English summaries November 25 - December 8

Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz Glam! The Performance of Style Music/Fashion/Art 19.10.2013 – 02.02.2014 Tamed style-riot By Roland Schöny When Roxy Music took the stage and David Bowie was reincarnated as Ziggy Stardust, Pop was suddenly divided. And more superficial groups such as The Sweet, Slad or T. Rex were part of the permanent staff of “Top of the Pops” on BBC television. With glam rock, an androgynous style-riot started. Stone-washed jeans, long hair and muddy boots were suddenly part of a different time and culture. In exhibitions, glam pop was not really taken seriously as a discursive topic. Curator Darren Pih deals with glam as an emancipated remix-style phenomenon that symbolizes the transformation of social values in the economically devastated England of the 1970s. The breakthrough of aesthetic aspects, the pleasure of using make-up, public cross dressing and lascivious behaviour due to decriminalising homosexuality in Great Britain in 1967, was imposed. As a playing field for the transformation of identity, glam became a central narrative of pop. The exhibition, produced by Tate Liverpool, includes, in addition to the main protagonists such as David Bowie or Brian Eno, Richard Hamilton or Andy Warhol, stylists, fashion designers and filmmakers. They are confronted with Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman or Gilbert & George, Iggy Pop. MC5, Alice Cooper, The New York Dolls or The Tubes, Velvet Underground – all of them are part of the exhibition. One quickly understands that the exhibition not only wants to document the trend, but wants to lead a cultural-scientific discourse. The challenge was to find an according balance: focussing on Pop, but also e.g. giving Billy Sullivan’s photographs equal attention. Seduction, sex, desire, crossing gender roles are of course the main theme. The project also presents early films by Gilbert & George, General Idea, Jack Goldstein or Derek Jarman. But more pop and film in the form of concert recordings or video clips in their simple aesthetics would have done the project good and would have enabled it to come a little closer to showing glam as a mass phenomena and a popular cultural trend. Lentos Museum Linz 4020 Linz, Ernst-Koref-Promendade 1 Tel: +43 70 7070 36 00 email: info@lentos.at www.lentos.at Opening hours: Daily except Mon: 10-18 hours, Thu: 10-21 hours Leopold Museum Kokoschka – The Self in Focus 04.10.2013 – 27.01.2014 Wildling, arsonist, contemporary witness By Daniela Gregori The differences between two people could not be greater. One, rigid as if sculptured, wearing a pince-nez, the hair combed precisely to cover the bare head, stares almost with suspicion at his counterpart. Will the serene contemporary witness with the concise skull and short hair start to shake the older man - or is this merely a hearty back-slapping among old friends? As a matter of fact, both men have known each other for a long time, half a century to be precise. The encounter took place 1955 at the Vienna Secession – one of them is Josef Hoffmann, the other Oskar Kokoschka. Hoffmann was one of the people responsible for the great art show 1908, the first exhibition in which the big talent participated. Their further lives could not have been more different. Hoffmann had stayed and arranged himself with the authorities without ever being hurt, while Kokoschka emigrated, but he had actually already left the country much earlier. He had been to places that were relevant both for the moment as well as for history. He had gone to Dresden, spent some time in Paris, lived in Prague, fled to London, taught in the USA and finally spent his remaining years in Villeneuve. “Kokoschka – The Self in Focus” is the title of the exhibition that was realised in co-operation with the Oskar Kokoschka Centre at the University for Applied Arts, home to 5,000 photographs from the artist’s legacy. It is a remarkable interplay between the 220 photos by partly renowned photographers, 32 portraits, diverse graphics and documents, completed by film and sound recordings, which offers a very lively overview of the life and work of a contemporary witness spanning almost one century. The parting director, Tobias Natter, did not conceptualize the exhibition alone – Bernadette Reinhold, Patrick Werkner and Franz Smola also contributed their competence. Yet nothing similar was offered in this house prior to Natter’s directorship and one must fear that this will not be the case again after he left. Especially in Austria, Kokoschka was marked as a “wildling” in Vienna around 1900, later he returned to Salzburg, where he lead the Summer Academy from1953 for ten years. Beyond the borders he was known for his cityscapes, and in Germany as a portraitist of prominent politicians – and that with continuous success. This made him the “most important contemporary painter” in the eyes of German art experts. In 1967, when the first edition of the magazine “Eltern” (Parents) was published, a press photographer called Sven Simon (Axel Springer junior), staged a series of well-known individuals in the gear of their childhood “dream profession”. Kokoschka was also among them. Two versions existed: one showing him as a magician and one as an arsonist. It was the second one that was published. Leopold Museum 1070 Vienna, MuseumsQuartier Tel: +43 1 525 70-0 Fax: +43 1 525 70-1500 email: leopoldmuseum@leopoldmuseum.org www.leopoldmuseum.org Opening hours: Wed – Mon: 11 - 19 hours, Fri: 11 - 21 hours Galerie nächst St. Stephan Michał Budny – Ashamed and Shameless 20.11.2013 – 18.01.2014 Performance in white By Susanne Rohringer Michał Budny, who works with materials such as blankets, slightly yellowed curtains, paints and transparent paper has brought a copious wooden podium into the first room of the gallery which shrouds the original