Anton Vidokle and Arseny Zhilyaev - Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism
13th April 2017, 5pm, Kunsthalle Bratislava, lecture and screening
Lecture is organized by APART in collaboration with SOFT NORM (AFAD) project and Kunsthalle Bratislava. Lecture will be realised in the framework of the exhibition - APART: Possibility of preserving
Arseny Zhilyaev’s lecture titled And Apple Trees Will Bloom On Mars will introduce the origin of Russian Cosmism, its main trajectories and representatives that include philosophers, scientists and thinkers. Anton Vidokle will screen two films from his trilogy on Russian Cosmism (the third will be premiered at HKW, Berlin in the fall) including This is Cosmos (2014) and The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (2015). A Q&A will follow the presentations.
“The cosmism movement, which called for material immortality and resurrection, as well as travel to outer space, developed from a particular spirituality in nineteenth century Russia. The doctrine of immortal life in infinite space captured the optimism of science and the arts in those days. Since then, the utopian, science fiction-like thinking of the cosmists had a great influence on art, science, and politics in both pre-revolutionary and Soviet Russia.
Looking at it today, cosmism – although overshadowed by official Soviet ideology – opens up new perspectives on the Russian avant-garde as well as the ideology and politics of present day Russia. For example, in his influential writings, Nikolai Fyodorov (1829-1903) demanded that the ultimate goal of technology must be to overcome death; all people who had ever lived on earth must be brought back to life. The cosmists were also visionary pioneers of space travel. Fyodorov, for instance, claimed that the colonization of other planets would be the inevitable consequence of the lack of space after the resurrection of the dead. The institution of the museum also played a central role in cosmism as the material needed for the resurrection of individuals would have to be preserved there. Nikolai Fyodorov, like the painter and founder of Suprematism, Kazmir Malevich, believed that after the death of God, the museum would be the only place where a transhistorical union beyond the grave would be possible.”
Excerpt from an annotation of the upcoming exhibition at HKW Berlin “Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism,” organized by Anton Vidokle, Arseny Zhilyaev and Boris Groys, September 2017:
Anton Vidokle is an artist living and working in New York and Berlin. As founder as e-flux, and co-editor of e-flux journal along with Julieta Aranda and Brian Kuan Wood, Vidokle has presented projects internationally including at the Venice Biennale (2015) and Documenta 13. Most recently, Vidokle has presented his films at the Berlinale International Film Festival (2015, 2016), the Moscow Biennial (2016), the Gwangju Biennial (2016); amongst others.
Arseny Zhilyaev explores the heritage of Soviet museology in his artworks from a revisionist perspective. Since 2011 he is a co-editor of Moscow based magazine about art Khudozhestvennyi Zhurnal. His work has been exhibited internationally at Liverpool Biennale (2016), Ljubljana Triennial (2016) and Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow (2012); amongst others.
Lecture, screening, discussion
13.09.2016, 5:30 pm – 7:45 pm
Kino Mladosť, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 171/17, 811 02 Bratislava
The lecture and discussion will be held in English. Screening Zlaté Piesky Rocket Launch, 2015, 10 min
The old tranzit.sk studios are starring in the film Zlaté Piesky Rocket Launch, Josef Dabernig’s contribution to The School of Kyiv, Kyiv Biennial (2015). tranzit.sk presents this movie and its author in an evening debate on the Biennial that has taken place in Kyiv and cities around Europe since last year when Ukraine was at war with Russia and suffering from an economic crisis and social insecurity, a time that seemingly had other priorities than an international art event. Yet, The School of Kyiv imagined proposing alternative pictures of history and currents and other futures for the place. In this way, it hoped that the agora it set up could help to suspend the opposition between aesthetics and politics, between the politics of memory and remembering, between the real and the imaginary, oscillating between even antagonistic realms.
Hedwig Saxenhuber, co-curator of The School of Kyiv, Josef Dabernig and Boris Ondreička will talk about Zlaté Piesky Rocket Launch and reflect on the conditions of curating during this complex period while reconsidering the notion of “the uses of art.”
