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Events 2009

Exhibition in the Great Hall

Performing the East

Opening: April 22, 2009, 7 p.m.
with Performance by Tanja Ostojić

During the exhibition weekly performances and lectures took place

Many performative works of the 1970s from the CEE states were borne by political protest in which gender relations, the artist’s position within communist society, and the critique of the prevailing circumstances arose. In 2009, 20 years after the collapse of the former East Bloc, the performative, artistic scene was evaluated in the exhibition “Performing the East .”

The exhibition worked with a comparison of historical and contemporary projects from the former East Bloc states, the main focus being placed on current work from young artists. The question of a pay out on the promises and hopes of a freer society were particularly addressed in the works.

The specific formulations and possibilities of presentation of artistic projects were very diverse within the former Eastern countries, depending on the respective political situation and cultural politics of the individual states. The art from the former East Bloc states was illuminated individually in the exhibition. Through the establishment of “turbo capitalism” a new, difficult starting point arose for a young generation of artists, presenting a challenge for the art scenes of these countries.

The double entendre of the term “performance” in an artistic and economic sense represented another topic of the exhibition. How do artists work under the new neoliberal economic conditions? What are the central questions in their work today and to what degree do their artistic works refer to projects from the 70s generation.

Thus the term “reperformance ” plays a significant role in many younger artists’ works. A characteristic of the former Eastern Bloc performance scene is the continuity in the pursuit of this art form. Regular festivals like in Timisoara (Zone Performance Festival) and Warsaw (European Performance Art Festival) have contributed to a solid presence in this area, which is not detectable in Western art.

A timeline showed the most important political events, which led to the collapse of the former East Bloc.

Marina Abramović (RS), Paweł Althamer (PL), Maja Bajević (BA), Matei Bejenaru (RO),
Cesary Bodzianowski (PL), Tomislav Gotovac (HR), Ion Grigorescu (RO), Tibor Hajas (HU),
Ana Hoffner (RS), Sanja Iveković (HR),
Barbora Klimova (CZ), Július Koller (SK),
Jiří Kovanda (CZ), Katarzyne Kozyra (PL),
Ivan Moudov (BG), Roman Ondák (SK),
Tanja Ostojić (RS), Ewa Partum (PL),
Lia und Dan Perjovschi (RO), Gordan Savicic (BA), Nino Sekhniashvili (GE), Petr Štembera (CZ), Mladen Stilinović (HR) Avdei Ter-Oganian (RU), Raša Todosijević (RS)

Curator: Hemma Schmutz
Project assistant: Susanne Staelin Architecture: Margit Ann Berger, Eva Musil

Petr Štembera, Joining, 1975, b/w-photo

Petr Štembera, Joining, 1975, b/w-photo
Photo: © Salzburger Kunstverein

Petr Štembera, Joining, 1975, b/w-photo