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Coproduction Kü\;nstlerhaus\, Halle fü\;r Kunst & \; Medien und steirischer herbst

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The exhibition &hellip\; W as ist Kunst? &hellip\; Resuming Fragmented Histories pursues the question that artist Ra&scaron\;a Todosijevic &ndash\; and Serbian represen tative at the 2011 Venice Biennale &ndash\; relentlessly posed in his serie s of performances from the late 1970s: &ldquo\;What is art?&rdquo\; After a lmost forty years of repetition to the point of exhaustion\, the eternal qu estion remains unanswered\, even while it has consistently made the case fo r artists taking an active role in art discourse. This exhibition\, set
against the backdrop of Central Europe&rsquo\;s severely altered territor ial and cultural relations\, poses it with a new urgency. Artistic practice in the countries of the former socialist Yugoslavia\, the challenges of cu rrent artistic practice in post-communist states\, and the neocolonialist r eality of Eastern Europe will be shown within the art historical context of outstanding earlier contributions from southeastern Europe&mdash\;for exam ple the avant-garde Slovenian OHO Group (1966&ndash\;71) and the approaches put forward by the artists collective IRWIN\, whose analyses of transnatio nal\, collective
networks of life and art in the absence of any physic al territory were trailblazing. The exhibition&rsquo\;s focus is on how a y ounger generation of artists is closely examining geopolitical determinants and locally connoted production through gender and political differences. Not only does the show inquire into the understanding at the heart of these new examinations. It also questions &ndash\; and makes a plea on behalf of &ndash\; the social role of the art institution.

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The &ldquo\;fragm entary histories&rdquo\; described in the subtitle provide ample opportunit y for the exhibition to enter into dialogue with the multi-disciplinary fes tival steirischer herbst\, whose leitmotif this year is &ldquo\;Liasons Dan gereuses.&rdquo\; Historical precursors and positions from more recent art history will be re-examined in light of their erstwhile confrontational eff ect. A piece by the Vienna-based artist Luiza Margan\, for example\, invite s us to travel back to 1972 Graz\, when protagonists of the Zagreb art grou p TOK staged a happening to protest the increasing commodification of art. In place of political slogans\, their signs were emblazoned with geometrica l shapes.

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The exhibition also includes video artist Renata Poljak&r squo\;s homage to the Yugoslavian actor Slavko &Scaron\;timac. A celebrated child star during the Tito era\, admired as a role model across generation s\, his role(s) diminished after the collapse of Yugoslavia and he was forg otten. When seen singularly\, little stories such as these are almost micro scopic. Viewed collectively\, however\, they allow a social atmosphere to r emain open to explanations and interpretations &ndash\; even after former d ominant ideologies have collapsed. This is particularly apt in light of the fact that\, as Igor Zabel has observed\, &ldquo\;the communist system was never only a matter of general historical events and of global geopolitics. It functioned essentially on the micro level of every-day life and its det ails\, from the choice of objects that surrounded people at home\, at work and in the city to the way the passengers were communicating on a city bus. Politics\, the structure of society and the most banal as well as the most intimate details of daily life were inseparably connected.&rdquo\;1 This i s evident in the work of Bojan Fajfric\, who seeks alternative possibilitie s and outcomes in moments viewed as historical turning points\, even presen ting his father in a less than heroic role in the film Theta Rhythm.

\n< p>Within the context of the exhibition\, Marta Popivodas&rsquo\;s film Yugo slavia: How Ideology Moved our Collective Body &ndash\; by using footage fr om state parades and mass demonstrations to scrutinize the way ideology ope rates within public space &ndash\; cogently illustrates the social change i nvolved in the transition from socialist Yugoslavia to neoliberal Serbia. T he exhibition &ldquo\;&hellip\; Was ist Kunst? &hellip\; Resuming Fragmente d Histories&rdquo\; furthermore attempts to present the reactions of a youn ger generation to the sculpture and architecture of the once intact Yugosla via\, works fraught with mythology. Documentary (Marko Krojac) and performa tive (Marko Lulic) pieces engage in an active dialogue with the oeuvre of p rominent Croatian sculptor Vojin Bakic (1915&ndash\;1992). The exhibition u nderlines the fact that\, even 24 years after the break up of Yugoslavia\, and well beyond the context of art\, Ra&scaron\;a Todosijevic&rsquo\;s ques tion most certainly cannot be answered by falling back on the reductive nar rative of successful eastward expansion.

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1. Igor Zabel\, &ldquo\;In timacy and Society: Post-Communist or Eastern Art?&rdquo\; in Contemporary Art Theory (Zü\;rich and Dijon: JRP|Ringier / Les presses du ré\; el\, 2012)\, p. 107.

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Curated by Sandro Droschl &\; Christian Egg er

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DTEND:20131121 DTSTAMP:20140917T035631 DTSTART:20130921 GEO:47.0716421;15.4447242 LOCATION:Künstlerhaus\, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM–)\,Burgring 2 \nGraz\, 8010 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:... Was ist Kunst? ... Resuming Fragmented Histories\, Mr!an Bajic\ , Vojin Bakic\, Mladen Bizumic\, Adela Jušic / Lana Cmajcanin\, Braco Dimit rijevic\, Aleksandra Domanovic\, Bojan Fajfric\, Tomislav Gotovac\, Ibro Ha sanovic\, Ana Hoffner\, Irwin\, Hristina Ivanoska\, Sanja Ivekovic\, Sejla Kameric\, Marko Krojac\, Laibach\, Marko Lulić\, David Maljkovic\, Luiza Ma rgan\, Dalibor Martinis\, OHO\, Tanja Ostojic\, Marko Pogačnik\, Renata Pol jak\, Marta Popivoda\, Sašo Sedlaček\, Marina Grzinic / Aina Smid\, Rasa To dosijevic\, Goran Trbuljak UID:297244 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130921T180000 DTSTAMP:20140917T035631 DTSTART:20130921T130000 GEO:47.0716421;15.4447242 LOCATION:Künstlerhaus\, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM–)\,Burgring 2 \nGraz\, 8010 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:... Was ist Kunst? ... Resuming Fragmented Histories\, Mr!an Bajic\ , Vojin Bakic\, Mladen Bizumic\, Adela Jušic / Lana Cmajcanin\, Braco Dimit rijevic\, Aleksandra Domanovic\, Bojan Fajfric\, Tomislav Gotovac\, Ibro Ha sanovic\, Ana Hoffner\, Irwin\, Hristina Ivanoska\, Sanja Ivekovic\, Sejla Kameric\, Marko Krojac\, Laibach\, Marko Lulić\, David Maljkovic\, Luiza Ma rgan\, Dalibor Martinis\, OHO\, Tanja Ostojic\, Marko Pogačnik\, Renata Pol jak\, Marta Popivoda\, Sašo Sedlaček\, Marina Grzinic / Aina Smid\, Rasa To dosijevic\, Goran Trbuljak UID:297245 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR