• 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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Geta Brătescu

Geta Brătescu began her work as an artist, which continues to this day, in the heterogeneous and provocative intellectual milieu of 1940s and 1950s Romania. She experienced the political upheavals in her home country brought about by socialism and its eventual collapse in late 1989.

Beginning in the 1970s, she developed a cross-media concept for space-referential, performative works in which she examines the relationship between the body and the surrounding space. Brătescu turned to film and photography, taking advantage of the possibilities they offered. This implied an expansion of her process into the realm of the spatial—usually embodied by her studio. She thus transformed her accustomed media of painting and/or drawing into performative scenarios, overcoming the material and aesthetic boundaries to which such media are usually subject. Within the logic of her experimental modus operandi, Brătescu deals in a highly reflective and self-referential manner with both the body and the self-portrait; she examines the conventions of portraying the body, as well as the conceptual possibilities of photography, film, and ultimately the “institutional” context of the artist, who—in her situation in a socialist country—was restricted primarily to her studio and other non-public spaces. Brătescu is concerned with ambivalence, with an obvious, inherent contradiction that remains unresolved. In order to generate this status of ambivalence, she generates opposite figures—such as “black” to oppose “white,” or “real” and “materiality” to oppose “abstract.” She sets a chronological process in motion that runs both forwards and backwards, deliberately leaving open the issues of subject and object, of real and abstract space.



1926, Ploiești / RO

Brătescu studied with George Călinescu and Tudor Vianu at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Bucharest (Romania) from 1945 to 1949. From 1969 to 1971 she studied at the Institute of Arts “Nicolae Grigorescu” in Bucharest. In 1945 Brătescu enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts under the guidance of Master Camil Ressu, but was forced to discontinue due to the communist censorship. In 2008 she received the title “Doctor Honoris Causa” of the National University of Arts in Bucharest, given for outstanding contribution to the development of contemporary Romanian Art. Furthermore Brătescu is artistic director of the literature and art magazine “20/21 Century”. She has received several national and international awards.

Lives and works in Bucharest, Romania.

Solo Exhibitions (selection):

2017 “Geta Brătescu, Apparitions", Biennale di Venezia, Romanian Pavillion, Venice, Italy

2011 “Museum of Desire“, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Wien Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria

2010 “Alteritate“, Mezzanin Gallery, Vienna, Austria

2009 “Spaces - 1971-2005“, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2008 “Geta Brătescu “, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria

2007 “Resources“, MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2003 CIAC International Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

Group Exhibitions (selection):

2017 documenta 14, Athens, Greece / Kassel, Germany

2012 “Geta Brătescu, Intense Proximity“, La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2011 “Ostalgia“, New Museum, New York City, USA

2010 “Image at Work“, Index - Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden

2009 “Gender Check. Femininity and Masculinity in Eastern European Art“, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria

2008 "Social Cooking Romania“, NGBK Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin, Germany

2007 “Resources“, MNAC National Museum for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2006 “Arteast Collection 2000+23“, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2004 “formate/moving patterns. Bukarest ca.2004“, Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna, Austria

2003 “Ego“, International Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2002 “In Search of Balkania“, Neue Galerie Graz, Graz, Austria

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

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Radu, Magda, Ursan, Diana, eds., Babias, Marius, ed. assoc. 2017. Geta Brătescu : Apparitions. London: Koenig Books in cooperation with Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) [Exhib. Cat., Biennale di Venezia (May 10 – Nov. 26, 2017)]


Gaßner, Hubertus, Köhle, Brigitte. Geta Brătescu. Retrospective 2016. Hamburg: Snoeck. [Exhib. Cat., Hamburger Kunsthalle (April 30 - Aug. 7, 2016)]


Şerban, Alina. ed. 2013. Geta Brătescu. Atelierul / The Studio. Berlin: Sternberg Press.


Gantenbein, Gabriela, ed. 2011. Geta Brătescu. Vienna: Passagen Kunst.


Balaci, Ruxandra, ed. 1999. Geta Brătescu. Texts by Nicolae Argintescu Amza et al. Bucharest: International Center for Contemporary Arts.



Other Media


Radu, Magda. 2012. Geta Brătescu. Interview by Magda Radu. Project coordinated by Aurora Király. Bucharest: Witnesses XXI – Revisiting the Past), 1 DVD (40 min.)

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