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Exhibitions

City Theatre

29 September, 2017-27, October, 2017

Akademia Ruchu, Jiří Kovanda, KwieKulik, Lakner László, Mladen Stilinović, Tót Endre

Curated by: Péter Szörényi

Curatorial assistant: Viktória Popovics 


On weekdays, the socialist man works, unwinds, and relaxes—as labor movement slogans tell us. During weekends, they relax a bit more. On holidays, they are happy, albeit knowing that the grand objective still demands lots of work; yet they are delighted to be part of the collective construction of Socialism. During the week, they go to work and deal with mundane issues; they stand in queues just as proudly as they march in parades, fully aware of the purpose of their work. They use public spaces according to their intended function; on the streets they commute, they sit on benches instead of sprawling on the asphalt, they drink beer (with limits) where beer is sold, and most importantly, they avoid scandals. Everything follows the script—in theory. Also working in this ideal city setting—behind which Socialism’s construction slowly decomposes—are artists. It is this very behind-the-scene reality that they point out. They do not avoid scandals, as scandals refer to the truth, and the truth is scandalous.

The neo-avant-garde art of the 1960s and the 1970s broadened the possibilities of artistic expression radically. Artists considered traditional approaches unfit for capturing the reality behind the language and the daily life defined by the Socialist dictatorship. Through public art actions, they addressed social norms in a critical way, also extending this reflective thinking to life in general.

Through the positions of artists from the region, the exhibition introduces examples of the directions and the possibilities of neo-avant-garde public art. Documentations of the reactions to official marches, like urban interventions, performances, and spontaneous social and artistic events, are put on display in venues within walking distance of each other; the exhibition also includes action photos and urban minimal actions that were more modest, nearly invisible, owing to political austerity.

Supported by Czech Center, Erste Stiftung

The exhibition is a coproduction of the Kisterem Gallery, Trapéz Gallery, Vintage Gallery, Csendes Társ and the OFF-Biennale Association.