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  • Exhibition: The 1980s. Today's Beginnings?

    The 1980s. Today’s Beginnings?
    Featuring NSK
    April 16–September 25, 2016

    Opening: April 16, 3pm

    Van Abbemuseum
    Bilderdijklaan 10
    The Netherlands
    Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
    Thursday 11am–9pm

    T +31 40 238 1000

    The 1980s. Today’s Beginnings? explores the 1980s from six European perspectives, examining the relevance of this transformative decade for today. The project includes artworks, music, TV, graphic, and archival materials that were produced during moments of state structures in transition. Culture was central in responding to or predicting these shifts, highlighting the reorientation that took place between civil society and the state. As Europe is in the midst of a defining transition in terms of how it sees itself and its relationship to others, it feels urgent to examine key moments in identity formation and self-organisation from the recent past.

    The material presented draws from projects carried out by partners of the museum confederation L’Internationale alongside research undertaken by the Van Abbemuseum.

    Different European perspectives
    The project gives space to multiple narratives and voices, beginning on April 16 with three presentations:

    Talking Back. Counter Culture in the Netherlands
    Presenting Dutch counter culture through the squatters’ movement and its cultural spin-offs who used video, sound, and photography to subvert mass media’s manipulative patterns of representation.

    Artists: Catrien Ariëns, Hans Breder, Daniel Brun, Michel Cardena, Ulises Carrión, René Daniëls, Dedo - Harry Heytink, Sandra Derks, Jaap Drupsteen, David Garcia & Annie Wright, General Idea, Heiner Holtappels, Patricia Kaersenhout, Jouke Kleerebezem, Bertien van Manen, Juan Maranas, Raul Marroquin, Mariano Maturana, Joost Seelen, Servaas, Rob Scholte, Lydia Schouten, Sluik/Kurpershoek, Stansfield/Hooykaas, Moniek Toebosch Curator: Diana Franssen (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven)

    Thinking Back. A Montage of Black Art in Britain
    In 1980s Britain, a powerful conversation emerged amongst black artists and thinkers. The presentation includes key artworks, films, and archives from this pivotal moment when ideas of resistance, expression, and identity formation coalesced.

    Artists: John Akomfrah, Rasheed Araeen, Black Audio Film Collective, Sonia Boyce, Chila Burman, Eddie Chambers, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Mona Hatoum, Lubaina Himid, Gavin Jantjes, Claudette Johnson, Isaac Julien, Keith Piper, Ingrid Pollard, Donald Rodney, Marlene Smith, Maud Sulter
    Curator: Nick Aikens (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven)

    NSK: From Kapital to Capital. An Event in the Final Decade of Yugoslavia Presenting the events of the different Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) collectives, with a focus on Laibach, IRWIN, and Scipion Nasice Sisters, highlighting their fundamental goal to construct a new artistic constellation.

    Artists: Laibach, IRWIN, Scipion Nasice Theatre, Cosmokinetic Theatre Red Pilot, Cosmokinetic Cabinet Noordung, New Collectivism, Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy, Builders, Retrovision, Film.
    Curator: Zdenka Badovinac (Moderna galerija, Ljubljana)

    The presentation of NSK lasts until June 26 and from July 2 three new presentations will be added:

    Video-Nou/Servei de Video Comunitari: Video-intervention in the Spanish Transition Presents the pioneering collective project by Video-Nou/Servei de Video Comunitari who documented social changes and initiated activist TV stations, as Spain transitioned into a democracy following the death of Franco.

    Artists: Video-Nou/Servei de Video Comunitari Curator: Teresa Grandas (MACBA, Barcelona)

    How Did We Get Here? Turkey in the 1980s This presentation traces the origins of the current context of Turkey through social movements, artworks, and elements of popular culture.

