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La MaMa La Galleria, New York, USA
06 December 2009 - 07 March 2010
The exhibition “Performative Aspects in Art from Eastern Europe” took place as part of of the festival Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe, which took palce from 6 November 2009 to 31 March 2010 and was organized by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in association with leading New York City cultural organizations and academic institutions. This five-month festival focused on the performing arts as a powerful voice and contributing force in communism’s demise in Central and Eastern Europe. Spearheaded by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the festival featured over 20 events throughout New York City—among them the exhibition by the Kontakt Art Collection at the La MaMa Theater Gallery. “Performing Revolution” explored the revolutionary mindset of performing artists through theater, music, and dance performances, exhibitions, film screenings, readings, and symposia. While certain festival events illustrated how artistic resistance during the 1980s contributed to the profound political changes in 1989, others commented on the various contexts that continue to characterize revolution in performance today. The festival’s diverse programming examined revolution not only as a form of social and political change, but also as a shift that can occur within a genre of art via experiments with form and content.
The exhibition by Kontakt focused on the historically important decade of the 1970s in Eastern Europe, demonstrating how artists articulate performative gestures on the visual level in opposition to the prevailing politically conservative and restrictive reality. The presented artistic statements gave rise to performative environments that reflected on given societal processes and their models of inclusion and exclusion. The artists and their works questioned ways in which bodies exert power through motions and acts of speech, as well as how the movement of objects exerts a determining influence over the formation of space.

Curated by Walter Seidl

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