The global 500
a project by Oliver Ressler

The 500 largest companies, which are annually published in a ranking by the economic magazine Fortune, as transnational "global players" can be seen as the main protagonists of economic globalization.

Starting point of the project "The global 500" is research done on the websites and the annual reports of the 500 largest transnational companies. The exhibitions and the video are based on a selection of these corporate statements representing different strategies and discourses of economic globalization. These hegemonic globalization theses are discussed, analyzed and criticized by representatives of unions and NGOs, theorists and an economist:

Charles R. Acland (Cultural and Media Theorist, Concordia University Montreal)
Arjun Appadurai (Director of Globalization Project, University of Chicago)
Andy Banks (Campaign Manager, US Teamster Union, Washington)
Olivier Hoedeman (Corporate Europe Observatory, Amsterdam)
Aquiles Magana (Head of the Mexican Union FALD)
Birgit Mahnkopf (Professor for European Politics, Berlin School of Economics)

In the installation, selected pages of the corporate annual reports, which can be seen as a visual representation of "globalization", are shown in a manipulated version as photographs.

Publication: Oliver Ressler: "The global 500", Edition Selene, 112 p., German/Engl., 1999


Oliver Ressler was born in Austria in 1970, lives and works in Vienna. From 1989 to 1995 he studied at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. Oliver Ressler is an artist who carries out projects on various socio-political themes. Since 1994 he has been concerned with exhibitions, site specific projects and videos on issues such as racism, migration, economics, genetic engineering and various forms of resistance.

Ressler has had numerous exhibitions in Europe and America, including in Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (A), Steirischer Herbst, Graz (A), Kunstraum der Universitaet Lueneburg (G), Kunstverein Muenchen, Munich (G), Galerija Skuc, Ljubljana (SI), Centre of Contemporary Art Palau de la Virreina of Barcelona (E), Conde Duque Cultural Centre, Madrid (E), Truck - Centre for Contemporary Art, Calgary (CAN), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (USA).
His videos have been presented in festivals such as Videonale 9, Transmediale, Impakt Festival, Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest, Résistances 2002 - 6e Festival international de films de Foix, Duisburger Filmwoche and New York Int'l Independent Film & Video Festival. In 2002 his video "This is what democracy looks like!" won the 1. prize of the International\Media\Art\Award of the ZKM.

Further information: www.ressler.at