• 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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Pravdoliub Ivanov

The works of Pravdoliub Ivanov revolve around phenomena of spatiality in which norms are disrupted and trompe l’œil effects are inserted into an everyday visual vocabulary. By intermingling public and private moments, the artist transfers private matters into the realm of the gallery or art space, tying in specific architectural tropes as he does so. Ivanov plays with irritating elements: he uses ironic gestures taken from mundane and incidental everyday situations to evoke a heightened awareness for routine encounters that might otherwise often go unnoticed. The juxtaposition of unusual objects and materials forms the basis for Ivanov’s installations, which generally tend to produce uncanny moments for their viewers. In keeping with the Freudian concept of the uncanny, these are phenomena that seem familiar and foreign at the same time. Whoever experiences such situations feels uncomfortable and has to ask him or herself just where these strange feelings are coming from. Freud viewed such impulses as repressed feelings deriving from the id and forced upon us by the superego as a manifestation of the symbolic fear of castration or punishment as a consequence of neglecting traditional social norms. The paradoxical nature of being both attracted to and alienated from Ivanov’s art objects and installations gives rise to a state of cognitive dissonance; this makes it difficult to perceive his works of art as rational manifestations within space. His uncanny constructions of reality arouse the viewer’s desire for a detailed perception of our various everyday environments, which are usually given short shrift as we pass by all too quickly. Ivanov presses the “Pause” button on various everyday phenomena and creates ironic links of belonging, for instance patching up cheese holes with band aids or cutting a carpet in a shape such as results from a stone hitting a window pane. Such prank-like interventions in both public and private spaces characterize Ivanov’s artistic working method, which he has been applying in many different contexts for nearly two decades. 



1964, Plovdiv / BG

Ivanov graduated from the National Academy for Fine Arts in Sofia (Bulgaria) in 1993, where he is also assistant professor since 1996. His numerous residencies include “ArtsLink, Fellowship, Longwood Arts Project” (New York City, USA, 1998), “Cité Internationale des Arts” (Paris, France, 2000), and “Artist to Artist” (Newcastle, England, Visiting Arts, Henry Moore Foundation, 2007).

Lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2011 “Półprawda / Half-Truth”, Le Guern Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

2010 “Works, Non-Works and Illusions”, Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2008 “Thoughts Within Thoughts” (dual show with Alec Finlay), ARC Projects, Sofia, Bulgaria

2007 “Double Trouble” (dual show with Valio Chenkov), Steinle Gallery, Munich, Germany

2003 “Existing Objects”, ATA Center / Institute of Contemporary Art-Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria      

2002 “Pessimism No More”, Musée des Beaux Arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2012 “Why Duchamp? From object to museum and back (125 years)”, Sofia Arsenal Museum for Contemporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria

2011 “Monumental Privacy”, Royal Gallery, Munich, Germany

2010 “Suspended Spaces – depuis Famagusta”, La Maison de la Culture d’Amiens, Amiens, France

2009 “Techniques”, ICA Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2008 “No Place – like Home. Perspectives on Migration in Europe”, ARGOS Centre for art and media, Brussels, Belgium

2007 “A Place You Have Never Been Before”, Bulgarian Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy

2006 “Neither a White Cube, nor a Black Box. History in Present Tense”, Sofia Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2005 “Sous les ponts, le long de la rivière-2”, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg

2004 “Flipside”, Artists Space Gallery, New York City, USA

2003 "Blut & Honig, Zukunft ist am Balkan“, Essl Museum, Vienna, Austria

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

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


BULGARIA: a Place you Have Never Been Before. 2007. Curated by Vessela Nozharova. Sofia: St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation [Exhib. Cat., Bulgarian participation at the 52nd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia (Jun. 10-Nov. 21, 2007)]
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