• 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


Željko Jerman

When Željko Jerman began his daily ritual of taking photographs and making notes, his position as an artist was already clearly defined. There was a decade of intense work behind him; he took up photography after years of playing the guitar in a rock band and watching Antonioni’s film Blow Up. His early works follow the classic conventions of photography: they are properly composed, concentrated on the figure or the face and technically well executed. But Jerman, as a committed member of the rebel generation resented social models and consciously chose to be an outlaw. And while most of the other rebels soon gave in to the establishment in search of career opportunities, Jerman’s artistic and existential outlawry has lasted to the present day. It is therefore natural that after proving to himself that he was capable of taking and producing ‘nice’ photographs, a phase of defiance and the need for a different aesthetic model ensued. Each individual mark and gesture is the result of a determined and conscious decision. For Jerman existential reality is artistic reality, there is no distance, no mediator. Although the spontaneous and unconscious element sometimes prevails in his work, the result is subsequently evaluated, considered and publicly displayed. In the alternating ritual of creativity and destructivity, the rational and the irrational, Jerman uses the alchemy of photography to maximum effect.    

            Starting off from this aesthetic position Jerman found people of similar ideas and artistic practice in the group of friends/artists who did not put their collaborative work above their individual activities. Six artists (Jerman, Boris Demur, Vlado Martek, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović and Fedor Vučemilović) were united in creative action. The idea, stemming from their dissatisfaction with the cultural situation they encountered, was realized in the form of independently organized exhibitions-actions. These exhibitions-actions liquidated the mediating role of the cultural infrastructure (a poorly developed, politically controlled, unquestioning, boring cultural infrastructure; a culture of tacit silence, misinterpretations, and a strict extra-artistic hierarchical value system, etc.) in favor of direct presentations, communication and information.


Excerpt taken from: Darko Šimičić. “Having been there.” in: Željko Jerman. Moja Godina 1977 / My Year 1977. Darko Šimičić (ed). Zagreb: Meandar, 1997. p. 397.

1949, Zagreb / HR, at that time Jugoslavija – 2006, Korčula / HR

In 1975, Jerman was co-founder of the post-neo-avant-garde group “Grupa šestorice autora,” with which he performed exhibitions and actions, at the beginning in “non-gallery” places and afterwards in galleries. Independently he made interdisciplinary actions, wrote criticism and texts and was constantly exploring the creative possibilities inside the medium of photography.

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
Media File
Browse All