Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue
New York, NY
LMAKprojects is pleased to present Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue curated by Tevž Logar and presenting the works of Vuk Ćosić & Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Braco Dimitrijević, IRWIN, Agnieszka Polska. This exhibit takes a look at the history of Eastern Europe: its translations, its truths and its re-interpretation. Every individual inevitably leaves traces in space and time. Sometimes the traces are innocent, and dissipate with time – usually the victorious determines what remains.
More then twenty years ago, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the discourse on the ambivalence of 'official' history has begun to intensify, revising and juxtaposing events taking place on both the East and West sides of the wall. The premise, however, always seems the same as the East is relayed as the one trying to catch up to its sibling, the West - desperately trying to present itself as an equal partner and counterpart, but remains nearly always dismissed as a shear valiant effort, even in the face of a sweeping globalization and elimination of borders. Though borders may be erased from maps, the Berlin walls still reign in our minds.
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue presents an alternative approach to historical narrative. In History Homme, Vuk Ćosić and Matej Andraž Vogrinčič focus on the relationship between 'official’ history and seemingly subordinate fashionable reality. In a way, this is a fashionably analytical overview of selected key moments of the 20th century presented through the four seasons, in doing so, a circular dialogue occurs between the artificial spiral movement of historical narration and the natural integral cycle of a year of time.
Polish artist Agnieszka Polska is the youngest of the group and approaches history completely differently, addressing art as an archive, particularly the part that is seemingly forgotten and overlooked. In the video Sensitization to Colour she apprehends black and white photographs to reconstruct a monochromatic version of the setting in which the Polish avant-garde artist Włodzimierz Borowski carried out the performance Sensitization to colour in 1968. The hypothetical reconstruction of the process allows the viewer to re-interpret a past event and therefore history.
Reconstruction is also the starting point of the project East Art Map. It is a systematic drawing by the IRWIN collective and it is the first attempt to comprehensively reconstruct the missing history of the contemporary art of Eastern Europe after 1945. Perhaps it is the most exhaustive project of artistic documentation of the East by the East, bringing together a number of artist, experts, curators and critics. The IRWIN collective seeks to highlight the fact that 'official' Western history constantly records the flow of artists, the art market and institutions, creating a homogeneous story. No such thing can be said about the standardization of art currents in the East, where there is a multitude of partial, loosely connected, 'informal' art systems. Consequently, East Art Map is also a symbolic place through the context of which the common idea of Eastern Modernism is conceived.
The work of Braco Dimitrijević entitled Story About Two Artists, is a symbolic story that speaks of the possibility of an artist meeting a king completely by accident and because of this coincidence the artist is still known today – Leonardo da Vinci. The name of the other artist mentioned in the title has disappeared from our cultural memory. Thereby the complex conceptual intervention of Dimitrijević lucidly expresses the indifferent cruelty of the construction of history, evidently pointing to the ambivalence of the situation.
It may seem that the exhibition flirts with the post-modern rejection of one 'official' history, but rather it reviews and reviews the reality of the past – questioning but also offering an alternate perception. The exhibit gives a voice to the excluded and the deliberate elimination of events and individuals drawing attention to the problematic and anachronistic method of documenting history and offering a more organic manner for documentation.
Tevž Logar is artistic director of Škuc gallery, Slovenia. Over thirty years, Škuc Gallery has developed into an international artistic venue for exhibitions, various art events, publishing and documentation. It remains on the forefront of contemporary art coming forth from Slovenia as well as respecting and honoring their roots of 70’s intellect. Logar’s most recent projects involved a retrospective and publication Become of Ulay, In 2009 Logar was named deputy commissioner of Slovenian Pavilion at 53rd Venice Biennial. From 2004 to 2007 he worked as an assistant of curatorial program World of art at SCCA – Ljubljana. As a curator he works with galleries and other art institutions around the world (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana; Center and Gallery P74, Ljubljana; Likovni Salon, Celje; PM Gallery, Zagreb; NAAC, Yerevan; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Ghetto Gallery, Split;). In 20009 he started lecturing History of Art in 20th Century at Institute A.V.A. – Academy of Visual Arts, Ljubljana. Periodically he publishes texts and lectures on contemporary visual art. Lives and works in Ljubljana.