Ahead of the Game was the visual art exhibition and highlight of the kopf.head.glava cultural project of the Kunstverein Kärnten 2017.
What is a “head”?
Is it just the appendage on the top of the spine of humans, or located at the front or anywhere else on invertebrate creatures? What does a head actually “do”? Is it the seat of consciousness, or of the soul, as was thought in past days? Or is it merely the container of the brain for humans, and various living creatures, the apparent control central of our bodies?
“Ahead” (when spoken aloud sounds the same as “a head”) is a homophone whose both meanings are increasing in relevance to society every day. We are constantly being exhorted to get ahead and stay ahead. Are we listening to those speaking to us competently about the pack (Victoria Stilwell), the crowd (Elias Canetti), or our competitors (Shelby D. Hunt)? Or are we succumbing to the pressure to view all those around us as threats, instead of as partners with whom we can cooperate to achieve our highest mutual advantage? Do we really want to get “ahead”? Do we realize that we might be being pushed to think this way by outside forces of media and marketing? Are we ready to look behind appearances, and get ahead in our own personal journeys at our own paces?
Contemporary Art can step in
These inquiries are the launching pad for positive change, liberation and justice. At the intersection between personal advantage and the so-called “greater good”, is where art can step in. Contemporary art production can highlight some of the pressing themes of the times, and indicate ways of handling them. Using “the head” and the concept of “ahead” as sounding points, this visual art exhibition of the kopf.head.glava cultural project encouraged the participants and visitors to expandtheir approach to the project in its entirety, and to cross boundaries of every kind.
Ahead of the Game stimulated contributions that looked at societal constructions of interpersonal relations, the role of economic systems in our interactions and decision making, and theeffect institutions and institutional mechanisms have on our lives.
– © Dr. Renée Gadsden, 2018