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  • Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation. http://www.theshowroom.org/ http://www.whw.hr/

Artists

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Linda Bilda

Linda Bilda is a fine artist, an inventor1, and a political activist. Her programmatic idea “that the world has to be changed”—an idea thoroughly in keeping with the concept of the Situationist International—is a determining factor in her work and in her selection of artistic tools and strategies. Bilda works with the connections and interplay between image and text. She has been a co-publisher of fanzines that took on the institutional art world, its discourses, and its protagonists with critical distance and wit, including ArtFan2 and Die weiße Blatt, Zeitschrift für Kunst und Politik3, in which the “Manifest für emanzipatorische Bildproduktion” [Manifesto for the Production of Emancipatory Images] was published in 2007. Linda Bilda’s primary medium, however, is comics, which she says is so important for her as a pop culture genre “because it is capable of producing information that is both linguistically concrete and visually multilayered.” To her, the advantage of the comics genre is that it is capable of “giving rise to an autonomy of sorts” and conveying content independent of both prior knowledge and the gallery space along with its contextual preconditions.

The stories that Linda Bilda tells in her comics serve to defamiliarize or polemically paraphrase everyday goings-on in society, politics, and the business world, as well as their respective myths as conveyed by the media. Her collected volume Keep it Real5 contains comics drawn between 1992 and 2009 as well as programmatic texts such as on the “sabotage of immaterial work.6 Her pictorial stories take on topics such as gender issues in the art business, the fictitious interlinking of Austrian right-wing populism with crime, or the imagined crash of an airplane occupied by the heads of the American, Russian, and German governments. In Die goldene Welt [The Golden World], Bilda develops her theme around the question of to what extent the economy constitutes our world’s reality. At stake in this “golden world” are a million dollars, which the wealthy Rick Subisha leaves to his friends upon his death with one caveat: the money will ultimately go to the one among them who manages to make the most profit from it within one year. To this end, Bilda creates seven prototypical characters who pursue this goal according to the criteria of neoliberal competition.

S.E.

 

Notes:

1 Linda Bilda has developed two patents having to do with architectural glass.

2 ArtFan: see work list.

3 Die weiße Blatt, Zeitschrift für Kunst und Politik (1999–2007) was published in Vienna. Linda Bilda’s co-publishers were Ulrike Müller, Christine Haider, Nora Hermann, and others.

4 A quotation from this manifesto (2007): “We would like to stimulate an emancipatory process with regard to the production of images that goes beyond mere analysis. We speak here of image production not in the sense of art but in the sense of a concrete, controversial, progressive and emancipatory image politics that intervenes against a dominance of pictorial wares sponsored with large amounts of money.” Reprinted in: Linda Bilda, Keep it Real, p. 142–144; see note 4.

5 Linda Bilda, Keep it Real. Eine Koolektion von Comics und Texten, ed. Salzburger Kunstverein (2009); this publication appeared in conjunction with the 2009 Salzburger Kunstverein exhibition Linda Bilda, Zukunft und Ende der goldenen Welt.

6 Ibid., p. 166–170.

7 Ibid., p. 146–165.

Born in Vienna, Austria, 1963.

Bilda studied Scenography and Filmmaking in the master class of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Austria), where she graduated from with honors in 1989. Between 1991 and 1995 she was publishing Fanzine “ArtFan” with Ariane Müller. Since 1999 Bilda is co-publisher of the magazine "Die weiße Blatt. Zeitschrift für Kunst und Politik". She is working internationally as a visual artist. In 2002 she applied for a patent in field of Architecture. 2007 Bilda was admitted as a member of the Vienna Secession (the Union of Austrian Artists). She is also an active member of the Austrian Association of Women Artists. Bilda has received the “outstanding artist award” for visual arts from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture in Vienna in 2011.

Lives and works in Vienna, Austria.


Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2013 “Arbeite Nie", public art project, Museum Marrienthal, Gramatneusiedl, Austria

2009 “The Future and End of the Golden World“, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria

2001 “Linda Bilda for Ernst Schmidt jr.“, Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria


Group Exhibitions (selected):

2014 “Sigmund Freud and the Play on the Burden of Representation”, 21er Haus, Vienna, Austria

2012 “It’s the Political Economy, Stupid”, Austrian Cultural Forum New York, New York City, USA

2012 “Ulrike Müller. Herstory Inventory: 100 Feminist Drawings by 100 Artists“, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria

2011 “Relationship Work: Art and Institution“, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, Austria

2010 “NEXTCOMIC Festival“, Oberösterreichischer Kunstverein, Linz, Austria

2009 “Anzengruber Biennale“, Café Anzengruber, Vienna, Austria

2008 “Art + Politics“, MUSA Museum, Vienna, Austria

2007 “City of Women“, FOTOHOF, Salzburg, Austria

2006 “Ex Argentina”, Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2005 “29th Austrian Graphic Art Competition. R4 Media / Urbanism/ Music“, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria

2004 “Steps for Fleeing from Work to Action“, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

2003 “re: LEVIATHAN – Visual formations of social power“, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany

2002 “Violence is at the Margin of All Things“, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria

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

Books/Exhibition Catalogues

 

Bilda, Linda, artist. 2009. Keep it real: eine Koolektion von Comics und politischen Texten. Salzburg: Salzburger Kunstverein [Exhib. Cat., Salzburger Kunstverein (Feb. 12-Apr. 12, 2009)]

 

Bilda, Linda, ed. 2001. Ernst Schmidt jr., Drehen Sie Filme, aber keine Filme!: Filme und Filmtheorie 1964 bis 1987. Vienna: Triton-Verlag [Exhib. Cat., Secession (Sep. 14-Nov. 11, 2001)]

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