    Artists: Aslı Çavuşoğlu and Barış Doğrusöz Archives: Yücel Tunca, Aziz Nesin Archive, Füsun Ertuğ, Gençay Gürsoy, İbrahim Eren, Gülnur Savran, Murat Öneş, Nilgün Öneş, Tuğrul Eryılmaz, Murat Çelikkan, Serdar Ateşer Curator: Merve Elveren (SALT, Istanbul)

    Archivo Queer? Screwing the System (Madrid 1989–95) An open archive including documentation of queer movements when the AIDS crisis was a pandemic. The projects subvert hetero-centric and patriarchal forms of categorisation.

    Artists: Archivo Queer? is comprised of material drawn from collective production by activists who collaborated with LSD and Radical Gai Curator: Fefa Vila Núñez (independent researcher, i.c.w. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid)

    Programme curators
    Nick Aikens & Diana Franssen (exhibition), Gemma Medina (mediation)

    Kerstin Meyer-Ebrecht (architecture), Roosje Klap (graphics)

    Van Abbemuseums 80th anniversary
    The Van Abbemuseum celebrates by being open for 80 hours from Thursday, April 14 until Sunday, April 17.

    Bosch Grand Tour
    Part of the Bosch Grand Tour

    Part of the five-year programme The Uses of Art, on the legacy of 1848 and 1989.

    Supported by Mondriaan Fund, the Culture Programme of the European Union, Bosch 500, and The Art of Impact.

  • Exhibition: M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art

    Exhibition: M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art
    February 23–April 5, 2016

    ArtisTree Taikoo Place Hong Kong
    Facebook / #MplusSigg
    M+, Hong Kong’s new museum for 20th and 21st century visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, presents M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art, at ArtisTree in Taikoo Place from February 23 to April 5, 2016, with the support of Leading Sponsor Credit Suisse.

    M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art is a rigorously curated exhibition of highlights from the M+ Sigg Collection, the largest and most comprehensive assemblage of Chinese contemporary art in the world. This research-based exhibition spans 40 years and is the first to tell the fascinating stories behind the emergence and the development of Chinese contemporary art in a chronological format. Comprising around 80 seminal works of various formats and media, including painting, ink art, sculpture, photography, video, and installation, the exhibition charts the evolution of contemporary art in China: from the efforts of self-organised collectives, such as the No Name Group and Stars Group, operating on the periphery of society and outside mainstream discourse towards the end of the Cultural Revolution, through the radical experiments of Cynical Realism and Political Pop artists in the 1990s, to the social engagement of the artists of the Olympic era, bifurcated between East and West, traditional and modern.

    The exhibition follows a three-chapter approach. The first chapter (1974–89) introduces artistic practices and experiments within self-initiated collectives such as the No Name Group (1974–79), the Stars Group (1979–82), the Pond Society, the Northern Art Collective and Xiamen Dada during the 85 New Wave, and the developments up to the 1989 China/Avant-Garde exhibition. It reveals how the artists manifested self-expression and autonomous thinking, which resulted in an ideological tug of war with mainstream social realistic arts until the end of the Cold War in 1989.

    The second chapter (1990–99) examines artistic practices and diversity during the post-Cold War era in China. The government’s determination to promote urbanisation and consumerism provided an opportunity for artists to reposition themselves in an international context, particularly within the art market. However, this newfound identity triggered cultural anxiety and gave rise to more radical experiments in performance, photography, video, and conceptual art during the mid-1990s.

    The final chapter (2000–present) centres on works produced in the pre- and post-Olympic era, when China experienced unprecedented social and economic acceleration caused by globalisation and urbanisation. Artists became conscious of the consequences brought on by these rapid developments and, as a result, art production expanded beyond political viewpoints to include everyday vocabularies. While some artists began to forge a new relationship with tradition, others re-entered the arena of “social engagement” in response to the contemporary socio-political reality.

    M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art offers multiple entry points and crystallises one of the most remarkable art historical phenomena from the last half-century. The works in this exhibition are mostly drawn from the M+ Sigg Collection, which consists of 1,510 Chinese contemporary artworks acquired through a donation and purchase agreement with Dr Uli Sigg, a leading collector of Chinese contemporary art, in June 2012. The M+ Sigg Collection is a coherently and systematically built museum-quality collection. This body of works functions as a historical document, representing the most culturally dynamic period in the history of modern China. It is part of the M+ Collection, which encompasses the disciplines of visual art, design and architecture, and moving image, and narrates the multi-centred, transnational, and transcultural context of 20th and 21st century visual culture.

