Viafarini is glad to present There must be order - nine artists from Central Europe, a group show curated by Lydia Pribisova featuring nine artists from Central Europe (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria) who are questioning the system and order undoubtedly accepted by most. The residency of Lydia Pribisova is part of the agreement with FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, and is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, General Direction for landscape, fine arts, and contemporary arts and architecture.
The nine artists involved create interventions, performances and actions in which they belittle and deny social rules, conformity and other phenomena characteristic of contemporary society in a subversive way. The situations created, often bizarre and funny involve random passers-by who happen to be in the public spaces where the artists operate. These interventions become the basis of their work defined as something in between performance, public art and videos. Some of their work detects a mixture of a sincere desire to do good and at the same time a need, with a dose of malice, to confront the defects, absurdities and contradictions that are found in everyday life. These artists challenge the social system with subtle violence, impudent but well hidden, observing the results of their actions with a smile. They provoke disputes involving issues such as private or public property, the rules of good manners, the limits of human endurance. Some of the work examines the limits and boundaries of the law, asking what is still legal and what not.
List and order of works:
Matej Gavula Spiral, 2010
The screening starts with Spiral (2010) by Matej Gavula (1972, Bratislava, Slovakia) offering an emblematic introduction, a metaphor for social order and situations which are cyclically repeating. Gavula is basically a sculptor but he also explores the possibilities of various media like performance and video with strong reference to conceptualism. He is focused on the banal, routine and often absurd situations and the authenticity of discourse which he always presents in a raw state. He exhibited at Hit Gallery in Bratislava (2010), at Hunt Kastner artworks in Prague (2010-2011), Plusmínusnula Gallery in Zilina (2012), at the show Hosted in Athens in Greece (2012), and others.
Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, Capital, 2005
The work of Anetta Mona Chisa (born 1975 in Nadlac, Romania, currently lives in Prague) and Lucia Tkacova (born 1977 in Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia, currently lives in Berlin) is characterized with its sarcasm and defiant, anti-authoritarian attitude. They are using techniques of displacement, sabotage and subversion to question structures, systems of power and gender hierarchies. Their work is rather politically incorrect, analyzing the paradoxical aspects of conformism and the impossibility of subversion, visualizing the essence and ground rules of the global system, pointing out the relativity of predefined criteria and demystifying and making fun of society and its system of relations. They have worked together since 2000 their projects being based on personal stories and their interplay and access to different forms of power. Among their shows we can mention their participation in the 54th Biennale di Venezia in 2011; in 2010 they exhibited at MLAC in Rome, in 2009 In Christine Koenig Gallery, Vienna. Recent shows include: Over the Counter, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest; Gender Check, MuMok Vienna; While Bodies Get Mirrored, Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; The Reach of Realism, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; The Making of Art at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt; Chisa & Tkacova at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein; 6th Taipei Biennale; L'Europe en devenir at Centre Culturel Suisse Paris; Shooting Back at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.
Lucia Nimcova, Kiss 2006-2007; Double Coding 2010
Lucia Nimcova (born in 1977 in Humenné, Slovakia, currently lives in Amsterdam) is presenting a project that deals with Slovakian reality in the period from 1968 to 1989. Her video/slide show Kiss represents a particular selection of photos from the archives of the Regional Cultural Centre in her home town. She created a structure that could serve as a model for relations in society as a whole. In the majority of by her selected photos there is absolutely no intention, instead the total passivity of the person recording. In her point of view, it was the absolutely best approach for representing life during communism when a brutal passivity prevailed regarding personal responsibility. In the Double Coding she selected fragments, moments from films forbidden by the regime in which unintended slips of the tongue had penetrated and left traces, details, intended as testimonies about dissatisfaction with life in the past regime. Lucia Nimcova received many international awards such as the ECB Photography Award, Germany, 2008; Oskar Barnack Award, Germany, 2008; the Oskar Cepan Award, 2007; Baume & Mercier Award, 2007, Italy.
