• 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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Kateřina Šedá

The principle according to which Kateřina Šedá works consists in selecting a particular field of society and a particular issue in order to initiate a playful situation, her intent being to catalyze communication via an artistic process together with small or large groups of individuals, thereby questioning and possibly altering certain patterns of behavior. The smallest social units with which she has worked have been family members, like her grandmother or her parents; larger ones have included groups like the inhabitants of a village or of a housing development. For her project Je to jedno (It Doesn’t Matter [2005–2007]), the artist persuaded her grandmother Jana Šedá—who, after a lifetime of hard work, had grown completely inactive and would respond to every request or question with a simple “It doesn’t matter”—to mobilize her memories of working for a large metal goods dealer in Brno, listing the objects she had dealt with there. The result was a pictorial shop inventory of sorts that consisted of hundreds of pages of drawing paper upon which Jana Šedá, in her very own unpracticed yet precisely characterizing strokes, had drawn countless tools and kitchen utensils—an artistic legacy of a grandmother to her granddaughter, the artist.

Šedá’s idea is based on the structural research that she conducts in order to establish her objective for each project, in the interest of subsequently having the individuals she is working with enter into a playful process of realization—with the intended effect of ultimately rendering the artist unnecessary. It is with the greatest possible commitment that Šedá sets the stage for and initially guides her participants’ activities, but she subsequently withdraws and lets things take their course. The concept according to which she accomplishes all this rests upon methods that are defined with great clarity, and it also involves exacting organization and (in most cases) highly elaborate, quasi-bureaucratic forms of implementation. For the exhibition space, these methodical steps and the processes and results that they produce are then partially abstracted and made both visible and comprehensible using diagrams, photos, texts and diverse forms of symbolization, objects, drawings, and even videos and publications; these “postproductions” also see the involvement of Šedá’s protagonists to a certain extent. The gallery space then provides the final place of communication planned by the artist as part of her participatory project. For Da ist Nichts (There is Nothing There [2003])—the title refers to villagers’ resigned characterization of their uneventful village—the artist had the villagers in question do all their daily errands like shopping, lawn mowing, cycling, etc. at the same time. This playful and utterly novel strategy led to entirely different forms of exchange, encounter and diversion. Šedá: “When everybody emerged from their houses in the morning, it was as if something indescribable had opened up. All at once, ‘everything’ was visible—and strangely enough, I wasn’t the only one to perceive it. That evening at the beer meeting, people began to share their impressions and experiences with me.”1






1 Kateřina Šedá, Nic Tam Není, There is Nothing There, catalog, Brno-Líšeň, 2005.



1977, Brno / CZ, at that time ČSSR

Šedá studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Czech Republic) from 1999 to 2005. She has received several grants and awards, including the “Jindřich Chalupecký Award” (2005), the “Essl Award” (2005) and the “Contemporary Art Society Award” of Great Britain (2010).

Lives and works in Prague and Brno, Czech Republic.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2012     “Talk to the sky ‘Cause the Ground ain’t listening’“, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland

2011     “Kateřina Šedá / Die Suppe ist gegessen”, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany 

2010     “MAM Project 13: Kateřina Šedá”, Mori Museum, Tokyo, Japan

2009     “Der Geist von Uhyst”, Über Tage, Uhyst, Germany

2008     “Kateřina Šedá: It doesn't matter”, Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA

2007     “Kateřina Šedá: For every Dog a different Master”, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria

2006     “Arrivals: Czech Republic - Kateřina Šedá”, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2012     “Spotlights – Video“, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria

2011     “Sounds. Radio – Kunst – Neue Musik“, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

2010     “Les Promesses du passé”, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2009     “The Generational: Younger Than Jesus” New Museum, New York City, USA

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

2007     documenta 12, Kassel, Germany

2006     “Grey Zones“, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany

2005     Prague Biennale 2, Prague, Czech Republic

2003     “Dům umění (House of Art)”, Brno House of Art, Brno, Czech Republic

2002     “Ticho prosím, maluji! (Quiet, Please! I’m Painting)”, Galerie u Prstenu, Prague, Czech Republic

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

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Böttcher, Stefanie, Šedá, Kateřina, eds. 2011. I am trying to steal it back. Text by Aleš Palán. Berlin: Revolver [Exhib. Cat., Künstlerhaus Bremen (Mar. 12-May 8, 2011)]


Peško, Radim, ed. 2010. Over and over. Kateřina Šedá. Zurich: JRP Ringier Kunstverlag.


Peško, Radim, ed. 2008. For every dog a different master. Zurich: JRP Ringier.


Havránek, Vít, ed. 2007. Kateřina Šedá: 1977. Kateřina Šedá. Zurich: JRP Ringier.


Kateřina Šedá. 2007.


Kateřina Šedá: Na co to je? = What's that for? 2007. Zurich: Tranzit.

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