• 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)


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Běla Kolářová

Běla Kolářová belongs to the generation which touched off an iconoclastic revolution and “rearmament“ in Czech art during the 1960s. This new wave hit the scene with a program of objective tendencies, proclaiming that art can exist as a process, concept, method, experiment and language, or as something “concrete“—such as a found and designed object. Kolářová’s training is in photography, and her role in the 1960s reversal was associated with this medium from the beginning. As with many of her contemporaries, she arrived at the conclusion that it is not possible to photograph the world, i.e. to use classic methods of representing reality. She therefore invented her own method and technology, the artificial negative. She pressed small objects into layers of parafin on small pieces of celophane, or she actually applied small fragments of natural and artificial materials. Instead of choosing the world that it is possible to photograph and represent as an exterior appearance, she chose the world that is possible to accept, to appropriate as an assemblage of material fragments, using light to transfer them into an autonomous picture on the sensitive surface of photographic paper. A different order of reality emerges in these photographs which operate somewhere between Man Ray’s photograms, Duchamp’s readymades and an “absolute“ record of light.


1923, Terezín / CZ, at that time ČSSR – 2010, Praha / CZ

Kolářová began taking photographs after the Second World War. In 1954 Kolářová began to develop films and to print them in a darkroom. In her photographs she reflected the life of Prague’s (Czech Republic) suburbs. Later Kolářová’s work was based on observing pieces, which she recorded on photographic paper. By the mid-sixties the artist took original photos of poets and writers, such as Samuel Beckett (1963) or Honoré de Balzac (1964), and modified them into new pictures. At the same time she started to make her first assemblages. At the beginning of the 1980s Kolářová moved to Paris (France) together with her husband Jiří Kolář. In the 1990s she lived alternately in Paris and Prague, finally moving to Prague in 1999.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2010  “Běla Kolářová“, Gallery of Photography Louvre, Paris, France

2009 “Běla Kolářová“, Rüdiger Schoettle Gallery, Munich, Germany

2008 “Běla Kolářová“, Museum Kampa, Prague, Czech Republic        

2007 “Běla Kolářová “, Olomouc Museum of Art, Olomouc, Czech Republic    

2006 “Běla Kolářová “, National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

2005 “Běla Kolářová “, Montanelli Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

2003 “Běla Kolářová“, Amos Anderson Museum, Helsinki, Finnland

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2017 "Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction", MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

2016 “The Promise of Total Automation”, Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier, Vienna, Austria

2011 “Běla Kolářová / Jiří Kolář“, Krobath Wimmer Gallery, Vienna, Austria

2009 “Gender Check – Role models in the Art of East Europe“, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria 

2008 “Cutting Realities. Gender Strategies in Art“, Austrian Cultural Forum New York, New York City, USA

2007 documenta XII, Kassel, Germany

2004 “The Sixties“, The Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic

This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Kremer, Boris, ed. 2013. Běla Kolářová. London: Raven Row. [Exhib. Cat., Raven Row (Jan. 31-Apr. 07, 2013)]

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