The fall of the Berlin Wall ushered in a new world order presided by neoliberalism, a transformation that was already under way years before with the free market policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and which altered the role of the state, subordinating the common good of the welfare state and its model of sociability and solidarity to the interests of capital.
The room takes its name from the audiovisual installation Postcapital Archive (1989–2001), by Daniel García Andújar, a work which examines the historical, social and economic situation of society in the wake of two events with worldwide reverberations: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on 11 September 2001, an attack which, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, spread terror rather than hope. Based on a digital archive made up of thousands of textual and audiovisual documents compiled from the internet, the artist uses the piece to question and decipher some of the changes that the disappearance of the communist bloc has triggered in capitalist, or post-capitalist, societies. Paradoxically, opposite this hope of co-existence interpreted in the immediate aftermath of the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the events of 1989 and 2001 have been followed by increased militarisation and more obstacles — not just physical — have arisen in many states around the world.
Walls of fear, borders, urban banlieues and refugee camps, areas of exception that work as biopolitical tools of control, are designing a hostile world for refugees fleeing persecution, poverty and war. The television interventions On Translation: Fear/Miedo (2005) and On Translation: Miedo/Jauf (2007), by Antoni Muntadas, analyse fear as a sociocultural construct stemming from the political and economic sphere. Filmed on the Mexico-US border and on both sides of the Gibraltar Strait, in Tarifa and Tangiers, both works interrelate these settings, where horror is manifested with the idea of cultural diversity. The border is a place of encounter for exodus, for the endangered and dispossessed humanity that Miriam Cahn customarily depicts in her paintings and drawings, often framing them from a bird’s-eye view, or, in the artist’s words, “from a bomber pilot’s view”, like a descent into the hell that Henrik Olesen represents with a colourful landscape in which we find sexual references, pipes spurting liquids, holes alluding to Dante’s circles of hell, satanic rams encircled by fire and other detritus forming a desolate camp.
Further, postcapital is a term that refers to financial capital and the financialization of contemporary global societies, a pronounced, growing homogenisation which Maja Bajevic condemns in her textiles series Arts, Crafts and Facts (2017–2018), where she contrasts diagrams of stock market indexes with slow and collaborative artisan embroidery work practices in the Bosnian region of Zmijanje, a practice traditionally carried out by women as they talk and sing. A reference to a logic of the commons, an alternative to capital, which turns abstract financial data into tangible work.