Hedwig Saxenhuber is a curator and co-editor of springerin Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, Vienna. From 2005 to 2015 she was program director with Christian Kravagna at Kunstraum Lakeside in Klagenfurt. Her recent large-scale projects include The School of Kyiv, Kyiv Biennial 2015, Unrest of Form – Imagining the Political Subject (with Georg Schöllhammer and Stefanie Carp, Vienna Festival, MQ, 2013); Bad Script for a Retrospective, Josef Dabernig (P74, Ljubljana 2011) Bertha von Suttner Revisited, (Schloss Harmannsdorf, with Susanne Neuburger, 2009); Ladies Almanach, (tranzit.cz, Prague, 2009); Art + Politics, from the Collection of the City of Vienna (MUSA, Vienna 2008); Gyumri Biennial, Armenia, 2008; VALIE EXPORT (Moscow Bienal, NCCA, 2007). She is an associate member of the Vienna Secession.
Josef Dabernig is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Vienna. He graduated with a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1981, before extending his artistic practice to film, photography, text and questions of architectural display. His work has been exhibited at the Manifesta in Ljubljana and St. Petersburg (2000 and 2014), the Venice Biennial (2001 and 2003), the Gwangju Biennial (2012) and the Kyiv Biennial (2015), while his film festival presence includes Rotterdam, Toronto, Venice and an Oberhausen Profile this year. Dabernig’s recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus/Neue Galerie in Graz (2013), tranzit workshops, Bratislava (2013), MOCAK, Krakow (2013), mumok Vienna (2014), Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna (2014), Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (2015), P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2015), Lulu, Mexico City (2016), Kunsthalle Winterthur (2016) and the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2017).
Boris Ondreička is a curator, artist, author and singer based in Bratislava and Vienna. He was project coordinator at the Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts, Bratislava, director of tranzit.sk, Bratislava, and since 2012 he has served as a curator at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, where he co-curated Rare Earth, Supper Club, Tomorrow Morning Line, Ephemeropteræ (since 2012) and recently Olafur Eliasson Green Light—An Artistic Workshop. Among others, he co-curated Manifesta 8 in Murcia and Cartagena. In 2010, he co-founded the Julius Koller Society. His artistic projects were presented at Manifesta 2, Biennials in Luxembourg, Venice (Czecho-slovak & Roma pavilions), Prague, Gyumri, Torino, Anzengruber, Tai-Pei, Athens, Kyiv and Jakarta, MoMA-PS1 New York, BAK Utrecht and many others. His HI! lo was published at tranzit/jrp Ringier and One Second/Out of Time at Revolver. Since 1987 he has been the lead-singer and lyricist of the Bratislava band, Kosa z nosa.
The event is organized by tranzit.sk in collaboration with APART.
Erste Foundation is main partner of tranzit.
WALSER, 2015, Poland, fiction, 78’ directed by Zbigniew Libera
Libera’s film is a snapshot of an imaginary paradise: the director paints the portrait of an ideal tribe, described as "a sort of achievement of the dream of hippies to return to nature, a Slavic version of Avatar". The members of the tribe, who are handsome, young and immortal, live in their idyllic world until they are paid a visit by an outsider, a representative of civilisation: Walser.
Screening is a part of exhibithion A Forming of Inevitable Blue / HIT Gallery
Realised in the framework of Small/Big World project smallbigworld.net
A situation on the riverside unfolds from the abstract shape of a monument near the Slovak National Museum, which evokes the limb of a cumbersome prehistoric animal whose claws have been sawn off. With claws, perceived as a symbol of power, the situation addresses the question of freedom, its fragile being and its unclear future, and draws attention to the political manoeuvres of the present day. Who is it that is once again thrusting out a powerful claw; who is treading with heavy feet on somebody’s territory? Should we not by now be looking at manifestations of power as something prehistoric, preserved and situated in the diorama of a museum? The present day, however, offers another, more disturbing view of doings in the world. The problem which the situation collides with is more than topical, it is acute.
Situation #7 took place on 14th of June in bratislava
Realised in the framework of Small/Big World project smallbigworld.net
Bratislava 8.11.2015 10:30 - 14:30
Performative walk through Bratislava documented by photos and videos.
Presentation of recent work with introducing of publication Duration.
Friday 6.11. o 16:00 v Café Berlinka SNG
The Medium between a Flat and a Space
What kind of consciousness? Visual understandable – understanding by repetition, splitting of a space.
What sort of understanding of a space? Condition of frontal sight; to be between the wall that I can see and that which I can not see.
Identification with actual kind of consciousness according of observation of a space.
Between two there is always the one. The consciousness.
