Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker who produces installations, projects in public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Ressler has had solo exhibitions at Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; The Cube Project Space, Taipei and survey solo exhibitions in Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Seville; SALT Galata, Istanbul; and MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest. Ressler has participated in more than 300 group exhibitions, including Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; MASSMoCA, North Adams, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the biennials in Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015), Quebec (2014), and at Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017 (as part of an exhibition organized by EMST). Ressler has completed twenty-seven films that have been screened in thousands of events of social movements, art institutions and film festivals. A retrospective of his films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013. In 2002, he won first prize at the International Media Art Award of the ZKM in Karlsruhe and is the first prize winner of the newly established Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award in 2016. For the Taipei Biennale 2008, Ressler curated an exhibition on the counter-globalization movement, A World Where Many Worlds Fit. A travelling show on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, co-curated with Gregory Sholette, has been presented at nine venues since 2011. Ressler was the project leader of the research project Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom at Secession in Vienna in 2014, in collaboration with Ines Doujak; funded by the Austrian Science Fund.

http://www.ressler.at


Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart

Not too long ago, global warming was science fiction. Now it has become hard science, and a reality we already live in. According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, average global temperature in 2016 was close to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Many scientists see this as the “red line” beyond which global warming will be unstoppable and uncontrollable
In his presentation, Oliver Ressler will talk about a new cycle of films that may turn out to be a story of the beginning of the climate revolution, the moment when popular resistance began to reconfigure the world. The project follows the climate movement in its struggles to dismantle an economic system heavily dependent on fossil fuels. It records key events for the climate movement, bringing together many situations, contexts, voices and experiences. The first two events – there is one film for each – are the action during the COP21 summit in Paris in December 2015 and a blockade of a fossil fuel extraction site in Germany in May 2016.


Artistic proposition



Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart
An ongoing film project by Oliver Ressler

The title “Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart” refers to a situation in which all the technology needed to end the age of fossil fuel already exists. Whether the present ecological, social and economic crisis will be overcome is primarily a question of political power. The climate movement is now stronger than ever. It obstructed pipeline projects such as the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It stopped Arctic drilling and blocked fracking all over the globe. Coal-fired power plants were shut down by resistance, and the divestment movement that pressures institutions to unload their stocks from fossil fuel corporations has had successes.
The project follows the climate movement in its struggles to dismantle an economic system heavily dependent on fossil fuels. It records key events for the climate movement, bringing together many situations, contexts, voices and experiences. There is one film for each event.
In the first film (17 min., 2016), activists contest the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Like twenty failed annual climate conferences before it, COP21 in Paris in 2015 proved the incapacity of governments to commit themselves to any binding agreement that would curtail global warming through a definite strategy for the end of fossil fuel use.
The film on the Ende Gelände action (12 min., 2016) shifts the focus to a massive civil disobedience action at the Lusatia lignite coal fields (near Berlin). 4,000 activists entered an open-cast mine, blocking the loading station and the rail connection to a coal-fired power plant. The blockades disrupted the coal supply and forced the Swedish proprietor Vattenfall to shut the power station down.
The film on the ZAD (35 min., 2017) focuses on Europe’s largest autonomous territory that is located close to Nantes in France. The ZAD (zone to defend) emerged from the struggle against a new airport. In 2012 the French state's attempt to evict the zone was fiercely resisted by more than 40,000 people and police has not set foot there since. Today 250 people in 60 collectives live permanently at the ZAD occupying the wetlands, fields and forests. The ZAD is a successful example that the creation of alternatives and resistance need to happen at the same time.
The film about Code Rood (11 min., 2017) highlights a civil disobedience action in the port of Amsterdam in June 2017. The blockade of Europe’s second-largest coal port draws a red line against this important infrastructure facility for fossil capitalism.
Whether and when fossil fuels are abandoned will be determined above all by social movements and the degree of pressure they exert on institutions. Powerful structures force us into lives that destroy our livelihood. It is these structures that must be changed, and nothing but our action in common can change them.

www.ressler.at/everythings_coming_together/