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  • 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 http://lentos.at/html/en/4747.aspx

Artists

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Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos

Dimitrije Bašičević was an art historian, critic and curator at various Zagreb galleries. At the same time, though less famously, he was also an artist who worked under the pseudonym Mangelos (after a village near his birthplace of Šid). His oeuvre, according to later periodizations by Mangelos, starts in the postwar period with a number of work groups: “Paysages de la mort”, “Paysages de la guerre”, “Paysages”, and “Tabula Rasa” (black and white monochrome surfaces with text written underneath), which he used to express a state of oblivion and the setting for a new beginning. Taking up positions embodied by the “anti-art” of the Gorgona Group, Mangelos denied painting in the series “Pythagoras”, “Anti-peinture” and “Abecede”—accentuating the rational as the compositional factor in art. He later wrote ideas, poetry (No-stories) and manifestos in black, red and white color, in calligraphy between drawn lines, in a hybrid form of writing and painting in notebooks, on wooden boards and on globes. During the ’seventies, Dimitrije Bašičević the curator followed conceptual and media art, especially photography, but Mangelos the artist was inclined more toward defining terms and conceptualizing ideas. Simultaneously supported by a younger generation of artists, he tended to show his work in alternative, artist-run exhibition spaces. Just as before, Mangelos was in dialog—or rather in dispute—with everything he was studying, and his spectrum was broad, running from philosophy and art to psychoanalysis, to biology… Texts represented a specific form in which to express highly subjective stances dominated by the theory of the “machine civilization” and “functional thought,” with which he affirmed his ideas about society’s development and art’s non-development, i.e. about the crisis and death of art, explaining this in light of the rift between two civilizations: the “handmade” and the “machine,” the former being based on “old, naïve and metaphoric” and the latter on “functional” thought. Humor and irony were always present—in exhibiting ideas, in the discrepancy between a pretentious message and a banal sentence, in scorning authority, and in mixing various foreign languages (particularly German, French and English). Aware that such writing did not reflect the precision of the functional thought they were advocating, his manifestos became increasingly succinct (especially those written on globes). He wished to reduce information to the shortest possible form, to a clear and precise thought—a “super-Wittgenstein” thought, as he himself put it.

Chronologically, Mangelos’s work coincided with the feeling of the absurd in existentialist nihilism, the independent intellectual spirit of Gorgona, the overstepping of medium-entailed framework as practiced by Fluxus, and conceptualism in the use of language and philosophic deliberation. But taken as a whole, his oeuvre was quite authentic and created a specific realm of freedom that Mangelos conquered for himself and called NO-ART.

B.S.

 

1921, Šid / RS, at that time Jugoslavija – 1987, Zagreb / HR, at that time Jugoslavija

Mangelos studied Art History and Philosophy in Vienna (Austria) and Zagreb (Croatia), where he graduated in 1949. Between 1959 and 1966 he was active in Gorgona, an informal artistic group named after one of his poems. Other members of the group were artists Marijan Jevšovar, Julije Knifer, Duro Seder, Ivan Kožarić and Josip Vaništa, the architect Miljenko Horvat and the art historians Matko Meštrović and Radosav Putar. Mangelos himself worked as artist, art historian, art critic, poet, and curator. His oeuvre is an extraordinary combination of writing and painting.

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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