    Artists featured in this exhibition include: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Chen Shaoxiong, Chi Xiaoning, Ding Yi, Fang Lijun, Feng Guodong, Geng Jianyi, Hai Bo, Hu Qingyan, Huang Rui, Huang Yong Ping, Kan Xuan, Li Shan, Liang Yuanwei, Lin Yilin, Liu Heung Shing, Liu Jianhua, Liu Wei (b.1965), Liu Wei (b.1972), Liu Xiaodong, Lu Qing, Ma Desheng, Qiu Shihua, Shi Xinning, Song Dong, Wang Guangle, Wang Guangyi, Wang Jin, Wang Keping, Wang Peng, Wang Xingwei, Weng Fen, Xing Danwen, Xu Zhen, Yan Lei, Yang Fudong, Yangjiang Group, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Hong, Yu Youhan, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhan Wang, Zhang Huan, Zhang Peili, Zhang Wei, Zhang Xiaogang, Zheng Guogu, and Zheng Ziyan.

    M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art is curated by Pi Li, Senior Sigg Curator, Visual Art, M+ in collaboration with Uli Sigg and Lars Nittve.

    For further information, please contact:
    Hong Kong: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

  • Exhibition: Dreamworlds and Catastrophes

    Exhibition: Dreamworlds and Catastrophes: Intersections of Art and Science in the Dodge Collection

    Ksenia Nouril, SHERA’s own Secretary and Treasurer, has organised an exhibition of Soviet nonconformist art from the collection of Norton and Nancy Dodge at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, entitled “Dreamworlds and Catastrophes: Intersections of Art and Science in the Dodge Collection,” which opens to the public this Saturday, March 12, 2016.

    The exhibition examines the consequences of innovations in science, technology, mathematics, communications, and design on unofficial Soviet art. Produced between the 1960s and 1980s, the works on view address themes of international significance from a turbulent period marked by the building of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a failed attempt at improved United States-Soviet relations. Dreamworlds and Catastrophes features over 50 works by artists from the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine. It will be on view until July 31, 2016.

    On Thursday, April 14, a public program and reception will take place, starting with a walk-through at 4pm. This will be followed by two invited guest lectures on American and Soviet Cold War art and politics by John J. Curley, Ph.D. of Wake Forest University and David Foglesong, Ph.D. of Rutgers.

    Information about driving directions, parking, and public transportation (50 minutes from NY Penn Station) can be found here:

  • Exhibition: Eva Kot'átková: ERROR, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Brooklyn, New York

    Exhibition: Eva Kot’átková: ERROR
    International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)

    February 2–April 8, 2016

    International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)
    1040 Metropolitan Ave
    Brooklyn, New York 11211

    For her exhibition subtitled ERROR, Eva Kot’átková focuses on relationships between human bodies and the oppressive institutional structures that sometimes surround them, in a new video and series of collages and sculptures. Kot’átková is interested in the stories or cases of individuals who—for various reasons—are unable to integrate themselves into social structures. They become secluded, isolated, and handicapped by their circumstances, or develop alternative means to communicate, often through objects, props, and devices. Others build parallel identities to escape from reality into a constructed world. In such a world, people become subordinate to their own invented rules, and apply different communication patterns and new hierarchies to their everyday life.

    The exhibition includes a group of sculptural assemblages and collages that reference outmoded medical equipment, surreal body extensions, body parts, props, and apparatuses. Also on view will be a video work filmed on the grounds of the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague, titled The Judicial Murder of Jakob Mohr. The video shows a staged trial performed in the hospital’s theater, involving professional actors, staff, and patients. The genesis of this performance is a 1909–10 drawing made by psychiatric patient Jakob Mohr in which he depicted himself as a defendant on trial, suspecting the impartial court audience to be masked doctors or fellow patients who conspired to betray him. Mohr called his drawings proofs or documents that testified to the existence of a so-called “influencing machine,” a device that influenced his everyday actions and intercepted his most private thoughts.

