• Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation.


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Ricarda Denzer

Ricarda Denzer's audiovisual work deals with language, sound, and translation in the social and cultural fields as well as with the relationship between artist and audience. Denzer employs interviews, sound pieces, videos, photos, and drawings to develop complex transmedia installations. Of essential importance to her works of recent years has been a mobile recording studio (“10m² portable. Mobile studio”) that she developed for the interview project "Šmuggeln" (2006/11), as well as the group of notebooks entitled "Aufzeichnungen 2006–2012." Denzer’s mobile studio itself forms the setting for the installative work "La Croûte de Chou" (2007), at the center of which stands a conversation with the Indian union activist Namrata Bali. Bali speaks of sustainable and democratic structures with great intensity, her goal being to strengthen her organization in order to better “organize the unorganized.” The visual level here is dominated by a female prompter, whose whispered text consists of associatively ordered comments by a tax advisor and a coaching team, as well as of fragments from financial and economic news. These elements were brought together by the artist to form an interlaced portrayal of contemporary artists’ present-day occupational reality, working conditions, and generally precarious circumstances. Denzer spent several years ordering her artistic ideas, thoughts, associations, and questions in the notebooks "Aufzeichnungen 2006–2012," which thus amount to a visualization of her thought processes. For the artist, these densely written- and drawn-upon notebooks function as “audiovisual memory minutes,” filled parallel to the creation of her works and exhibited together with them as “footnotes of production” (Christa Benzer). A logical consequence of this was the 2012 audio piece "Perplexities," which she created together with sound artist Peter Szely; the basis for this transmedia composition is supplied by Denzer’s transcribed notes.

Denzer’s 2013 artist’s book, likewise entitled "Perplexities" makes reference to Hannah Arendt, who wrote that, in view of the helplessness and perplexities of our world, the most we can do is to think about them together. This book contains numerous interviews, text collages, and audiovisual protocols pertaining to various projects by Denzer, as well as presentations of recent artistic output.


Born in Kirn, Germany, 1967.

Denzer studied Architecture at the TU Innsbruck (Austria) from 1986 to 1988 and Graphic/Conceptual Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Austria) from 1989 to 1993. Since 1993 she works as a freelance artist. Denzer has received the "Förderpreis für Bildende Kunst des Landes Tirol“ (2001/2002) and the "Kunst und Kulturpreis Niederösterreich: Anerkennungspreis für Video, Kunst im elektronischen Raum“ (2009).

Lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2011 “Ricarda Denzer. Much has been said - In Ihrer Sprache ist keine Lösung verfügbar.”, Kunstraum Bernsteiner, Vienna, Austria

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2012 “Sleepwalking Berlin 2012“, Freies Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany

2010 “Long Time No See”, Brno House of Art, Brno, Czech Republic  

2008 “SITE Santa Fe Biennial 2008”, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, USA

2007 “Lange nicht gesehen“, MUSA Museum, Vienna, Austria

2006 “It is hard to touch the real 2”, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria

2005 “Vidéos viennoises“, Bétonsalon Paris, Paris, France

2004 “Niemandsland. Modelle für den öffentlichen Raum“, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, Austria

2002 “AUSGETRÄUMT...“, Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria

This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library

Other Media


Denzer, Ricarda. 2010. Gender Check: femininity and masculinity in the art of Eastern Europe. Vienna: ERSTE Foundation. 1 VIDEO.

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