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Exhibitions 2012

November 03, 2012–April 07, 2013
One Sixth of the Earth
Ecologies of Image

An exhibition at the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening: Fri, November 02, 2012, 7 p.m., admission free, ZKM_Foyer

Information auf Deutsch
article on ZKM blog

"One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image" presents art produced in countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc dating from the last 15 years. The exhibition focuses on works of moving image − the medium adopted by many contemporary artists − and develops a broad 'ecological' framework to present and contextualize a wide range of work from different countries and cultures.

The understanding of ecology informing "One Sixth of the Earth" is based on the ideas of French psychoanalyst, Félix Guattari, as elaborated in his essay "The Three Ecologies" (1989). Here, Guattari argues that the challenges posed by current ecological dilemmas can be met only by addressing the totality of human societal and environmental ecologies. The author goes on to argue that art represents one of the modes through which these three levels may be integrated: artists operate at the forefront of a new synthesis through which the experience of art brings greater balance into our lives thus reducing social and ecological disruption.

Though bold this is a strikingly appropriate description of countries of the former Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union in the years following 1989. The utopian aspirations informing these erstwhile socialist states were relegated to history following the dystopian experience of survival among the economically and ecologically damaged societies that then emerged. The present exhibition aims to present some of the exciting voices of the period by bringing together both well-known and widely exhibited artists with others who have had much less public exposure.

The exhibition engages a number of disparate, at times opposed themes, which not only follow the trajectories of participating artists, but also the substantially different histories of their respective countries of origin and/or the location in which they are currently active artistically. These include: cultural nomadism − artists are now at liberty to search abroad for the most suitable schooling and practice; the emergence of vital local art scenes (often building on networks established during the Communist era), which may present artists with difficult choices for advancing their careers at home or abroad; the rise of new nationalisms (with attendant xenophobia and racism affecting many countries in the region); issues of gender and sexual identity (in some cases linked to progressive cultural politics of a previous, communist generation).

"One Sixth of the Earth" (1926) is also the title of a film by Dziga Vertov, the most experimental exponent of documentary cinema in the former Soviet Union. The film depicts a utopian vision of multiracial and multicultural potential in Soviet society. The exhibition makes emblematic reference to this film as an indication of the particular genius and aspirations of artists and curators from this region of the world. The moving image was the most influential art form during the communist era, proving itself as a forceful means of artistic critique.

Curator: Mark Nash
Assistent Curator: Eszter Steierhoffer

Artists: Dan Acostioaei, Victor Alimpiev, Matei Bejenaru, Yevgenia Belorusets, Irina Botea, Pavel Braila, Mircea Cantor, Community Art (Aleksandar Battista Ilić, Ivana Keser, Tomislav Gotovac), Ştefan Constantinescu, Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya (Natalya Pershina-Yakimanskaya) & Tsaplya (Olga Egorova)), Dmitry Gutov, Flaka Haliti, IRWIN, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Zbigniew Libera, Little Warsaw, David Maljković, Almagul Menlibayeva, Anna Molska, Deimantas Narkevičius, Mircea Nicolae, Kristina Norman, Adrian Paci, Alexander Ponomarev, Ghenadie Popescu, Tobias Putrih, Anri Sala, Łukasz Skąpski, Société Réaliste, Milica Tomić, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, Andrej Zdravič, Driant Zeneli, and Artur Żmijewski.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012
4 p.m., ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, admission 2 € + museum admission
Guided tour with the curator Mark Nasch
The curator Mark Nash accompanies the visitors through the exhibition and talks about the backgrounds of the individual art works. The guided tour will be in English. Meeting point: ZKM_Foyer

Wed, March 27, 2013
12 a.m., Guided tour with the curator and Panel discussion
Artists and curators respond to the exhibition »One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image«. Short lectures and the panel discussion will focus on Romania which has been one of the most productive art scene in recent years. The contributions of participants with different professional backgrounds (artists, curators in and outside Romania) should give an overall view over this complex phenomenon. The event will be in English. Admission free!

12 a.m.−1 p.m.: Guided tour with the curator through the exhibition, meeting point: ZKM_Foyer
2.30 p.m.: keynote talks and panel discussion, meeting point: ZKM_Lecture Hall

Participants: Mark Nash (curator of the exhibition, RCA London), Eszter Steierhoffer, (RCA London), Livia Pancu (curator, tranzit.ro, Iasi), Daria Ghiu (curator, Bucharest), Dan Acostioaei (artist, Iasi)

In Cooperation with the Rumänisches Kulturinstitut Berlin [Rumanian Institute of Culture Berlin]

An exhibition of MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León, Spain), in Cooperation with the ZKM | Karlsruhe

Still from: Ghenadie Popescu: “Navigable Bîc,” 2008
Single channel video, color, sound, 17:40 min.
© Ghenadie Popescu

Views of the Exhibition, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art
Photos: Franz Wamhof

Still from: Irina Botea: “Auditions for a Revolution,” 2006
16 mm film digitalized, color, sound, 24 min.
© Irina Botea

Still from: Dmitry Gutov: “From Flat to Flat,” 2002
Two channel video installation, color, sound, 12:20 min.
© Dmitry Gutov

Still from: Ştefan Constantinescu: “My Beautiful Dacia”, 2009
Single channel video, HD, color, sound, 72 min.
© Ştefan Constantinescu

Still from: Andrej Zdravič: “Riverglass. A River Ballet in Four Seasons,” 1997
Single channel video (Beta Sp digitalized), color, sound, 41 min.
© Andrej Zdravič

Still from: David Maljković: “Scene for New Heritage Trilogy”, 2004–2006
Single channel video installation, color, sound, 21:20 Min.
© David Maljković, Courtesy Metro Pictures and Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam

Still from: Mircea Nicolae: “Romanian Kiosk Company”, 2010
Single channel video, HD, color, sound, 55 min.

subject to change


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