    Eva Kot’átková (b. 1982, Prague) was an artist in residence at ISCP in 2008, as the youngest person ever to receive the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for artists from the Czech Republic, with support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Kot’átková was born in 1982 in Prague, Czech Republic. From 2002 to 2008 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. Recent solo exhibitions include Out of Sight, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Eva Koť’átková: Anatomical Orchestra, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; A Story Teller’s Inadequacy, Modern Art Oxford, United Kingdom; and Theatre of Speaking Objects, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany. Group exhibitions include 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York; Avatar und Atavism. Outside the Avant-garde, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; 5 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia; and The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th Venice Biennale.

    This exhibition is curated by Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, ISCP, and will be accompanied by a publication that includes an interview between the artist and Vit Havránek.

    Eva Kot’átková: ERROR is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Czech Center New York, National Endowment for the Arts, The Greenwich Collection, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso, Council Member, 34th District, and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

    For more information, see:

  • Exhibition: Cyfest NYC: Patterns of the Mind (and related events), Pratt Institute, Brooklyn


    Digital networks provide the traditional means of communicating within a new borderless set of parameters,creating a whole new structure of collective consciousness where dynamic, self-assembling tribes can unify instantaneously. Enabled by digital catalysts, society has gone from local to national and from national to transnational tribal behavior and congregation.

    In this post-post-modern epoch, what defines one’s place in the virtual and the physical world is the ability to communicate convincingly reality or fantasy. Medium matters, but only up to a point, as a conduit for the message.

    CYFEST NYC: Patterns of the Mind enquires into the primacy and power of a creator’s message, in which any medium is only the tool used to carry it across.


    EXHIBITION “Patterns of the Mind”
    Feb 6 – Mar 3, 2016 Mon to Fri 9am-5pm; Sat noon-5pm @ The Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Brooklyn Campus 200 Willoughby Ave (G or C train to Clinton-Washington)

    Curator: Anna Frants (read Curatorial text) Artwork by: Justin Berry, Peter Belyi, Svjetlana Bukvich, Alexandra Dementieva, Marianna Ellenberg, Carla Gannis, Elena Gubanova / Ivan Govorkov, Pavel Ivanov, Peter Patchen, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Alexander Terebenin, Alyona Tereshko, The Window / Romanian Project, Bryan Zanisnik, Alexey Grachev and Sergey Komarov.

    PANEL DISCUSSIONS “Digital Tribalism in Contemporary Art”
    Feb 6 (2pm – 3:30pm) @ Pratt Digital Arts Department 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)

    Moderator: Anna Frants (artist and Founder / CYLAND, CYFEST) Panelists: Alexandra Dementieva (artist), Carla Gannis (artist and Assistant Chair, Dept of Digital Arts / Pratt Institute), Natasha Kurchanova (Art Historian / Eastern European Art Critics Society), Lev Manovich (Professor / CUNY Graduate Center), Peter Patchen (artist and Chair, Dept of Digital Arts / Pratt Institute)

    Cutting edge technology has made possible global communication and created a “digital tribalism” phenomenon – in which artists band together not on geographical grounds, but by interests. Historically, cultural tribes have formed among people sharing ideas, observations, and views in proximity to each other. As the world grew a virtual parallel, networks now connect like-minded members regardless of location. This panel will explore the transition of self-assembled, dynamic network structures from tangible roots to digital reality.

