TRACES – Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts

18.01 - 06.02 2019


"As a cultural imaginary, European identity is a process of self-recognition and exists as a constellation of diverse elements which are articulated through emerging repertories of evaluation. This European Identity corresponds to a dialogic view of culture." [Delanty Gerard and Chris Rumford. 2005. Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implications of Europeanization. London: Routledge]

Contentious Objects/Ashamed Subjects
Artistic research methods and strategies regarding images, objects, spaces, and events of contentious cultural heritages

TRACES - Contentious Cultural Transmitting Heritages with the Arts: From Intervention to Co-Production concludes its three-year research program with a two-day international conference entitled "Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts" (17-18 January 2019) and the exhibition "Contentious Objects / Ashamed Subjects."
"Contentious Objects / Ashamed Subjects" is research on research, based on a long-term interdisciplinary curatorial study, concerning research and projects of an artistic nature. The exhibition focuses in particular on different methodologies, methods and research strategies adopted by contemporary artists and presents examples of artistic practices that investigate, with a transversal and accurate approach, controversial cultural heritage of a material or immaterial nature, whether they consist of images, objects, spaces and events linked to a problematic past, or still a source of discord.
One of the fundamental questions underlying this exhibition concerns precisely which objects, images or spaces can be considered controversial cultural heritages (Sharon Macdonald), and how they can be transmitted and reflected in European "cultural landscapes" (culture scapes).
"Contentious Objects / Ashamed Subjects" aims to map and show, embracing a critical perspective, state of the art, both in the field of artistic research methodology and in that of research-based artistic practices, which are confronted with the theme of unease caused by controversial heritages or by their traces.
Through a review of selected archival documents and photographic materials, audio and video of academic and artistic research, the projects on display and the authors focus on different thematic areas, relevant and often thorny, using different survey methods and theoretical approaches and proposing, at the same time, specific research methods and strategies, able in turn to question the selected subjects.

"Contentious Objects / Ashamed Subjects" presents ten artistic research projects, five of which were realized as "creative co-productions" (CCP) within TRACES (in some cases, their start preceded TRACES): Absence as Heritage — Răzvan Anton, Julie Dawson, Alexandra Toma; Awkward Objects of Genocide — Erica Lehrer, Rome Sendyka, Wojtek Wilczyk, Magdalena Zych; Casting of Death — Domestic Research Society (Damijan Kracina, Alenka Pirman, Jani Pirnat), Marko Jenko, Janez Polajnar, Marijan Rupert; Dead Images — Tal Adler, Linda Fibiger, John Harris, Joan Smith, Anna Szöke, Maria Teschler-Nicola; Transforming Long Kesh / Maze — Martin Krenn, Aisling O' Beirn; in addition, other artistic research projects and/or long-term participatory artistic projects are exhibited: Solidarity Day (with the CultureShutdown platform) and Memory Matrix — Azra Akšamija, (T) RACE-ING LOUIS AGASSIZ: Artistic Renegotiations of Archive, Memory & Place — result of a collaboration by Sasha Huber at the DEMOUNTING LOUIS AGASSIZ campaign; the World Communal Heritage initiative — Rena Rädle and Vladan Jeremić; Research without Guarantees — collective Urban Subjects: Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, Helmut Weber; the Alfred Ullrich On the Move project, which includes the campaign with the LANDFAHRERPLATZ KEIN GEWERBE cartel (Ing. Site for Travelers: No Trading); and the research Monumentomachia — Suzana Milevska. The projects are collected in four different chapters depending on the topic they are dealing with and the applied research strategies: "Invisible Heritages," "Contentious Objects and Images," "Spaces without Bodies" and "On Productive Shame."
A rich sequence of activities and pop-up events accompanies the entire duration of the exhibition, with presentations by Răzvan Anton, Leone Contini, Nora Landkammer, and Karin Schneider, Ian Mcdonald, and CoHERE Project, Ian Alan Paul, Karin Reisinger, Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Frans Vogelaar.

Suzana Milevska

Scientific Committee and Exhibition Design
Luca Basso Peressut, Cristina F. Colombo, Francesca Lanz, Jacopo Leveratto

Borui Feng, Shuting Yang

Graphic Design

Jobbing Events Srl

In the aegis of
This Book ensued from the Research Project TRACES – Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritage with the Arts. From Intervention to Co-Production, funded within the European Union’s Horizon2020 Programme (H2020-REFLECTIVE-SOCIETY-2-2015) under Grant Agreement n° 693857.

Webpage Exhibition: “Contentious Objects/Ashamed Subjects” 

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