Zbynek Baladran, Minus ten anarcho-communist minutes, 2012; All for no reason II, 2012
Zbynek Baladran (born 1973 in Prague) is a visual artist and curator. His work can be described as a constant search for links between the past and its construction in relation to prevailing epistemological patterns. He often creates cognitive/mental maps and models considering them a method we use to construct information, allowing the mind’s eye to visualize, code and store information in order to decode and use it. He has often been described as an archaeologist of knowledge and memory and he continues to use notes, maps and diagrams in his work as a representational means of visualizing concepts, ideas and interrelationships in a clear and structured manner. Together with Vít Havránek he curates the project and exhibitions Monument to Transformation, a 3-year research project on social transformation that was presented in 2009 at the Prague City Gallery and which traveled to several other locations in Europe. Baladran was also a part of the team of curators (tranzit.org) for Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain in 2010. In 2012 he participated in the 7th Seoul International Media Art Biennale in Seoul, the show The Islands of Resistance in the National Gallery, Prague, in 2011 in the show A terrible beauty is born at 11e Biennale de Lyon in Lyon, in 2010 in Formate der Transformation 89-09 in Museum auf Abruf, Vienna, in 2009 in The Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow and various others.
Lubomír Durcek, Information about hands, 1982
Lubomir Durcek (born in 1948 in Bratislava) has a special place in this screening. As a member of the Slovak unofficial art scene, he was not allowed to exhibit in public before 1989. In the eighties, at the base of his interest were the actions and performances of closed collectives who often performed representing their real social roles lead by a scenario predetermined by the artist. They offered portraits of a restricted society. In the short film Information...about Hands and People he arranged a performance by a group of young participants who didn’t know each other and had never seen each other before. The first real interaction between them was hand contact. During the performance they had their eyes covered by a mask and touch was the only possible modus comunicandi. The performance happened in total silence. Social exchange occurred just by touch. This 16 mm film, essential and existential, made in black and white reminds us of the period of censorship, of the “normalization” of former Czechoslovakia, the period of lost meaning, silence and blindness. Furthermore, the experiment also shows the dynamic and the richness of non verbal communication which improves the relationship between humans perhaps making it more sincere.
Anna Witt, Critical Action Archive, 2012; Hoheitszeichen, 2012
Born in 1981 in Wasserburg Inn (Germany), lives and works in Vienna. Working with performing interventions and video installations, Anna Witt’s artistic research focuses on the construction of cultural stereotypes and the observation of the individual's position within the social system. Her work examines social rules, rights, laws and how participants engage with them. She analyses the trouble spots of subjective formation in relation to political identity, collectivity, conformism and civil rights. She participated, among others in Manifesta 07 and in the exhibitions at Columbus Art Foundation, Spinnerei Leibzig, in Low Salt Gallery, Glasgow, <rotor> Association for Contemporary Art, Graz and other events.
Eva Jiricka, Gratis Punch, 200; Seating order, 2008
Born in 1979 in Prague (Czech Republic), lives and works in Prague. The artistic approach of Eva Jiricka oscillates between performance, intervention in public space and video installation. The artist tries to provoke reactions in passers-by on the street that in the majority of her work becomes the stage for her operations. Every now and then her intervention seems manipulative, if not directly aggressive, even if it follows the moral imperative to do good to others. The artist has participated among others in the Petersburg Biennale in 2006, in exhibitions in LCC Well Gallery in London, the Futura Gallery in Prague, in the Galerie UNA in Bucharest and others.
Kamen Stojanov, Move your hands, 2007
Born in 1977 in Rousse (Bulgaria), lives and works in Vienna. In his work, Kamen Stoyanov focuses mainly on two concepts: a critique of the hegemony of dominant cultures and the manifestation of these concepts in media, social, urban and architectural representation. Kamen Stoyanov also tackles the issue of unauthorized use of public space. In particular, he is interested in the issues concerning contemporary forms of migration and nomadism. He has participated in Manifesta 07 in 2008, in the International Istanbul Biennale in 2007 and in the exhibitions at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig, the Kunsthalle in Vienna, the Blut & Honig, Zukunft ist Balkan am, the Essl Collection in Vienna (curated by H. Szeemann) and various other art initiatives.