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  • Poetry & Performance / The Eastern European Perspective
    22 December 2017 − 10 March 2018

    Nová synagóga, Žilina, Slovakia Poetry & Performance / The Eastern European Perspective 22/12/17 –  10/03/18 Loans by Kontakt: Vlado Martek: Ciklus Soneti / Sonnet Cycle, 1978-79 Raša Todosijević: Znak / Sign, 1971; Skulptura / Sculpture, 1971; Was ist Kunst, Patricia Hennings? / What is Art, Patricia Hennings?, 1976; Was ist Kunst, Marinela Koželj? / What is Art, Marinela Koželj?, 1978 Tamás St. Auby: Kentaur / Centaur, 1973-1975/ 2009 Curators: Sabine Hänsgen, Tomáš Glanc, Daniel Grúň Nová synagóga in Žilina presents the exhibition Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective curated by Tomáš Glanc, Daniel Grúň and Sabine Hänsgen. The exhibition brings together more than forty artists, poets and creative groups from the countries of the former Eastern Europe as well as contemporary artistic positions. The exhibition will be opened on December 22nd from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. by a series of several performances and will run until March 10th 2018. In the second half of the twentieth century, poets and artists in particular took up the challenge of reflecting on and investigating the instrumentalization of language for communicative and political-ideological purposes. They did so by drawing attention to the “made-ness” of language, its material and medial dimension, and by creating performative situations for themselves and their audiences within which possibilities of verbal expression could be tested and acted out. In Eastern Europe, poetry and performance played a significant role in the unofficial or partially tolerated cultural scene. The writing practice of samizdat and its relation to the devices of concrete and visual poetry have been treated and presented in a number of previous projects. Until now however, less consideration has been given to the circumstances of performance. In addition to the typescript literature of samizdat, subcultural milieus attached particular importance to the oral recitation of poems, exhibitions, and poetry actions. The interrelation between text and situation in poetic acts functioned as a trigger for performances and happenings. The exhibition presents authors from subcultures in socialist states along with contemporary positions that continue the legacy of combining poetry and performance. It shows the efforts of poets and artists to break free from controlled language and normative communicative now and then. Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective thus confronts the current social challenges in the post-socialist countries through the prism of language and ideology and looks back at their points of departure. Artists: Milan Adamčiak, Pavel Arsenev, Babi Badalov, Bosch+Bosch (Attila Csernik, Slavko Matković, László Szalma), Collective Actions Group, Ľubomír Ďurček, Else Gabriel / Via Lewandowsky, Rimma Gerlovina, Tomislav Gotovac, Group of Six Artists, Bohumila Grögerová / Josef Hiršal, Gino Hahnemann, Václav Havel, Jörg Herold, Semyon Khanin (Orbita), Kinship Moho (Zuzana Jasenková, Kristína Országhová, Magdaléna Scheryová), Dávid Koronczi, Katalin Ladik, Yuri Leiderman / Andrey Silvestrov, Vlado Martek, Andrei Monastyrski, Monogramista T.D, Ladislav Novák, Pavel Novotný, NSRD (Hardijs Lediņš, Juris Boiko, Imants Žodžiks), OHO Group (Nuša & Srečo Dragan, Naško Križnar), Boris Ondreička, Orange Alternative, Roman Osminkin, Ewa Partum, Bogdanka Poznanović, Dmitri Prigov, Lev Rubinstein, Nóra Ružičková / Marianna Mlynárčiková, Mladen Stilinović, Gabriele Stötzer, Tamás Szentjóby, Bálint Szombathy, Raša Todosijević, Jaromír Typlt, Jiří Valoch. Nová synagóga, Žilina, Slovakia J. M. Hurbana 220/11, 010 01 Wednesday — Sunday, 1 p.m. — 7 p.m. free entry (voluntary) http://www.novasynagoga.sk/poetry-performance/

Artists

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Ivan Kožarić

From the late fifties onwards the work by Ivan Kožarić has been characterized by a specific dehierarchization of the content that continuously recycles, processes, discards and rearranges his existing sculptures and a whole series of works in a loose system that rejects a strict chronological or systematic organization. His works are often left without signature or date; one form spontaneously grows from another; they are arranged into certain cycles, and later into different ones; and sometimes Kožarić repeats a work several times.

Although Ivan Kožarić is quintessentially a sculptor, his practice encompassing public monuments, ready-mades, performative elements, installations, conceptual proclamations, textual works, drawings and paintings, displays a sense of humor that ranges from subtle irony and absurdity to ridicule and the carnivalesque. His use of unexpected and often surreal juxtapositions and dislocations found an outlet while joining the avant-garde art group Gorgona in the 1960s. 1 Although Gorgona was not a formative experience, as he was already as other members of the group a mature artist, the time they spent together from 1959 to 1966 also marked one of the turning points in Kožarić's work. Gorgona’s elusive but synergic collective ethos imbued with ideas of absurd, anti-form, experiments in producing, exhibiting and contextualizing art, especially its transgressive ideas on the dissolution of art, undoubtedly radicalized Kožaric’s projects and his artistic thought.

