• 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


Roman Ondák

The work of Roman Ondak is characterized by an interventionist praxis that takes a subtle approach to reality in order to transform the visible structures of everyday experience in an unconventional way. Ephemeral performances as well as direct interventions serve as the basis for many of Ondak’s in situ works, whether in art institutions or as public art projects. Quite often, the artist will initiate participatory projects with people from various locales or communities, whom he involves in performing a certain task. The result can be installations, photos or drawings via which the actions thus carried out find their entry into the realm of art.

The artist’s anti-approaches or reversals of a given reality, especially regarding the issue of production, are often associated with the works of Július Koller, whom he helped to be rediscovered by an international art audience through curated shows and several collaborations. Koller’s role as precursor to Slovak contemporary art, along with his rejection of a dominant reality via the formulation of anti-art statements and performances is reflected in Ondak’s take on everyday situations, which seem like everyday events yet are given a certain twist, such as when a crowd of people was invited to stand in line in front of the Kölnischer Kunstverein in 2005 in order to suggest to the public that a big event was imminent. Ondak’s work very often focuses on the observation of sometimes unnoticeable details, which are heightened by a process in which the artist explores and transforms usual routines, causing them to suddenly attract attention.

Occasionally, Ondak will also transform architectural environments through a reversal of scales or of interior and exterior scenes. The latter was demonstrated in 2006 in a show at Tate Modern, where he built a miniature model of the Turbine Hall to be installed as a room-filling installation in the Level 2 Gallery. Another example was his contribution to the 2009 Venice Bienniale, in which he extended the garden atmosphere of the Giardini into the Czech-Slovak Pavilion with soil and plants so that one could walk through as if there were no building or roof.

Dealing with specific social and spatial entities has become one of the artist’s trademarks in his quest to focus the viewer’s gaze on those sometimes mundane moments that take on of significant importance through Ondak’s artistic alterations and interventions.



1966, Žilina / SK, at that time ČSSR

Ondak studied at the Academy of Art in Bratislava (Slovak Republic) from 1988 to 1994, and at the Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania (USA) in 1993. In 1996 he took part in the first Manifesta in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and in 2003 his work was presented at the 50th Venice Biennial (Italy). In 2007 Ondak was a stipendiary of the Artist-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD.


Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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