    “Infrastructural Aesthetics”
    Feb 6 (11:30am – 1pm) @ Pratt Digital Arts Department 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)

    Moderator: Tyler Coburn (artist and Assistant Professor, Dept of Photography / Pratt Institute) Panelists: Ian Hatcher (poet), Shannon Mattern (Associate Professor of Media Studies / The New School), Nicole Starosielski (Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication / NYU), Lance Wakeling (Filmmaker)

    In modern times, “Infrastructure” departs from its conventional definition by becoming a relational field that various agents can potentially influence. Recently art has explored a wide range of sophisticated (often covert) systems, from military black sites to the electromagnetic signals that suffuse our everyday life. Culturally, these artworks speak to the broader concern of contemporary“infrastructure” – a term geographers Steven Graham and Simon Marvin attest doesn’t just describe what “runs ‘underneath’,” but comprises the “multiple, overlapping and perhaps contradictory” arrangements of politics, technology and economy. Drawing on their work in Media Studies, poetry, and film – panelists will inquire into how art can engage with systems that rarely have singular forms, but concatenate physical, immaterial and a signifying processes.

    “Redefining Women in Technology:Tools, Agency, and Representation”
    Feb 6 (3:30pm – 5pm) @ Pratt Digital Arts Department 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)

    Moderator: Faith Holland Panelists: Seung Min Lee (artist), Mendi Obadike (artist and Assistant Professor, Dept of Media Studies / Pratt Institute), Martha Wilson (artist and Director / Franklin Furnace, Associate Professor / Pratt Institute)

    In a reality where technology is not new but constantly evolving, multiple generations of artistshave developed approaches to various media. Panelist Martha Wilson was an early adopter ofvideo technology as a way to document her performances that challenge the constraints offemininity. Panelist Seung Min-Lee’s work uses live performances and installation to reflect ourvaried relationships to technologized food across races and classes. A discussion on how womencan mobilize digital media toward political and artistic agendas – this panel will explore the wayfemales, as an intersectional group, can deploy technology to create new pathways to agency and (self-)representation.

    PERFORMANCE “Subjectivization of Sound”
    Feb 6 (6:30pm) @ Digital Arts Gallery, 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)

    Artists: Alexey Grachev and Sergey Komarov (CYLAND MediaArtLab)

    There are two technologies of sound synthesis: digital and analog. If we are to forego serial solutions for any given synthesizer, we can find an infinite number of options for creation of sound forms, from simple oscillators to complex generative algorithms. The path of the authors is the ambition to achieve a sound minimalism and a continuity of creative process during the creation of musical compositions and forms where the choice comes down to the subjective tendency of each one to a certain sounding.

    For more information, see

  • Exhibition: Nostalgia by Pavel Romaniko at the Harriman Institute

    Exhibition at the Harriman Institute: Nostalgia by Pavel Romaniko

    Friday, January 29, 2016 to Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Harriman Institute Atrium (420 West 118th Street, 12th Floor)

    Pavel Romaniko was born in Pereslavl – Zalessky, near Moscow, in 1980. He received his MFA in Imaging Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. The artist works with photographs, video and sculpture to explore gaps in the archive and the collective memory, relying on imagery and symbolism found in both the public realm and his own memory. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and collections, including Rovinj Photodays Festival in Croatia, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, Mimi Ferzt Gallery in New York, and the Art Center of Orange Coast College in California. Romaniko divides his time between New York City and Lowell, MA where he is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts.

    In the early part of the 20th century politicians, activists and artists in Communist Russia were involved in an act of building a Soviet myth, creating a new space-time continuum, while violently eradicating the past by erasing facts from history texts, documents, photographs, and from people’s consciousness. In the process, new histories were fabricated, thus creating a new order, new collective memory turning an entire country and its many cultures into exiles in their own land. In the years since, Vladimir Nabokov’s exploration of nostalgia and reflections on exile, and Ilya Kabakov’s reconstruction of the past, to name a few examples, are all part of a ritualistic return, an obsessive homecoming and anxious preservation of memory. Nostalgia in the work of these artists is palpable and real and has great impact on constructs of cultural memories. They do, however, remind us that the images produced and circulated within a culture need to be carefully examined. Perhaps, when remnants of history are scattered all over with no sign of provenance, they have no ability to tell a story of their own but can only remain in a form of melancholic nostalgia.

    From Mimi Ferzt Gallery, New York:

    The work from Romaniko’s project titled “Nostalgia” commenced in 2008. “Nostalgia” consists of photographs of miniature paper versions of Russian interiors. The artist describes this project as “a reflection on the topic of exile, home and the relationship with one’s past and belonging.” Romaniko manifests his curiosity and the desire to conserve history through the precise reconstruction of the modest yet so precious details of a Russian household or office. Devoid of human presence, Romaniko’s interiors bear an almost palpable air of uncertainty and the urge for change emblematic of Russian social and political landscape. “Kitchen” (2009, pigment print on archival paper) documents the Soviet residential experiment known as the communal apartment. The artist deliberately eschews the haphazard dynamics of communal cooking, allowing the viewer to reflect upon the peculiarities of communal living, both intimate and public. “Work Desk” (2008, pigment print on archival paper) is the artist’s tribute to Russia’s ominous past, with Joseph Stalin’s portrait hovering over a vintage piece of furniture, with paperwork scattered on the floor.

    Exhibit viewing hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, (1/29-3/10)

  • Exhibition: Normalities (Austrian Cultural Forum, New York; January 20–April 12, 2016)

    The Austrian Cultural Forum New York is pleased to present Normalities, a show starring artists from the Western Balkan region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia), Croatia, as well as from Austria and the United States. Artists include Flaka Haliti, Armando Lulaj, Damir Očko, and Irena Lagator Pejović, whose works were featured at the 55th and 56th Venice Biennials in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

    For philosopher Slavoj Žižek the very name “Balkans” is almost synonymous with “otherness” and deliberately used to distinguish oneself from one’s very neighbor. In the past century, the region was a laboratory of extraordinary political circumstances, and still is by all means a place in constant transition. In recent times, Southeastern Europe has gone through a massive transformation in an economical as well as political sense. Migration has made Vienna the fastest growing European capital, the city with the third-largest Serbian population, and home to many emerging artists. The integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union is a clear goal, but still an ongoing process. Apart from these political aspects of normalization, the concept of “normality” becomes all the more attractive within various different theoretical frameworks and disciplines, from philosophy and psychology to sociology and, of course, the arts.

    The works showcased in Normalities go beyond art of a post-conflict society. They range from print, collage, and sculpture to photography and video, support the approach of constantly questioning normality. Some artistic positions deal with overcoming the past: Cvijanović, Lulaj and Hasanović’s artworks deal directly with history as they choose an event or person of great historical importance and manage to create a new reading by shifting symbols. Others address the friction between private and political. In his series of staged portraits Muja, for example, depicts aspects of national identification. Knebl uses her own body as a projection surface in her sculpture dealing with hate speech. Haliti, Jureša and Stanojkoviќ focus on sociological and cultural topics such as de-masking of mechanisms of male bonding, questions of migration or the death of cinemas—dimensions in which issues of normality pervade through and guide society. Prvački’s video At the Tips of Your Fingertips is a performance which literally shows the “laundering” of one dollar bills. Lagator Pejović, Brown and Dražić’s pieces could be described as investigating modes of perception, but all of them also engage with the materiality of the artworks and associations evolving out of a certain choice of material or format. Von Gabain’s work—a plaster cast of a Starbucks cup—can be seen as ironic comment on industrial norms. The analysis of architecture, especially driven by an interest in gender topics, is part of Sagadin’s installation. In TK, Očko investigates human shivering as a mechanism of resistance in a time of global insecurity, anxiety, and fear.

  • Event: Private Nationalism: Pressing Issues in Central European Contemporary Video Art (Knockdown Center; December 12, 2015)

    Video screening and panel discussion Co-presented by Edit András, Ilona Németh, Viera Levitt, the Clakula-Gauthier Art production and Magdalena Moskalewicz

    Including the work of Tibor Horváth, László Nagyvári Nosek, Csaba Nemes, Bálint Szombathy (Hungary) /András Cséfalvay, Matej Kaminský, Ilona Németh, Martin Piaček, Tomáš Rafa, Mark Ther, Matej Vakula (Czech Republic and Slovakia /C.T Jasper and Joanna Malinowska (Polish Pavilion of the Venice Biennial, 2015)

    Private Nationalism Project initiated by Approach Art Association, Pécs (project leader (Rita Varga) took place as an exhibition series at arts venues throughout Central Europe and beyond. Using visual artworks, discussions, and publications, the project directed attention to the urgency of totalizing nationalist developments of the former Soviet bloc by shedding light on overlooked issues of the daily life, and the subtle processes by which ideologies infiltrate and are absorbed into the citizenry.

