• 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


Cezary Bodzianowski

The performances of Cezary Bodzianowski differ from both the analytical performative work of 1970s Poland, and from 1990s-era Polish performance, which, in a different economic and political context, politicized the body, creating a critical uproar from conservative media and general audiences. The artist is interested in the politics and poetics of the quotidian, and his work digs into the core of those structures of experience that usually remain unquestioned as seemingly objective, shared conditions of reality.

Bodzianowski’s performative work was often referred to as one-actor theater for an audience consisting of just a happy few. His actions in public and private spaces are pitched as syncopated interruptions against the workflows that fill our days. Useless and disinterested, they put in question the capitalist economy of time as a sequence of available and quantifiable units that can be dealt with in a similar way to units of matter. Trying to keep time in a liquid, mercury-like state, Bodzianowski directs his attention to the privileged, isolated, and staged moments of non-acting, refusing to work—in opposition to the barely visible but all-pervading exploitation that we are all subjected to in the economic and political conditions of today. His time-based pieces open a stasis, a moment when the world goes out of joint; a temporary alternative that acts upon us with the force of metaphor in order to change the way we live and perceive things.

One of Bodzianowski’s preferred techniques in performance is that of staged willful surrendering or controlled co-option—an act of full, chameleon-like compliance with any proposed set of rules, which the artist follows, imitates, and pushes to extreme. His radical obedience becomes an attempt at resistance.

As his work is defiantly ephemeral, Bodzianowski decided to use photography and video as a means of constructing memories of things that his audience has never been given a chance to see happening live. Photographs and video recordings, which are usually taken by Monika Chojnicka, the artist’s long-time partner and collaborator, are not conceived as evidence of live actions. On the contrary, they provide a starting point for a discussion of the work’s meaning and content. Rather than proving the work’s status as something that exists or existed before, the still and moving images open a way to the work’s possible future.



The text is based on the excerpts from the essay “Minor Illuminations”, commissioned for Cezary Bodzianowski’s exhibition catalogue published by the Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach and Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz in 2012.

1968, Łódź / PL

Bodzianówski studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Poland) from 1988 to 1990. In 1994 he got a diploma from the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp (Belgium). In 2004 Bodzianówski received the “Passports Prize”, granted by Polityka, a weekly magazine from Poland.

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