Martin Vongrej (*1986, Bratislava, MFA-VŠVU BA, 2012) is an artist living in Bratislava. Graduate of Ilona Németh's atelier "IN" at AFAD Bratislava. His work consists out of complex instalatons dealing with problematics of human conciousness and perception. In 2010 Martin attended Manifesta 8 contemporary art exhibtion in Spanish town Murcia with his work "Self observing conciousness", "She has the sence of limited time" in amt_project Bratislava, 2011. With his work “rems nedej nel erímsev ov“, Remap 3 in Athens, or Non profit & Profit in Spazio A, Pistoia in Italy. He exhibited individually in 2012 in Bratislava and in 2014 at Moravian Gallery Brno and last year in Fotograf Gallery -“Čakanie na konečnú prítomnosť v neprítomnosti“. He attended artist residencies like Museumsquartier in Vienna, Saarenkartano in Finland, KAIR in Krems, Austria, Petrolio in Puglia, Italy. As well in Peruan jungle Centro Selva or this year's Terra Foundation for American Art in France. In 2013 he made a publication called "2013".
26.2. 2015 ŠTVRTOK 18:00
UL.29. AUGUSTA 38, BRATISLAVA
CSÖLLE 3. POSCHODIE
Bratislava´s apartment buildings establish natural social coloring of the city. They are like lungs of an organism. The city breathes and brings up the atmosphere of the streets through them. Shattered objects, dug up pits and empty parcels circled with fences are gradually disappearing. Defect mirror silhouettes of new buildings appear instead of their places. Old apartment buildings remain here, the only changing part is their owners. For many of the owners the flats are just properties, real estates, whose value is set in numbers. Flat on the street of 29 th of August is situated at the very end of the Old town, in modernistic development area with cubistic accents, where once workers and clerks lived, working in nearby factories. Today the facade of the building is looking on a giant construction site, which will turn into one of the products of economical miracles of the country, and it will be a part of its prosperity prides. Economical competition had big effect on how artists view the sense of commonness. The other day the term of common equaled collective, and simply it was given from above. Except that commonness was more spontaneously accepted more on principles of togetherness, than on certain, already defined interest. Miro Csolle had his flat at the third floor on the 29 th August street, after he emptied the flat before he forwarded it to its new owners, he turned the flat into temporary exhibition space. Till now the flat was a place of personal memories and child games, and temporarily now, only for couple of days he let the space for collective exhibition, for Situation # 4 to take place. Situation #4 changed the space of the flat to a living community, by installations created specially for this place, interventions of improvised objects, performance processes and photographs. Brought and as well improvised objects were appearing not only conventionally hung on the walls. Flat exhibition outgrew to an enclave. Installations involved wooden floor, cracks in the concrete, balcony, flat bell, toilet, sink, lighting, windows ... They are the moments, when artworks and processes gain new context in spontaneous collisions with another artworks and processes. I don´t thing that this exhibition has something to do with the underground or the ethos of “non-official” art. Rather improvised encounter of creative individualities, which found their mutual language. Representatives of two generations with twenty years split were present at the place by no accident. Ones looked back a bit( Cyril Blažo, Miro Csolle, Matej Gavula, Milan Tittel) and the others (Erik Janeček, Denis Kozerawski, Peter Sit, Andrej Žabkay) maybe reassured themselves, that they are not stepping at untouched land. This exhibition was spontaneous, and thus confirmed sympathies and pure pleasure from continuity.
photos: Michaela Dutková, Maťo Gavula, Apart
Photographic works by Peter Sit, exhibited at the show of which the name is a quotation from The book of disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, were made mainly in 2013. Although photography still remains the main medium of the current author's projects, it doesn't represent the main task any more - its own discourse within the content as well as its artistic and visual qualities – the same as it did in the period in which the presented photographs were made. In the current works (that are not a part of the show) his photography changes to a tool, instrument or raw material – an outcome in part of a broader conceived complex entity. As Filko defined art as a visual communication in 1970 and he became aware of the value of visual information, so photography started to be directive and essential as a visual communication carrier for Sit, which he applies in his current works in synthesis with many other elements.
Peter Sit is an author's self-made man. Rare and determining is energy, curiosity and the will of covering everything as himself - his own mind, existence, thinking, language, essence – external environment and different impacts, determining existence on its own. The need to tell and express the most makes him open to different impacts, whereas he avoids the fatal absorption of ubiquitous inspiratory noise with his natural sensitivity and ability not to only capture various sources, signals and motions, but also to decode and select. The intensity of his thoughts can sometimes be faster and more acute than the possibilities of their immediate artistic comprehension, the form looks like being sporadically limited. But to devices of Sit's processes belongs also the fact that he never gives up within searching for adequate possibilities of expression (he isn't satisfied with the easier way either), often in intense confrontation with his own doubts.
