• Probe 1 – The Story of Slovak (Post)Conceptual art
    12 Dec 2018 − 24 March 2019

    Prague City Gallery / Stone Bell House Curated by: Vlado Beskid and Jakub Král Loans by Kontakt: Ján Mančuška, Julius Koller, Stano Filko, Roman Ondak The exhibition will introduce Czech public into one of the crucial tendencies found in modern and contemporary Slovak art. It will focus on the origination and development of Conceptual and post-Conceptual Art within the horizon of the past fifty years in Slovakia, i.e. from the alternative, unofficial scene of the 1960s to the post-1989 legal artistic platform. The oeuvres of two generations of artists, such as Viktor Frešo, Jozef Jankovič, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Martin Kochan, Július Koller, Marek Kvetan, Ján Mančuška, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreička, Monogramista T.D, Rudolf Sikora, Pavla Sceranková, Peter Rónai and Jaro Varga, will serve to present particular forms of Conceptual artistic morphology, as it was shaped by the new aesthetic criteria with their codes, in the context of time. The exhibition, held as a specific contribution to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the existence of Czechoslovakia, will go hand in hand with interventions by several Czech artists (Jan Brož, Alice Nikitinová, Vít Soukup, Pavel Sterec, Antonín Střížek, Michaela Thelenová) who will loosely contextualize selected historical, social, economic and world-view facets of our history. Their main subject of interest is the transformations of the internal social paradigm, presented the loss of the utopian outreach of our thinking in connection with the declining big ideologies.



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 / Helmut Weber

(collaboration since 1993)

1960, Aigen i. M. / AT; 1957, Dorf a. d. Pram / AT


Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
(c) Sabine Bitter / Helmut Weber, photo Ben Tiven
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