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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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Slaven Tolj

The Croatian artist Slaven Tolj rose to international acclaim with his installations, body-art and performances, all of which mirror a distinctive political and sociocultural criticism. His initial steps as an artist were directly shaped by his experiences during the Yugoslav war, the collapse of the state and, in particular, the conquest of Dubrovnik by the Yugoslav army in 1991-92. In the late 1990s, Tolj gradually expanded his field of work by incorporating new motifs such as political change, multicultural existence and globalization. He is also active as curator and in various art organizations. He was, for instance, one of the founders of the Art Workshop Lazareti in Dubrovnik, which is now setting the tone in the contemporary art scene of Dubrovnik and Croatia.

In his works, Tolj primarily concentrates on the torn structure of Dubrovnik's society, his native town, where he lives and works. He calmly examines the relationships and remains of the war from his personal and reserved angle. Instead of producing documentary work and activism, Tolj considers it more appropriate to act indirectly; criticizing from the inside, in a way that the effect of said criticism on reality can only be difficultly assessed, even though the value of his oeuvre for the symbolic part of art is not questioned. The central motif of his work is avoiding direct language and images; he works by deliberately leaving aside and omitting things. Tolj places his work within the narrow borderline between the visible and invisible – by either choosing photography, installation, performance or the concrete as his media. The barely perceptible crack contained in his work adds energy to it, which – regardless of how personal it may seem – critically examines the political aspect of art or the concept of art for a broader audience.

 

M.S.

 

1964, Dubrovnik / HR, at that time Jugoslavija

Slaven Tolj graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo in 1987. After his return to Dubrovnik in 1988, he has been active on
multiple functions: as an artist, curator, founder and head of Art Workshop Lazareti (ARL).

In 1997 he participated in Documenta X in Kassel. In 2001, Tolj recieved the Erste
Foundation Award for Social Integration for his activities within ARL. In 2005 he became the
commissioner of the Croatian pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. Since 2013 he has been active as the
Director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (MMSU). In 2015 Slaven
Tolj, along with Miranda Veljačić, Emina Višnić and Dinko Peračić were selected to curate the
Croatian Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Biennale in Venice (2016).

 

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