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BRACE FOR IMPACT is the final project of De Appel Curatorial Programme 2017-2018. The artists in BRACE FOR IMPACT bring attention to the lasting, semi-conscious influence that contemporary technology and its politicised representations exert on human life. The project consists of several nodes that challenge and complement one another to unfold the divergent ways in which technological environments shape our affective dispositions.

The presentation at De School features recent video based works by Agnieszka Polska and artist duo Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme. Each of the works evokes a political condition of continuous upheaval where technological advancements have very distinct meaning and impact on everyday life. Abbas and Abou-Rahme’s And yet my mask is powerful (Part 1) takes viewers through the point of view of a group of youth walking through a destroyed Palestinian village inside Israeli borders.

The protagonists don masks modelled on archeological findings from the West Bank and surrounding areas, as a gesture of recalling close ancestors in a place where contingency reigns and progress is elusive. In Agnieszka Polska’s New Sun, an anthropomorphised star stares directly at the viewer with its large, all-consuming eyes while indulging in a half- sung monologue. The omnipresent gaze of the affectionate but sometimes delirious sun looks at a very real issue: humanity’s collective apathy amidst states of crisis. Both works delve into layers of memory and evoke overwhelmingly cyclical political landscapes.

While Abbas and Abou-Rahme’s cinematic video employs a human scale and horizontal view within an almost testimonial frame of reference, Polska’s computer-generated media takes on an external perspective, considering these issues from a cosmic view.

More information on BRACE FOR IMPACT: exhibitions/brace-for-impact
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