 

For example, in 1971 he decided to give a coat of color to his famous studio at 12 Medulićeva Street in Zagreb, which was full of sculptures from various periods, diverse objects and everyday things. He re-painted almost everything in gold. Equalizing his artworks — including his sculptural masterpieces from the geometrical cycle Oblici prostora (The Shapes of Space, 1962—ongoing) and Isječak rijeke (Segment of a River, 1959), and earlier sculptural portraits such as Glava djevojke (Head of a Girl, 1954) — with the non-art objects in his studio, like his shoes or furniture, he simultaneously performed a radical negation and an affirmation of his work. Those elements of the studio that he left unpainted were wrapped in fabric to make temporary ‘anti-monumental’ bundles. He called this series of objects Pinkleci (‘bundles’ in dialect), and left them lying on the floor of the studio like random heaps of anonymous things. A living artistic organism, and his life-work, it embodies the idea of artistic totality. His studio has seen many transformations. After re-painting it in gold, Kožarić performed his next gesture in 1993, when the whole studio was moved to the Zvonimir Gallery in Zagreb for his solo show there, where he stayed and worked during the exhibition. After that, the studio was presented in 2002 in Kassel, within Documenta 11 and since 2009 it has become a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb.

 

Another paradigmatic sculpture is Čovjek koji sjedi (Sitting Man, 1954), for example, became a part of the sculptural installation Skulptura 1954—2000 (Sculpture 1954—2000, 2000), in which it was later joined to another cycle, the Privremene skulpture (Temporary Sculptures, c.1975—ongoing) series. When, in 2000, Sculpture 1954—2000 was shown in the exhibition of the same name at HDLU in Zagreb, the left arm of the sitting figure was lengthened by a 350-metre-long form made of aluminum foil that meandered through the exhibition space; at the end of the show, the artist cut it into pieces, which he gave to the visitors.

 

This dialectics and contradictions that are at the heart of his complex artistic practice have been best summarized by curator and writer Ješa Denegri, who described him as simultaneously "sculptor, anti-sculptor and non-sculptor in the same time, in the same person". 2

 

A.D.



Notes:

1 In addition to Kožarić, Gorgona included painters Josip Vaništa, Marijan Jevšovar, Julije Knifer and Đuro Seder; architect Miljenko Horvat; art historians Radoslav Putar, Matko Meštrović; and art historian, curator and artist Dimitrije Bašicević Mangelos.

2 Ješa Denegri, "Sculptor, Anti-Sculptor and Non-Sculptor in the Same Time, in the Same Person", in Matica Hrvatska (ed.), Ivan Kožarić (exh. cat.), Sisak: The National Library, 2006, unpaginated.

1921, Petrinja / HR, at that time Jugoslavija

From the late fifties onwards the work by Ivan Kožarić is characterized by a specific dehierarchization of the content that continuously recycles, processes, discards and rearranges his existing sculptures and a whole series of works in a loose system that rejects a strict chronological or systematic organization. His works are often left without signature or date; one form spontaneously grows from another; they are arranged into certain cycles, and later into different ones; and sometimes Kožarić repeats a work several times.

 

Lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions (selection):

 

2016      Ivan Kožarić: In Wonderful Diversity, Unity! - Mestna Galerija / City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

2013      Ivan Kožarić. Freiheit ist ein seltener Vogel - Haus der Kunst München, Munich, Germany

 

2006      Ivan Kožarić - Fotografije - MMC - Multimedia Center Luka, Pula, Croatia

 

2005      Ivan Kožarić - Umjetnički paviljon / Art Pavilion Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

 

2002      Ivan Kozaric - Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, Paris, France

 

2001      Ivan Kožarić - Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

1995      Ivan Kozaric: New graphics - Galerija Miroslav Kraljević, Zagreb, Croatia

 

1973      Ivan Kožarić - The Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

Selected Group Exhibitions (selection):

 

2016      Urgent Conversations: Athens-Antwerp“, National Museum of Contemporary Art - EMST, Athens, Greece

 

2015      Gorgona Then and Now & Artist On Vacation 2015“, MSU - Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

 

2014      Personal Cuts – The Art Scene in Zagreb from 1950s to now“,  Carré d´art - Musée d´art contemporain de Nîmes, France

 

2013      Painting And Photography From The Collection Of The Museum Of Modern And Contemporary Art Dubrovnik“, Museum of Modern Art, Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

2012      La Triennale 2012 - Intense Proximity”,  Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

 

2011      Arteast 2000+ Collection / Selection of Works from the National Collection / Museum of Affects“, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova , Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

2010      Displaced Divisions“,  Galerija Škuc, Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

2009      All that is solid melts into air“,  MuHKA Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium

 

2008      As soon as I open my eyes I see a film“, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland

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