    Knockdown Center hosts a screening and discussion generated from this expansive project that involved the work of many curators and artists as it traveled and changed shape in each city: Budapest, Bratislava, Dresden, Krakow, Košice, Prague.

    The presentation is divided into 3 parts focusing on Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Each screening section will be followed by a 15min discussion.

    Hungarian part will be presented by Edit András (Hungary/USA, art historian)
    Czech and Slovak part will be presented by Ilona Németh (Slovakia, artist), Matej Vakula (Slovakia/USA, artist) and Viera Levitt (Slovakia/USA, UMass Dartmouth Gallery Director)
    Polish part will be presented by Magdalena Moskalewicz (Poland/USA, art historian and curator)
    Supported by Trust of Mutual Understanding, NY

  • Exhibition: Monuments Should Not Be Trusted (Nottingham Contemporary; 16 January - 4 March, 2016)


    Artists and groups include Marina Abramović, Zemira Alajbegović (Gledališče FV), Lutz Becker, August Černigoj, Goran Djordjević, Vera Fischer, Karpo Godina, Tomislav Gotovac, Sanja Iveković, Katalin Ladik, Lojze Logar, Dušan Makavejev, Goranka Matić, Slavko Matković, NSK/New Collectivism, OHO, Dušan Otasević, Zoran Popović, Bogdanka Poznanović, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović, Lazar Stojanović, Raša Todosijević, Milica Tomić, Goran Trbuljak, Želimir Žilnik.

    Bands featured in the exhibition include VIS Idoli, Disciplina Kičme, Šarlo Akrobata, Oliver Mandić, Laboratorija Zvuka, Tožibabe, Laibach, Borghesia, Ekatarina Velika.

    Curated by Lina Džuverović.

    Monuments Should Not Be Trusted brings together over 30 leading artists and groups from the “golden years” of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia—the period between the early 1960s and the mid–1980s. The exhibition draws on new and innovative research into this period and features many of its most significant artists, groups and filmmakers.

    Over 100 artworks and artefacts illuminate the key contradictions of this single party state—built after WWII on socialist principles, yet immersed in “utopian consumerism.” This is the first time in the UK that the art of this period, which has attracted increasing attention, has been shown in the context of the social, economic and political conditions that gave rise to it.

    The exhibition begins with the rise of consumerism, midway through President Josip Broz Tito’s 37-year presidency, and ends a few years after his death in 1980. As well as artists’ works in moving image, collage, photography, sculpture and painting, the exhibition encompasses music, TV clips and artefacts from the Museum of Yugoslav History, such as gifts made by workers for President Tito’s birthday and ceremonial relay batons. Four key themes explore the complexities of Yugoslav art and culture:

    “Public Space and the Presence of Tito” reflects upon the Yugoslav people’s complex emotional relationship to their president, when censorship “from above” was replaced by censorship “from within.” Including photographic installations by Sanja Iveković, Sven Stilinović’s series of subversive flag works, and the infamous film Plastic Jesus by Lazar Stojanović, best known as the work that led to the demise of Black Wave film, resulting in Stojanović’s arrest.

    “Socialism and Class Difference” looks at both labour and the role of the artist during this period. By the late 1970s, Yugoslavia was suffering high unemployment that threatened its socialist ideals. Student protests and underlying ethnic tensions are also explored. Short documentary films by Želimir Žilnik point to these realities, whilst works by Mladen Stilinović address the relationship between art, language and the economy. Lutz Becker’s film Kino Beleške focuses on a group of artists in Belgrade’s Student Cultural Centre, which was also home to Marina Abramović’s first performance Rhythm 5, included here in the form of documentation.

