International exhibitions

Archives 2nd half of 2013


Design: Metahaven, Dread

Design: Metahaven, Dread

Dread - Fear in the age of technological acceleration

De Hallen Haarlem (The Netherlands)

07.09 - 24.11.2013

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E-Flux Press release



Dread, as a techno-dystopian zeitgeist, rests intangible and un-rendered inside the fibre-optic cables, below the grey surface of the drones, and behind the ominous speech acts of cyber war-waging strategists.” Metahaven








De Hallen Haarlem opens the new season with the international group exhibition Dread - Fear in the age of technological acceleration, curated by Juha van’t Zelfde, winner of the De Hallen Haarlem Curatorial Grant 2013. Th exhibition presents works in various media, and by artists of different generations, that deal with apprehension and fear as a result of technological innovation.

A synchronization of emotions
Instantaneous communication technologies like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the worldwide distribution of information on the Internet play a major role in the acceleration and synchronization of emotions. Fear of a terrorist attack, a drone strike or the invasion of privacy online can simultaneously be shared by everyone all over the world. The phenomena of acceleration, omnipresence and instantaneity, mapped out by philosophers such as Paul Virilio and Peter Sloterdijk during the Gulf War and 9/11, and defining qualities of our networked zeitgeist, are a rich source for the creation in art.

A readiness for danger
Dread is the visceral sensation that warns us of possible dangers. Sigmund Freud has suggested that dread is a readiness for danger. According to the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkeggard, dread is not so much a fear of the present, but a fear of the future. Dread is not a fear of the actual, but it is a fear of the possible. Dread is a fear of what has not happened yet but may well happen in the future. It is a legitimate everyday fear that people live with and have to deal with on a daily basis.

Art offers perspectives
Putting a searchlight on dread may lead to the possibility of an early detection and eventual prevention of catastrophe. The dreadful is not only a state of paralysis - it is also a constructive, moral force, that helps us decide what is good in order to preserve it and prevent bad things from happening.

The exhibition contains works that consist of constructive dread, like the Utopian organization of freedom of Constant’s New Babylon; the phenomenological investigation of drone surveillance of Laurent Grasso’s On Air, and the atomized passenger aircraft engine of Roger Hiorns in his work Untitled, as the catastrophic conclusion of human imagination.

Some works are ambiguous by nature, other works create a direct physical response, making the spectator literally feel dread. But all the works combined intend to create an environment in which dread is exposed as an affective domain for contemporary art.

Dread exists in the changes brought by technological innovation, by cultural and social upheavals and the social responses to them. And id dread is just memory in the future tense, then the artists in Dread may possibly remember, recognize and warn us for future terror.

Artists: Timo Arnall / Micol Assaël / Mark Bain / James Beckett / Dean Blunt / James Bridle / Constant / Emptyset / Alicia Framis / Laurent Grasso / Carl Michael von Hausswolff / Roger Hiorns / Thomas Hirschhorn / Marcus Steinweg / Paul Jebanasam / Kroot Juurak / Jacob Kikegaard / Jorn Knutsen / Gert Jan kocken / Jonas Lund / Aditya Mandayam / Metahaven / Kianoosh Motallebi / Stephen O’Malley / Trevor Paglen / Yayati Papita / Roly Porter / Anri Sala / Einar Sneve Martinussen / Espen Sommer Eide / Sarah van Sonsbeeck / Berend Strik.

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2013. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 07 September - 24 November 2013. De Hallen Haarlem, Grote Markt 16 - Haarlem (The Netherlands). Tel.: +31 (0)23 511 5775. Hours: Tueday-Saturday 11:00-17:00 - Sundays and bank holidays 12:00-17:00.



Dread - Fear in the age of technological acceleration, De Hallen Haarlem