• 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


Marc Adrian

It was in the mid-1950s that Marc Adrian first raised his independent artistic voice in Vienna’s postwar avant-garde milieu, which was characterized by linguistic experimentation, gestural abstraction and early forms of Viennese Actionism. In the existentialist, bohemian circles of Vienna’s “Art Club”—a loose association of artists which included proponents of abstraction as well as both figurative and late-surrealist modernism—and as a pupil of sculptor Fritz Wotruba, Adrian became acquainted with the problematic issues of the modern conception of sculpture as it developed away from figuration and toward abstraction. Early on, however, he had begun to leave behind its static concepts of space in favor of the idea of a flowing, free, moving spatial cluster. Those years saw Adrian begin experimenting with rocking stones, sculptural leap-perspectives and mobiles, and working on verre églomisé pictures with special optical effects. In doing so, his interest was always in the problems involved in a semantics of seeing. Central to their artistic examination, to Adrian’s mind, were both the motif of a time-space dissolution of the stasis inherent in the classical conception of sculpture and concepts of space-claiming motion, and/or the realization of optically simulated or actually occurring motion sequences in the space of the two-dimensional image.

With their references to op-art and kinetic art, as well as to geometric abstraction, Adrian’s works occupied a special position within the Viennese avant-garde of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In his aesthetic stance, he was closer to groups such as the Paris-based “Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel” (GRAV), Düsseldorf’s ZERO group or the early experimental designs of a Nicolaus Schoeffer than to the less-concrete Viennese neo-abstract artists. But even so, Adrian shared with the Viennese scene—certainly in deliberate contrast to his international colleagues interested in free kinetic objects—a position of distance from the ideas of aesthetic autonomy inherent in modernism, as well as skepticism toward language in the tradition of Fritz Mauthner and Ludwig Wittgenstein and an interest in crossing synaesthetic boundaries. “Motion can be used artistically in order to structure the contents of consciousness,” wrote Marc Adrian in his catalog essay for the three-country biennial trigon 67 in Graz. And later on he did, in fact, proceed to demonstrate the sense of touch as a primordial form of vision in places including a black room.



1930, Wien / AT – 2008, Wien / AT

Marc Adrian has been working with a variety of artistic media since the 1950s. Alongside Peter Kubelka, Kurt Kren and Ernst Schmidt jr. he is one of the representatives of the first postwar generation of Austrian avant-garde filmmakers who developed “structuralist films” in the 1950s. Adrian’s particular interests lay in the field of visual semantics in pictures, objects, texts, and films. He was a member of the New Tendencies movement. In 1969, Adrian received an award at the computer art contest of Tendencies 4 in Zagreb (Croatia).


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