Complicated Relation: Part 1 3 September – 13 November [Complicated Relation: Part 2 17 September – 20 November] Kalmar Konstmuseum, Kalmar
This year, the Kalmar Konstmuseum is opening their autumn program with the two-series exhibition, “Complicated Relation”. The first part will be on view from 3 September to 13 November, and the second part from 17 September through 20 November, both at halls in Kalmar's regional art museum.
The first part of “Complicated Relation” contains an additional exhibition – “Complicated Relation: KwieKulik”, which will be shown 7 September to 23 October in the art space Index, in Stockholm. This exhibition features the post-war Polish neo-avant-garde art phenomenon – the Polish artist duet, Zofia Kulik (1947) and Przemyslaw Kwiek (1945), aka “KwieKulik”, and their works, which are permeated with collective social-political criticism, created from 1971 to 1987.
When the concrete wall came tumbling down and the iron curtain gave way to unlimited opportunities in all directions of Europe, Western Europe, as a politically artificial construct, was doomed; whereas the continent's one-time Eastern countries' idea still continues to exist and influence preconceived ideas about today's Europe, creating misleading associative geographical contours. This lingering in memories, or rather, getting stuck in this historical maze, has also influenced the art scene. Although the contours of Europe have changed, the Union of Socialistic Republics has been replaced by another union and society freely travels among the waters of international culture, the artists of the most complicated part of the 20th century have yet to find a suitable spot in the canons of contemporary art. There wasn't just one reality in the countries of Europe's Eastern Socialistic Republic Union; at the same time as the official socialistic-art, sanctioned by the censorship machine was functioning, there were secret experimental artist workshops going on as well.
The first part of “A Complicated Relation” consists of works by authors whose creations flourished in the dictated socialistic regime of the once Eastern-bloc countries and, in spite of being forced to live in a repressive period of time, they chose unique and radical approaches to art.
There is one element that unifies the authors whose work is exhibited in this presentation – they didn't recognize the rules and the official governing culture, which was vitally necessary to successfully present oneself as an artist. These “dissidents” suffered financial hardships and were given scant opportunity to get on to the art stage; their private houses served as studios and exhibition rooms; in many cases, like-minded people, colleagues and family were the only people who could offer cooperation, an audience and constructive criticism.
Concentrating on artistic practice and reaction to the leading complex relationships in society of the time, the exhibition features the works of authors representing the Balkan region and Central Europe.
The exhibition contains artists whose creative work was underway before the fall of the Berlin Wall: Geta Bratescu (Romania), Ion Grigorescu (Romania), Tibor Hajas (Hungary), Tamas St. Auby (Hungary), Mladen Stilinovic (Croatia), Rasa Todosijevic (Serbia) and Goran Trbuljak (Croatia).
Four selected works from the first exposition of “A Complicated Relation” are still on view through 25 September at the New Museum gallery in New York. The exposition “Ostalgie”, which features works from the most complicated period in 20th century Europe, tells of a time when the newly-discovered approachability of opportunity in Western culture confused the new works of the Eastern artists.
The second part of the two-series exhibition, “A Complicated Relation”, is being curated by the director of exhibitions at Kalmar Konstmuseum himself, Martin Schibli. From 17 September to 20 November it will be on view on the second floor of the Kalmar Konstmuseum, and will include the works of new artists from Moldavia, Georgia, Belorussia and the Ǻland Islands.