At his show, he presents a world of objects, situations. Although these are quite explicit, concrete images of 'segments of reality', they are in question only in their sculptural or even architectonical qualities, though remaining abstract in their content. “Images” looking like studies of various random, utilitarian moments, characteristic games with forms and volumes, observing certain physical laws of objects as much in their fundamentals as in their functioning within space (statics, form, deviation), at a more consistent insight into ‘displayed surface’ they picture unexpected connections, stories, sometimes even self-exposal of the author – gentle, sophisticated, imperceptible and unpretentious. Somewhere in the very distant layer, or maybe even firstly after the interpretation by the author himself, can the viewer ‘decode’ the nuances of the most personal expressions, fragile to even ephemeral pictured storylines. Besides the mentioned formal devices it is also interesting to observe the contextual statement of the photographs, that often include layers of various associations, links or semantic levels, which can be perceived from different angles of view - it depends on what the viewer wants to see, read, or which 'version' they prefer.
For example the ‘pyramid’ made of mandarin peel. The photograph can on one hand evoke winter, or Christmas time, which this fruit belongs to and this fruit mainly associates pleasant and joyful feelings and moments to most people because of its smell and taste. When perceiving the half-dried empty peels, which are being moulded by destructive, biological reactions, this might link to something completely different. And then we can perceive the ‘spectacle’ structurally, as a certain bio-amorphous sculpture. In this connection I can think of a statement of the Mexican sculptor Gabriel Orozc: “If you eat an orange, there will be only an empty peel left. I was thinking about the inner of an object, about special, unclear emptiness of quite trivial objects (...) In this time I was also thinking about the growth, which the universe is full of, about how fetus comes from one point, which is creating its own structure, but in the end there is only a peel left. The fruit is a vessel (...), sculpture is for me a vessel, or at least something which creates the illusion that it contains or transmits something.”
Baroque-like still-life of a pineapple with garlic and onions has besides the sculptural also undeniable painting qualities from the formal side. It flashes with strong visual effectiveness and under certain angles or impact of light it raises really even a physical effect and structure of a painting from the 17th century. The impression of a visual ambivalence can also be increased by an unusual combination of chosen crops - sweet pineapple, sharp onion and garlic - together incompatible flavours. Also this moment carries the same as with most spectacles at the exhibition, undeniable metaphorical charge. What if a ‘simple’ black and white captured photographic composition of fruit and vegetables is a therapeutically gesture on a symbolic level, a touch of certain deeply stored layers of the author's self-establishing ‘himself’, ‘shaking hands’ with some ‘sweet-sour’ moments or circumstances of man's life?
Maybe great coverage of personal experiences, intense inner dialogue with himself, or dissatisfaction with ’sliding’ on the surface of man's existence, interpreted into art (“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”) makes the author in the end a mature personality, which, despite his young age, sometimes (doesn't)bear the weight of abstract thinking and feels weightiness of the conscience of the world, an inability of the soul to breathe...
photos: Mcihaela Dutková
Tuesday 11.11. 2014 o 16:00
Námestie Slobody, Bratislava.
Not sure if she's dead or she only sleeps.
In the beginning the fountain served for everyone. Fountain.
Artistic gesture of Althamer underlined her new meaning, thirsty ground, desert. Ilona Németh joined the idea by changing water into mist, which covered the space of the plaza. Only one element was needed to achieve entirety. Fire.
Whether it's a simple game with words, fountain (architectonic element) or fountain (pyrotechnics). Focusing attention on past things, reacting on history of certain space. They are considered as finished but, still with vibrating echo.
I use aspects of a volcano as a metaphor. Dead element, extinct. Its not sure when it will “come to life” again and makes damage.
From its entrails, which i think about as something that belongs to the past, suddenly the sound of the arriving eruption comes and opens the question if it is really over and if changes come in waves.
photos: Michaela Dutková, Matej Gavula, APART
Sunday, 10:00 - 00:00
16:00 performance of Miroslav Csölle
Milan Tittel (1966), Matej Gavula (1972), Miroslav Csolle (1964)
Coast of Goofness is the name for series of video projections by artists : Milan Tittel, Matej Gavula and Miroslav Csolle, which are thematically related to Bratislava's Danube river flow. The river acts as a unifying moment of all outputs, capturing all of the actions of the group, that are related to the river or working with the theme in some way in each period of the year.
Situation is part of BLAF festival
photos: Peter Sit