Issue #28, 2008

Manifesta 6 Department 3: Abschlussball
Pia Fuchs (Dt. ID V. Patricia Reed) And Société Réaliste

M6.1, DEPT III: Abschlussball Dis-/Agreement is a multi-authored, independent project from more than 20 of the selected students from Dept III of the “failed” Manifesta 6 school-as-biennale project, due to have taken place in Nicosia, Cyprus in 2006. We use the term “failed” purposefully in quotations. The mishap of the project has transformed it unforeseeable directions – becoming the first purely textual biennial. Since the inception of the project until now it has manifest itself exclusively through a collection of texts (applications, press articles, curatorial statements, legal documents, publications, emails, etc.). This transformation has re-positioned the intentions, but has unwillingly produced the most trans-disciplinary biennial of its’ kind, involving, but not excluded to the juridical, political, diplomatic, intellectual, media, economic and aesthetic spheres.

From this perspective, the “still-born” network of Dept III participants, sought to reanimate itself into a “zombie network”, as a collective, resurrected, productive “ding”. The non-consensual, collaborative efforts are combined into a co-authored “confetti contract” – a text co-built in iterations between all participants of fragments, state­ments, digressions, interactions, re-writings, definitions and discords that take place amongst such a large group. Participants initially worked remotely and several con­vened in Berlin at West Germany for final contract deliberations (May 28–31, 2007). The unsigned contract was celebrated publicly with a /Abschlussball/ (end of school year celebration) on June 1, 2007.

The contract of discord re-appropriates the textual medium of the biennale and replaces our broken non-contract of pre-supposed participation in the event as “students”. Furthermore, the rules of engagement within the groups’ activity are themselves, an experiment into disunity and dissension based forms of collaborative production – the only rule being that one could not delete the work of another, but rather violently strike it out. The final draft of our contract of discord has been transformed into a poster insert for IDEA readers.

The project was initiated by the artist cooperative Société Réaliste (FR/HU) and Pia Fuchs (dt ID v. Patricia Reed) (DE/CA). Co-authors include: Robin Bhattacharya; Chicks on Speed; Samuel Dowd; Gaia Fugazza; Gabriele Gaspari; Ingela Johansson; Ralph Kistler; Magnus Liistamo; Lyn Löwenstein; Susannah Mira; Petros Moris; Patricia Reed; Société Réaliste; Can Sarvan; Alexander Schikowski; Anthony Schrag; Craig Smith; Jens Strandberg and Inga Zimprich.

We would like to thank the Botschaft von Kanada, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin and Bureau des Arts Plastiques for their support. Many thanks for hosting our ball and contract deliberations to Ingo Gerken and Stephan Kallage from West Germany.

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