• 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


Yuri Leiderman

The Ukrainian artist and writer Yuri Leiderman entered the art scene in the 1980s by way of close encounters with Moscow’s conceptualist circle, which strove to subvert socialist ideology through a conceptual approach and appropriative strategies. Leiderman’s artistic thinking was tied to this group until the 1990s. Often drawing inspiration from themes of national identity, his artistic work seeks to transform such issues into abstractions, thereby testing their resistant qualities while foregrounding their unexplainable character. From 1982, he participated in a number of exhibitions held at private apartments in Odessa and Moscow. The “Apt Art” movement of which this was part embodied a phenomenon that could be traced throughout the former Warsaw Pact countries. Alongside these artistic activities, Leiderman graduated from the Moscow Institute of Chemical Technology (MCTI) in 1987. That same year, he joined forces with Sergei Anufriev and Pavel Pepperstein to found the artist group “Medical Hermeneutics”, a group which he left in 1990. Since hermeneutics relates to an area of knowledge pertaining to the interpretation of literary texts, this group created installations and performances that experimented with language and meaning. They began doing so at a time shortly before Glasnost was about to open up the former Soviet Union to the West. The group described Glasnost as being something like a psychotherapeutic experience, in which “the sky opens up” towards new frontiers and promises of a new beginning. In keeping with its name’s medical metaphor, the group’s works of pseudo-healing had a fairy tale-like character to them, drawing on Western visual culture and usually featuring a happy ending. Being an artist group, “Inspection Medical Hermeneutics” (as they were also referred to) blurred the boundaries between what could be viewed as disease, as treatment, and/or as cure. According to Pavel Pepperstein, they created “a thick mumble—white noise and other incomprehensible, unclear things.”

Another group that Leiderman briefly joined, doing so along with Moscow conceptualists Andrei Monastyrski and Vadim Zakharov, was the “Capiton” (also “Corbusier”) group (2007 to 2008). From 2007 to 2015, he collaborated with Andrei Silvestrov on the long-term film project Birmingham Ornament. And since 2014, a large part of his artistic activity has taken place in Ukraine, where he and Silvestrov presented the chapter Odessa, Fragment 205 at the 2015 Kiev Biennial―improvising “an absurdist poetics to compete with the constant pressure of political phantasmagoria.”

Leiderman is the author of several books including essays, prose, and poetry, and he is a member of the editorial board of the Ukrainian online literature and art magazine Prostory. In his work, literature and art always enter into a close relationship.



1963, Odessa / UA


Yuri Leiderman works as artist and writer. In the 1980s and 90s he lived in Moscow and was close to the s.c. "Moscow conceptualism" circle. He has participated in apartment exhibitions in Moscow and Odessa since 1982. Leiderman graduated from the Moscow Institute of Chemical Technology in 1987. He was one of the founding members of the “Medical Hermeneutics” group (together with Sergei Anufriev and Pavel Pepperstein) in 1987, but left the group in 1990. Leiderman participated in different artistic initiatives, like the curatorial project "Hotelit" (together with Vadim Fishkin, 1998-2001), "Kölnische Gesamtausflüge" (together with Yuri Albert, Sabine Hänsgen and Vadim Zakharov, 2005-2006), the “Capiton" group (together with Andrei Monastyrski and Vadim Zakharov, 2007-2008). From 2007-2015 he worked together with Andrei Silvestrov on the film "Birmingham ornament." The film "Birmigham Ornament 2" won the special jury prize at the 2013 Roma Film festival in the "CINEMA XXI" competition. Leiderman is the author of several books including essays, prose and poetry. In 2005 he was awarded the Russian Andrei Belyi literature prize. From 2014, a big part of his artistic activities has taken place in the Ukraine. He is also member of the editorial board of the Ukrainian literature-art internet magazine "Prostory."


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