studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Jan van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht. In her works, she explores the political upheavals and the related social and economic consequences. By juxtaposing subjective observances and everyday biographies with canonised representations of history, Isa Rosenberger questions the construction of reality and the power of images that is connected with it.

In 2012 mikropolitics is focused on exploring the relationship between art and money. By claiming that money is not a closed system and that it plays an important role in the structuring of different societies in different historical circumstances, we are attempting to find an appropriate artistic form for this complex and politically charged issue on the productive basis of art as a specific stage for ideas.

organizer: [BLOK] as part of the 9th Velesajam kulture (Culture Fair) at the Zagreb Student Centre