Poetics of Power

15.11.2024 - 25.05.2025

Image Credits


15.11.2024 - 25.05.2025


14.11.2024 18:00


Kunsthaus Graz


Andreja Hribernik & Nini Palavandishvili

Show all

About the

The exhibition Poetics of Power aims to reveal certain power manifestations hidden in symbols, gestures and existing unquestioned relations or systems. It asserts the intricate and ambiguous nature of power, omnipresent in shaping interpersonal, cultural, national, and economic dynamics. The exhibition explores the poetic nature of power, acknowledging its pervasive influence yet emphasizing its tendency to lead to destruction.


Foucault states that “power is everywhere, not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere”.[1] Power is for that reason omnipresent, constantly in flux, reproduced and permanent. Examining diverse geographical and historical contexts sheds light on how power reveals and solidifies within social, economic, and political frameworks. Most clearly, it is manifested in asymmetries that occur when there is the imbalance of power, in economic relations between more powerful states and those lacking economic or even military power, or simply between individuals or social groups. Less visible is the power that lurks on the edges, part of the social networks, and taken as historical de-facto or reality. This contradictory nature of power becomes especially intriguing when considering its crystallization within certain systems, fostering stability. However, an intrinsic aspect of power is its immanent counterpart—resistance. The latter, dispersed and transformative, instigates change and facilitates the reconfiguration of systems.


The exhibition shows works that revolve around the poetic and alluring nature of power on one hand and the destructive face of power on the other. Through artistic approaches, it explores the gestures and imaginaries that sometimes obscure or conceal the power relations, simultaneously exposing anomalies and cracks where cultural imbalances and inequalities become apparent. Many of the featured works deal with authoritarian histories, distorted narratives, or fully eliminated knowledge, destruction of cultures, and construction of identities. The exhibition sheds light on power asymmetries that often result in exploitative relationships, defining them as colonial and neo-colonial relations that consequently give rise to conflicts and migratory flows. Themes such as war, refugees, crime, humanity, gender, children, mobility, and borders are explored and thematised within multidisciplinary works. These works span across various mediums, including photography, video, sculpture, and installation art. They offer the audience a chance to drift and reflect on a complex journey through time and history, encouraging engagement in the decoding and revelation of hidden or seemingly unquestionable relations.




[1] Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I, New York 1978, p. 93.