    “Comradess Superwoman” addresses the complex issues faced by women in Yugoslavia, where new equal rights legislation proclaiming that “the women’s question had been solved” coexisted with, and masked, a lingering of traditional values in the private sphere. The proliferation of magazines, film and advertising also introduced a new role for women: the sex symbol. This section includes seminal photomontage works by Sanja Iveković and performance documentation and collages by Katalin Ladik, alongside works by Marko Pogačnik (OHO) and Tomislav Gotovac.

    “Utopian Consumerism and Subcultures” showcases the explosion of punk and psychedelia, as expressed in music, video, screen-printing and collage that appropriated popular culture, often humorously. These eclectic influences and media experiments culminated in the emergence of Yugoslavia’s New Wave, the country’s most definitive form of pop music, represented here in ’80s music videos and TV programmes. Originally banned for its slogan “swallow LSD,” Karpo Godina’s psychedelic film The Gratinated Brain of Pupilija Ferkeverk embraces hippy and drug culture, whilst OHO’s printed Rolling Stones and Beatles matchbox works reference pop culture and the fickle nature of consumerism.

    Monuments Should Not Be Trusted is the largest ever exhibition of Yugoslav art in the UK. Its title is taken from a work by the Yugoslav filmmaker Dušan Makavejev.

    Milica Tomić will perform The Nottingham Statement on Friday, January 15.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a conference on January 16. Speakers include David Crowley, Branislav Dimitrijević, Lina Džuverović, Sanja Iveković, Antonia Majaca, Zoran Pantelić, Zoran Popović and Milica Tomić.

  • Exhibition: Stongue: Slavs and Tatars at Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus, Denmark; December 9, 2015–March 6, 2016)

    Kunsthal Aarhus
    J.M. Mørks Gade 13
    8000 Aarhus

    Kunsthal Aarhus presents COLLECTIVE MAKING 03 / Stongue by the artist collective Slavs and Tatars.

    From medieval advice literature to Russian futurism, Stongue examines language as a source of political, metaphysical, and even sexual emancipation. The artist collective continues to probe “high highs and low lows” in their pathological interest in philology and its discontents. Their new film Deepthongs reflects on the various failed attempts, from Tsarist Russia to the Soviet Union, to cyrillicise non-Cyrillic-based languages, namely those of Muslim citizens but also, surprisingly, the Poles. The imposition of graphemes or letters onto phonemes or sounds is never a neutral act. Alphabets accompany empires: of land and peoples but also sounds and senses.

    Scrawled across a rearview windshield of a Polski Fiat 126, a legendary car manufactured in Communist Poland, are the words “Chajda Chłopaki” (roughly translated as “Let’s go, boys!” in an archaic, literary Polish). Weeping Window sets the tone for the exhibition with an anti-modernist trope, facing backwards to history, but moving forward towards the future, a recurring idea in Slavs and Tatars’ practice. One found in their latter-day mascot Molla Nasreddin always seated backwards on his donkey or Sartre’s description of Baudelaire, driving into the future with an eye on the rearview mirror.

    For one year, Slavs and Tatars’ work PrayWay has been permanently on display at Kunsthal Aarhus and has acted as a site of discussion, debate and gathering throughout the COLLECTIVE MAKING series. Slavs and Tatars’ Stongue highlights the 2015–16 programme, developed by former Artistic Director Joasia Krysa, with a turn to language, a compelling case of collective action and individual thought.

    Opening performance: On the opening day, Slavs and Tatars presented The Tranny Tease, a lecture performance exploring the potential for transliteration through the lens of phonetic, semantic and theological slippage.

    Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, books and lecture performances. They have exhibited in major institutions across the Middle East, Europe and North America. Select solo engagements include MoMA, New York (2012), Secession, Vienna (2012), Dallas Museum of Art (2014), Kunsthalle Zurich (2014) and NYU Abu Dhabi (2015). The artists are nominated for the 2015 Preis der Nationalgalerie and 2016 Vincent Award.