• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation focuses on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European artistic activity which has accompanied the social and political developments of the past decades and has been contributing significant works to European art since the late 1950s.

The collection's purpose is to reflect on conceptual forms of art production within Europe's changing political geographies. This involves placing the art of the formerly socialist countries in an international art context and drawing attention to its reciprocal connections and varied practices. Kontakt aims to collect works which play an integral role within European art history while also claiming an exceptional status within a politically heterogeneous terrain.

There are several categories of interest which developed within the art scene of the 1960s and correspond with the major themes of the collection: the reflection on and approach to modernist structures, the redefinition of material in space, issues of the political and the public, and matters of the body on both a performative and a gender-emancipative level.

Reflections on such developments in these regions serve as the point of departure for assembling and expanding a collection of artworks in a variety of media and formats. The younger artists represented by Kontakt often relate to the works of their precursors from the 1960s and 1970s, lending the collection coherence in media and thought.

The presentation of the collection's artworks remains decentralized and relational, and is independent of an institutional or locally anchored exhibition space. In general, the artworks are available as loans for context-specific exhibitions and presentations. Currently, over 100 artists from 15 countries are represented in the collection.

A further aim of the collection is to function as a research tool that helps international scholars and curators gain more insight concerning specific fields of interest, providing information about individual artworks in order to facilitate their circulation in exhibitions as important art-historical testimonies. Hence, the mission of the collection consists in bringing together a body of art-historically unique, yet in their entirety coherent works which, taken together, allow for a new understanding of art from various political and social angles.