• 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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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."


Lives and works in Berlin.


Solo exhibitions (selected):


2013 Galerie Michel Rein, Paris, France


2012 Inspection Medical Hermeneutics, Regina Gallery, Moscow, Russia


2010 Galerie Gregor Podnar, Berlin, Germany


2009 Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany


2008 Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland


Group exhibitions (selected):


2016 “Kollektsia”, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France


2015 “The School of Kiyv”, Kiev Biennial, Kiev, Ukraine


2014 “Insignificant Alterations”, Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, Austria


2004 Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai, China


2003 50th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy


2001 “Never Stop the Action”, rotor – association for contemporary art, Graz, Austria


1999 “After the Wall”, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden


1998 11th Sydney Biennial, Sydney, Australia


1996 Manifesta 1, Rotterdam, Netherlands


1993 45th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy

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