• 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


Milan Knížák

Milan Knížák’s attitude toward art is of utmost importance, and it can be deduced from the situation of the 50s and 60s, mainly from his Fluxus attack on the Czech milieu, which rid the local scene of the anxious experience of a threatened identity. At the beginning of the 60s, he created an installation on the street from discarded items, and by spontaneously combining them saw a provocative short circuit and not a deep existential experience. The cockiness of his unusual combination of objects, materials, media, approaches and processes brought everything into motion. This strange catalyst of connection was called Fluxus in the West, but Aktual in Czech, which, according to Knížák meant: a different „life of conflict“. In Knížák’s conception there was at the time a large dose of utopia which related to the pursuit of a happy life within a commune and with his messianic attitude. His body of work encompasses all genre and media in combination: painting, design, music, poetry, architecture, as an element of a grand action concept. At the same time, his non-hierarchical community has an important social-critical function. It distances itself from the privileged official rhetoric and does not allow any field to be exempted from the game. Cities under water or on cushions of air, destroyed and scorched clothing, burning furniture and jewelry are meant to answer the new lifestyle. The aesthetic function dominates, having taken over the former role of practical function.



1940, Plzeň / CZ, at that time ČSSR

Knížák began to study at several Universities, including the Pedagogic College, the Academy of Art, the Academy of Fine Arts and the Mathematics Faculty of the Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). The first three institutions threw him out and he left the Mathematics Faculty by choice. Since 1990 Knížák is head professor of the Intermedia Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Between 1990 and 1997 he was Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In 1998 Knížák finished his PhD studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Since 1999 he is the General Director of the National Gallery in Prague.

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
Media File
Browse All
  • Foto: Badischer_Kunstverein_2008 (Ausschnitt)