gallery floor, thereby letting it be forgotten. The artist only decided on site which objects he wanted to show. At first sight, it's not so easy to understand that the work it's not about pictures. Admittedly, at a fleeting first glance, the aspect of a picturesque work appears present, but it's definitely not painting. Budny is a sculptor and his objects should be understood as such. Budny's works concern objects, which mostly have a frame. The representations emerge from these in layers of transparent paper, lacquer or plastic foil. These works often consist of a core, which opens like a slit, revealing hidden treasure and, at the same time, an interior view. Sometimes the "paintings" are also reflected on their own axis. In these works of mixed materials, Budny grapples very firmly with the different colour effects of white. Some works, which already tend towards being yellow, are composed only of transparent paper on wooden frames and are painted. Some of these are produced in series and thereby cite the art history: from suprematism to minimal art. Nevertheless, Budny focuses mainly on other accents. A type of podium with "half a box" stands in the second room, which is actually a passageway. It is decorated with red and black panels. The object is reminiscent of a narrow stage of a children's puppet theatre. How much the play and the theatre influence Budny's works can also be seen in his adaptation of the local objects. In the room with the alleged puppet stage, there's an indentation in the gallery wall. It is kept in white wall paint, is visible in the form of a triangle and appears as an artistic object. Budny reacts to his surroundings and shapes them. There emerges a plethora of strategies whose microcosms can be called art. Galerie nächst St. Stephan 1010 Vienna, Grünangerg. 1/2 Tel: +43 1 5121266 Fax: +43 1 5134307 E-mail: galerie@schwarzwaelder.at www.schwarzwaelder.at Opening times: Mon-Fri 11-18, Sat 11-16 hours Tate Modern Mira Schendel 25.09.2013 – 19.01.2014 Worlds within reach By Goschka Gawlik Art from Brazil is tops in 2013. No wonder that many galleries from this South American country were guests at the Frieze London and at the opening of the art fair, the art world celebrated the first international overview of Mira Schendel's work in the Tate Modern. Although the artist, who died in 1988, was not Brazilian-born – she was brought up as a Catholic child of Swiss emigrants with a Jewish background during the time of Fascism in Milan – she belongs, beside Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, to those pioneers who have reinvented the language of the modern. The 250 works in 14 rooms in the comprehensive exhibition show installative sculptures, drawings and pictures by the artist, and also among them some works previously never seen and some fascinating reconstructions. One of these is the installation, Still Waves of Probability, which premiered in 1969 at the at the Sao Paulo Biennial. Many artists, in protest against the military dictatorship, boycotted this biennial. Mira Schendel was a lively intellectual with a multicultural background. She first studied philosophy. She began to paint constructively in the 1950's. Her interests lay in religion, literature, poetry, Chinese calligraphy, linguistics and mathematics, as well as game theories. She had ongoing, close contact with several scientists, authors and intellectuals such as, for example, Vilém Flusser, Max Bense or Umberto Eco. In her pictures, she gradually distanced herself from the constrictions of the two-dimensional surfaces and since 1964, she experimented with the textures of materials such as Japanese rice paper with its transmission and translucency. She painted or drew symbols, lines, numbers and above all, black Letraset letters in varied, often humorous-to-idiosyncratic constellations, on this, for her, newly discovered material. The exhibition in London appears effective and mobile in its central rooms because of the floating, ubiquitously distributed works, called Graphic Objects or Little Nothings – fragile textile sculptures in acrylic-covered paper strips which move slightly when one passes by them. During the late 60's and 70's, Schendel's art was driven further by new ideas of transmission and furthermore, by the never-ending spiral-shaped catenation of graphic elements and single letters including their open meaning. The rules of western harmony interrupt eastern asymmetry, not only to convey more complex information - for the most part in series - but also to reveal the connections with their own existence. One of her famous monotypes which centres around the motive of emptiness, being and nothingness – concepts in different phenomenological languages, i.e. without including value judgement – consciously chosen in the German language, refer to the sociality of the environment, social world and own world. In her serialism, her monotypes tie up with the music of the minimalist, C.H. Stockhausen. In the series of drawings, Homage to God-Father of the West (1975), Schendel uses the spray technique to transmit fragments from the Old Testament. The transparent works allow the observer to have a plethora of perspectives and effectuate that Mira Schendel's works are not hallucinatorally constructed like modern, technical pictures. Schendel's art retains its ancient, magical meaning in the sense of Flusser by imaginatively adapting and repeating through an inaudible melody, the inner relationship between form and writing, emptiness and meaning, old and new. Tate Modern SE1 9TG London, Bankside Tel: +44 20 7887 8000 www.tate.org.uk Opening times: Sunday to Thursday, 10.00-18.00 (galleries open at 10.15); Friday and Saturday, 10.00-22.00 (galleries open at 10.15); Last admission into exhibitions 17.15 (Fri and Sat 21.15); Closed 24, 25, 26 December

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