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  • 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 http://lentos.at/html/en/4747.aspx

Artists

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Július Koller

From around 1960, in response to the modernist mainstream in Slovak art, Július Koller began to develop his aesthetic position of the “anti-happening.” Like the postwar avant-gardes with their critique of Modernism, Koller wanted to oppose the cynical, technophile fantasies of omnipotence harbored by the Socialist state apparatus by giving a direct experience of the reality of the artwork back to the individual. Taking this idea as his point of departure, he continued to work on an oeuvre whose compelling and peculiar nature made it one of the most incomparable and rigorous in contemporary European art.

His strategy consisted in using real objects and everyday life as the predefined program for an aesthetic operation: from 1965, in texts rubberstamped on paper that refer to the context of the “anti-happening,” and then in 1967/1968 in pictures for which Koller used white latex paint instead of oils and which saw the first appearance of the question mark – the symbol of Koller’s brands of naming, or “making known,” that was later to undergo many mutations in various media and states of aggregation. From 1968/1969, these “anti-pictures” also took the form of one particular variation: as “Textextily”, text images on textiles.

The “invitation cards for an idea”–as Koller called the text works relating to the “anti-happenings”–and the palimpsests and serial arrangements of the “anti-pictures” set themselves apart from the academicism of Modernism in more than just formal terms. Koller forgoes every form of technical mastery. The “anti-pictures” are amateurish in style, ensuring that they fulfill their task, defined by Koller as “engaging rather than arranging.”

In 1970, two years after the dreams of a possible third way for Socialism in Czechoslovakia had been crushed by the tanks of the Warsaw Pact, Koller introduced a new conceptual field into his work denoted by three letters: “U.F.O. - Universal Cultural Futurological Operations.” Over more than 30 years, Koller then created the complex of the same name that is his chef-d’oeuvre.

G.S.

1939, Piešťany / SK, at that time ČSSR – 2007, Bratislava / SK

Koller studied Drawing and Representation at the Academy of Fine Art in Bratislava (Slovak Republic) from 1959 to 1965. In 1965 he published his manifesto “Anti-Happening” (System of Subjective Objectivity) and began to print text cards using a children’s printing set.


 

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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  • Photo: Květoslava Fulierová








  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský










  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský

  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský





  • Photo: Adam Savoky
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  • Photo: Adam Sakovy

  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
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  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky




  • Photo: Adam Savoky














  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský





  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky