In the Face of Politics
Austrian Culture Forum in Warsaw
23 June – 11 August 2017
Passages of Neo-Avant-Garde
Platan Gallery, Polish Institute in Budapest
29 June – 24 August 2017
Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko
Balassi Institute. Hungarian Cultural Centre in Warsaw
Curator: Eulalia Domanowska
Artists: Czekalska+Golec, Emilio López-Menchero (Belgium), Jarosław Kozłowski, Andrzej Paruzel , Józef Robakowski, Peter Ronai (Hungary), Katharina Roters | Szolnoki József (Austria / Hungary), Josef Strau (Austria)
The international exhibition of artists coming from Austria, Belgium, Poland, Hungary and Germany presents their attitude as well their commentary on various political, social and economic phenomena which have been and still are relevant in contemporary Europe. The demons of communist totalitarianism, the possibility of manipulating the media, the difficult theme of refugees and terrorism, as well as overproduction and posthumanism are the topics taken up by the participants of the show. The majority of artists are the classics of neo-avant-garde who established a dialogue with the achievements of Dadaists and the post-war Fluxus.
The organized exhibition is part of the celebrations of the centenary of avant-garde in Poland and presents the continuations of modernist trends and ideas which were conceived at the beginning of the 20th century. It highlights the huge role the movement played in the development of visual arts, design and film, and how vivid is the impression it is still leaving on contemporary artists. The exhibition presents European artists developing the avant-garde principles in the post-war period.
Avant-garde was an all-European phenomenon and it had a critical impact on the development of modern aesthetic thought and artistic practices all over the world. Artists connected with it presented a new outlook on the form and function of art and its distinguishing features – openness to experiments, relentless pursuit of new forms - directly influenced the culture-generating activity of successive generations. The ideas of avant-garde have formed our environment starting from urban design and architecture through industrial design to fashion or advertising.
The present exhibition is a continuation of the project On the Avant-garde of the 20th Century shown at Atlas Sztuki gallery in Łódź in 2016, created by Andrzej Paruzel – author of video installations, films and experimental photography, graduate of the State School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź; member of the Film Form Workshop and co-founder of Zespół T – artistic groups established at the Film School in Łódź in the 70s and animateur of art, who has implemented many projects in public space.
At the In the Face of Politics exhibition Józef Robakowski is going to show his video film Brezhnev’s Funeral from 1982, which the artist counts among the series of ‘re-reports from TV set’. He juxtaposed here the footage from the soviet army parade with the music of the group Laibach, exposing the ideological determinants of television announcements from the days of communism. This classical work is contrasted with Dadaist gestures of the Hungarian media artist Peter Ronai, creator of the collage Moscow DaDa, Jarosław Kozłowski’s installation Recycled News 2 – a series of colourfully painted pages from various newspapers from the various sides of the world, post-humanistic projects by Tatiana Czekalska and Leszek Golec who pay special attention to the world of animals and nature, Josef Strau’s designer installations, in which he critically speaks about contemporary overproduction, and Emilio López-Menchero’s video-film Check Point Charlie, discussing the incidents and situation in the Brussels district of Mölenbeck, which is the place of residence of the artist and the terrorists who launched attacks last year in Brussels.
The exhibition held on the occasion of the centenary of avant-garde proves that while certain formal resolutions introduced by avant-garde have purely historical value today, the ethos of experimenting and engagement which strongly determined avant-garde, still seems to be attractive for contemporary artists.