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  • 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 http://lentos.at/html/en/4747.aspx

Artists

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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

 

S.E.

 

Notes:

 

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

 

 

1977, Brno / CZ, at that time ČSSR

Kateřina 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).

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