Introduction to “Assured Stability”  When I talk to industrial workers. They often say that there is an “assured stability." They mean that there is stable employment, medical care, pension—everything is guaranteed. Their point of view might seem superficial at first glance, but behind this expression of a human desire we find a deeply rooted anxiety about how to survive.     "Assured Stability"— the clear and yet somewhat mundane words possess a sense of universality. We all understand and share the dream of tomorrow remaining bright and trouble free. Still, there is another side to the words that suggests that each individual only becomes a part of an economic system, a cog in a wheel of a seemingly meaningless giant machine of society. And that image can slowly eat its way into our consciousness like a virus. Perhaps we find ourselves in a situation where everything has improved on the surface and yet our lives have become empty and meaningless?     In the recent decades of economic development, large parts of Chinese society have developed into a web of large factories of mass production. The participants in the exhibition “Assured Stability” offer different interpretations of what they can    draw from this process. The artists who originate from Northern Europe live in countries with the most developed social and economic security on the planet. They    have since long lived what Chinese workers call “guaranteed stability.” The artists have expressed some difficulty in understanding the widespread and “simple aspirations.” Still they use their artistic methods and experience to explore contemporary society. They try to make sense of a world in constant and violent flux and full of paradoxes  —this is not only related to the demands of standard industrialized societies, but is also an expression of a kind of cruelty and  beauty.     The works on display in the exhibition raise questions about the sites of production as well as the relationship between the producers and society as a whole.   They     investigate states of consciousness and reflect on how human values inform how we experience the flow of time and of life. They question how ethics inform or directly or indirectly relate to our world, to our own personal "assured stability."
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