Live Alone, Die Together
By MIVC Graduates 2021
We are very pleased to welcome you to the Final Graduation show of the MIVC of AKV St.Joost, where we showcase our 2-year artistic journey of our expanding research and practices in the fields of fine art and design. When thinking about the ongoing and emotionally charged discussions of whether this show can take place online or offline, and the continuous change of plans, cancellations, and frustrations in our daily lives on literally every plane, the first word that comes to mind is precariousness. This place of uncertainty, of ‘being dangerously likely to fall or collapse’ marks our exhibition titled Live Alone Die Together.
First coming off as a slightly sarcastic, perhaps even a bit cynical or blunt, Live Alone Die Together refers to the feeling of fragility that lingers beneath our human structures, putting into question our grand plans for prosperity, progress and permanence. It is no longer possible to ignore that humanity is interconnected to a broader ecosystem that is becoming increasingly unbalanced, making many of us question what really matters; and that is, togetherness. ‘Live Alone’ on one level implies the obvious situation of loneliness that we are experiencing as we are all atomized within the cells of our own homes, living through the 2D virtual world during the time of the pandemic. Yet even beyond covid-19 it refers to our contemporary life, the privatization and bounded individualism that defines life during capitalist and technological accelerationism, where collectivity and shared spaces are no longer a given. The second part of the title, ‘Die Together’ stresses the importance of sticking together through these turbulent times. It is a promise that as a collective we can stand and face the inevitable, even if it is until the very end.
Within these unusual times, some of us were still lucky enough meet at the academy, allowing our versatile practices and researches to collide in a shared environment, growing together in a time of aloneness. Others had to follow different yet equally fruitful routes, returning to their home countries and allowing their new environment to reconfigure their practices, sending us back fresh images, sounds, sensations and stories in a time where physical travelling is no longer effaceable.
In the visual arts department, the practices range from painting and sculpture to moving image, some of which question the boundaries between each other, creating ecosystems of entangled trails, unruly queer bodies subsumed by growing organic matter, while others more directly question their own and other’s cultural identities and the friction that arises between the two. Some others use pre-existing commodified objects as a starting point, re signifying what is already there, to bring to life something new out of the ordinary. Regardless of the versatility of our practices, one thing we all find in common is criticality over the pre-established ways of looking at the world. It is all about destabilizing the stable, revealing the turbulence as we chose to stay with the trouble that the current times point us toward, to open new ways of seeing.