• 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



Modernist architecture as an interventionist mode of developing specific social conditions and ways of living lies at the core of Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber’s artistic practice. This artist-duo analyzes the transition from mere architecture to living spaces as co-existential units of diverse social groups whose lives are often pushed into “non-spaces” (as Marc Augé has called them) due to the increasing demands placed upon the individual in neoliberal and post-socialist societies.

Linking textual material with historical and architectural image (re)productions of landmark works of architecture and their interiors can serve to reflect the complexity of culturally significant spaces’ image politics. Dealing with architecture as a frame for spatial meaning, the works of Bitter/Weber meet at the interface of modernist structures, new media technologies, and systems of representation. Their photographic and video works create space for engaging with contemporary urban spaces as social environments and as political discourse.

The artists always dedicate their work to specific urban geographies in cities such as Belgrade, Bucharest, Caracas, Paris, Tokyo and Vancouver, where the relationships between citizens and the potentials for altering urban situations are made visible. The thematic focus of these projects often lies on the rhetoric of political failure and crisis-ridden moments, both of which are in conflict with social utopias and the promises of the past. One such project resulted in the book publication “Autogestion or Henri Lefebvre in New Belgrade”. This work is based on an unpublished 1986 text by the French philosopher and urban theorist Lefebvre that was part of a competition to design an urban plan for New Belgrade with the architects Serge Renaudie and Pierre Guilbaud, emphasizing the potentials of self-organization by the people of any given territory to counter the failed concepts of urban planning from above (i.e., the state, the city, urban planners). Here, the parameters of Bitter/Weber’s work are exemplified in the analysis of a historical urbanist utopia and its present-day remains.



Sabine Bitter

1960, Aigen i. M. / AT

Helmut Weber

1957, Dorf a. d. Pram / AT

Collaboration since 1993.

Bitter and Weber collaborate since 1993. They have focused on urban environment and architecture, and on policies for urban space and representation. Bitter and Weber’s photographic and video works deals with the ways in which specific moments and logics of global urban change find expression in towns, architecture, neighborhoods and everyday life. In 1994 they founded the research collective Urban Subjects with Jeff Derksen. Since 2007, Sabine Bitter is assistant professor at the School for Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (Canada).


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