• 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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Ernst Caramelle

Ernst Caramelle is a conceptual artist who integrates various perspectives on the theoretical, visual, linguistic and technical-material levels in order to construct new dynamic relationships between things, ideas, spaces and images. One of Caramelle’s works, which subtly infiltrates Vienna’s public space, provides programmatic and methodic clues to his artistic thinking: a 19th-century shop entrance bears a sign with the words “Uhren – Adolf Roman” [Clocks – Adolf Roman], done in simple, restrained lettering. Since 1988, this sign has been joined by another, formally identical one directly next to it, virtually a twin, on which is written: “Ideen – Ernst Caramelle” [Ideas – Ernst Caramelle]. Caramelle’s work with art, about art, and as art is based on precise ideas and concepts for which formalization he has developed an open system that enables him to examine various contexts, shifting them, often ironically questioning them, and ultimately creating new relational networks. For him, the object is to work productively with questions, not for the purpose of producing seemingly right answers, but rather in order to keep the field of art open as a cognitive process in which the position of the artist, like that of the observer, is just as often at stake as is the idea of the artwork and of art itself.

For Caramelle, since his early beginnings, this has included the integration of photography and video into performative acts and situative settings for the purpose of methodically examining the ideas of reality, time and space, while simultaneously reflecting on the ways in which these media themselves function. In doing so, he positions a video monitor in front of an object, such as a person, a tree or a radiator, so that the monitor covers a certain area of the object. The monitor’s screen, however, produces an image of precisely this covered area, allowing the pictured object to appear complete after all. Video technology is thus employed not in order to reproduce an action or a movement, but rather to simulate a still image and thus shift and interweave various visual elements; it is a medium-specific investigation, which Caramelle characterizes as “completions and disassociations of interrupted reality.”

Further media central to Caramelle’s conceptual thought and work are his drawings, sketches, written pages and printed works. He published around a hundred of his drawings done between 1972 and 1979 under the title "Blätter" [Pages]; in these, he condensed his conceptual ideas into the smallest-possible format with intellectual clarity and poetic wit.


1952, Hall in Tirol / AT

Caramelle studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Austria), from 1970 to 1976. He lectured at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) from 1981 to 1983 and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1986 to 1990. Since 1994 Caramelle is professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe (Germany).

Lives and works in Karlsruhe and Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and New York City, USA.

Solo Exhibitions (selection):

2012 “Ernst Caramelle“, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, USA (travelling exhibition)

2011 “Ernst Caramelle - This time, completely abstract“, Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria

2010 “COMMA 26 - Ernst Caramelle“, Bloomberg Space, London, UK

2009 “Ernst Caramelle“, Nelson-Freeman Gallery, Paris, France

2008 “Double Vision“, Tracy Williams, Ltd, New York City, USA

2006 "Ernst Caramelle“, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany

2005 “All of the printed work 1974-2006“, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal

2002 “Ernst Caramelle“, Barbara Wien Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Group Exhibitions (selection):

2012 “Performing Abstraction“, Luciana Brito Galeria, Sao Paolo, Brazil

2012 “Just Photography“, Martos Gallery, New York City, USA

2010 “Nothing is Forever“, SLG South London Gallery, London, UK

2009 “GAGARIN The Artists in their Own Words“, S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium

2008 “Noleftovers“, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Germany

2007 “For a Special Place: Documents and Works from the Generali Foundation Collection”, Austrian Cultural Forum New York, New York City, USA

2006 “The 1980s - A Topology“, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal

2005 “Traces everywhere“, Tracy Williams, Ltd, New York City, USA

2004 “Le Tableau Contemporain“, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France

2003 “Image to print“, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

2002 “Variable Pieces. Structures. References. Algorithms“, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria

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

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Weiermair, Peter, ed. 1981. Blätter: 1973 – 1978. Texts by Jean Christophe Ammann et al. Frankfurt: Frankfurter Kunstverein.

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  • Photo: Adam Sakovy