• 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


Nedko Solakov

The work of Nedko Solakov manifests itself in a variety of expressive media and can be understood as an extended form of visual narration and draftsmanship. Solakov has elaborated his specific approach to space and time and their inherent processes of transformation in a multifarious oeuvre that began with the artist’s own socialization in the former People’s Republic of Bulgaria and, to date, extends to cover current debates on global power relations, which are reflected in ironic drawings, paintings, videos and multi-part installations. The artist’s penchant for occasionally absurd perceptions of reality stems not only from his personal history, but also from the ruptures that have occurred at politically relevant moments. Solakov engaged in artistic contemplation of his youthful collaboration with the Bulgarian secret service up to 1983 in the work “Top Secret” (1989/1990), one of the most poignant artistic works to have been created just after the fall of Communism, a work that caused great controversy upon its initial presentation in 1990. It consists of drawings, texts and collages, as well as objects in a wooden filing box and a video shot on the occasion of the work’s presentation at documenta 12 in 2007.

In 1999, the artist announced Bulgaria’s preparedness to participate at the Venice Biennale in 2001 after nearly 30 years’ absence by distributing postcards and T-shirts with the announcement written in the colors of the Bulgarian flag. There was, in fact, no official Bulgarian pavilion at the 2001 Biennale; however, Solakov’s work “A Life (Black & White)” was shown as part of Harald Szeemann’s “Plateau of Humankind.” The constant over-painting of walls with white and black paint sketched out the meta-structures of exhibition making, but also the symbolic overcoming of the former East-West divide. The latter has long since been proven by the artist’s participation in numerous international exhibition projects as well as solo presentations at museums. Solakov’s sometimes minimal, sometimes exuberant interventions in spaces reinforce his quest for pictorial and textual narration in the widest possible, trans-media context. At the core of his artistic practice since the very beginning has been his mastery of draftsmanship, which—in combination with storytelling—is not always bound to the medium of paper, but can be deployed in any given spatial situation.



1957, Cherven Briag / BG

Nedko Solakov studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. He graduated in Mural Painting with Prof. Mito Ganovski in 1981. From 1985-86, Solakov studied at the Nationaal Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, Belgium. He has received several grants, including the Artest Foundation, KulturKontakt, Philip Morris Foundation, IASPIS, CCA Kitakyushu. In 2007, Solakov has received an “Honourable Mention to an artist exhibited in the central international exhibition” at the 52nd Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy.

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