We are pleased to announce a call for proposals for From Multidirectional Memory to Multidirectional Moments (MDM), a new long-term inquiry exploring the “promises” of noncompetitive and transversally connected “multidirectional memory” in memorial practices. With the aim of engaging the broadest range of possibilities, MDM invites artistic proposals that may take a variety of formats. Please see further details below.
While decentralization, decolonization, immateriality, and appropriation have long been topics of discussion within contemporary arts, From Multidirectional Memory to Multidirectional Moments considers how they remain mostly absent from more official and politically visible forms, spaces, and institutions dedicated to remembrance. Using Michael Rothberg’s concept of “multidirectional memory” as a starting point, this call aims to gather geographically dispersed examples of memorial practices that might help us move beyond a competitive memory model toward more generative counter-memorial discourses and practices.
“Far from being situated – either physically or discursively – in any single institution or site, the archive of multidirectional memory is irreducibly transversal; it cuts across genres, national contexts, periods, and cultural traditions. Because dominant ways of thinking (such as competitive memory) have refused to acknowledge the multidirectional flows of influence and articulation that collective memory activates, the comparative critic must first constitute the archive by forging links between dispersed documents.”
— Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization1
As Michael Rothberg argues, memory (understood here as the “past made present,” “embedded in social actions” through “a set of practices and interventions”2) should work through negotiation, cross-referencing, and borrowing to “allow marginalized groups to create counter-memories that challenge hegemonic memory regimes.”3 He suggests one of the challenges of this work “is the belief that one’s own history, culture, and identity” are unique and therefore separate4 whereas this “uniqueness discourse . . . potentially creates a hierarchy of suffering (which is morally offensive) and removes that suffering from the field of historical agency (which is both morally and intellectually suspect).”5 In other words, “debates about collective memory and group identity are primarily struggles over injustices of recognition, over whose history and culture will be recognized.”6
In Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art, Verónica Tello expands on how the concepts of “counter-memory” and “counter-monuments” might further challenge “homogenous notions of the national body.”7 Tello argues that counter-memorial practice “suggests that any struggle for historical consciousness might play out, if it can play out at all, through an embeddedness in and willingness to work through the profound heterogeneity of a world wherein the source of power and conflict is constantly shifting, mutating and reappearing in the most unexpected of forms.”8
With these concepts as a starting point, this MDM Call for Proposals aims to gather geographically dispersed examples of how strategic “multidirectional” approaches to memory challenge assumptions and what new forms are emerging within contemporary art.
From Multidirectional Memory to Multidirectional Moments invites proposals that explore and challenge the questions and complexities outlined above, including: memorials that allow memory practices to unfold in multiple directions, moments for people to gather to remember different events and discuss how they are connected with each other, and places that invite memorialization through connecting people and their stories (past and present). In short, we ask: How do we conceptualize emerging practices and strategies which challenge dominant memory regimes and their collective representation in the public sphere?
With the aim of engaging the broadest range of possibilities, we invite artistic proposals that may take a variety of formats, including, but not limited to, short or long form essays, film/videos, events, and/or other artistic practices in or related to particular (site-specific) contexts and/or online. Expressions of interest should be submitted as a short proposal (500 words max with 2–3 images) together with a brief biography (200 words max).
Please send your proposals (and any questions) to email@example.com with the subject line “MDM Call for Proposals.”
From Multidirectional Memory to Multidirectional Moments (MDM) is an artistic research project organized with the department of Artistic Strategies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Die Angewandte). With Palais des Beaux Arts Wien (PdBA) as a starting point, MDM has been developed by a core team of artists including Bernhard Garnicnig (Founder, PdBA) and Seth Weiner (current Artistic Director, PdBA), Antoine Turillon and Stephanie Misa (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Artistic Strategies), and Sarrita Hunn (editor, MARCH: a journal of art & strategy).
MDM is made possible with support from the University of Applied Arts Vienna INTRA program.
By participating in the MDM call for proposals, the participants agree to the following conditions of participation and confirm that they have read and understood them. The organizer reserves the right to make changes and additions to the MDM call for proposals without prior notice or to cancel the MDM call for proposals altogether. This applies in particular in the event of force majeure or if the MDM call for proposals cannot be carried out or continued for organizational, technical or legal reasons. The organizer is only liable for damage caused by intent or gross negligence. Legal recourse is excluded. In particular, there is no legal entitlement to participate in the creative competition nor is there a legal entitlement that the submitted proposal will also be implemented.
By participating, the participants confirm that their submission to the MDM call for proposals (in particular images, photographs, texts, drawings) does not infringe the rights of third parties, in particular copyrights, manufacturer rights, rights of use and personal rights. If persons other than the participants are also involved in the creation or development of the proposal, the participants must obtain the consent of these persons for submission and any later publication within the framework of the call for proposals before submission.
The same applies in the event that third parties have been granted a right to the submitted contributions. If persons are recognizable in the photographs or drawings submitted, the participants must obtain the consent of these persons for submission and later publication before submission within the framework of personal rights. Participants are responsible for ensuring that the images, texts or other content they submit do not violate applicable laws or infringe the rights of third parties. In this regard, the participants shall indemnify and hold the organizer harmless from third-party claims.