Two years after her brilliant presentation at the 57th International Art Exhibition La Biennale Di Venezia, Brigitte Kowanz is realizing a large installation for the 13th Cairo Biennale titled United in Diversity, which literally reflects the impact of new technologies and social media on our contemporary society. The installation is part of a group exhibition and will be on display at the Palace of Arts in Cairo from June 10th until August 10th, 2019.
The 13th Cairo Biennale takes place for the first time after the outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2010/2011. At the same time, this exhibition participation fills the last blind spot on the comprehensive exhibition list of the internationally renowned Viennese concept artist (*1957), who has now been represented in serveral institutional exhibitions on all continents.
A belief in new technology, a reflection of its impacts on contemporary society, its opportunities but also its dangers is at the centre of Brigitte Kowanz’ installation for the 13th Cairo Biennale. Light is not only the foundation of life, it is also the basis of post-analogue communication.
Besides being a main source of everyday communication, the influence of the Internet and Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), goes to the extent of actually changing and shaping societies all over the world. New technology and Social Media are ambivalent dispositives. On the one hand, the immersive screens of our smartphones contribute to the absorption from reality into a digital space. At the same time, these spaces are spaces of encounter, in which people from all over the globe are united in diversity. Within this installation, Brigitte Kowanz overlaps different mediums of light, mirrors and spaces to address two types of reality. While standing in real spaces, viewers will encounter their reflection within the extended virtual space of the mirror works. Traditionally, light is a source of cognition. Hence, the encounter the artist initiates, ignites a reality check, a reflection of current status, somewhere between virtual and real, space and time.
Palace of Arts (EG), Ard El Opera
El Gezirah, Zamalek
Sunday, 9 June 2019, 6 pm
10 June – 10 August 2019
Caption: Brigitte Kowanz, YouTube 14.02.2005, 2018, Neon, Spiegel / Neon, mirror, 70 x 170 x 19 cm, © Studio Brigitte Kowanz, Bildrecht Vienna 2019, Photo: Jed Niezgoda