Works and Lives in
Zona Sztuki Aktualnej / SZCZECIN (Poland)
07.10.2016 – 25.11.2016

The exhibition Works and Lives in presents works by emerging and mid-career artists from the region located between the Baltic and the Mediterranean Sea, investigating the notion of the place where they live and work nowadays. The selected artists born in the 1970s and ’80s in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland and Slovenia are constantly on the move. They have either been operating in an international context or participating in relevant exhibitions, residencies and projects for many years now or have just entered this reality and are having their first international experiences. The place and its geographical location where artists create their work has on the one hand become irrelevant and on the other hand crucial for their artistic practice. The relation between the places they live in and their practices and identities is constantly being transformed through processes such as globalization as well as local preferences and trends. Their practices deal critically with cultural, social, and political transition in terms of the state that describes circumstances in which they operate today. The works offer an insight into juxtaposed states in-between: past and present, relevant and irrelevant, intuitive and historical, local and transnational.
How do artists from this region operate at present in the international system of the global world of art? How does the fact of being a resident of their country or one migrating to major historical and contemporary art centres affect their perspective and worldview? How does the nomadic lifestyle of the artists influence their practice? An important context for the questions posed in this exhibition is offered by the dynamic social and political, as well as economic changes that could be observed in the recent years: exhaustion of the international political system, migration and economic crisis, changes in the perception of the centre after 1989, at the time when the young and middle generation of artists shaped their identity.
Artists often point out neglected and marginalized cultural heritage by bringing this up in a completely different context, when exhibiting in another country or developing a new piece of work during a residency. The works by Jasmina Cibic, Eva Engelbert, Igor Eš kinja, David Maljković and Marzena Nowak explore the possibility of thinking across different time frames to note contradictions connected to transformations of cultural identities in the last decades. The presented works by Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska, Kathi Hofer, Christian Kosmas Mayer, Tarwuk and Adam Ulbert highlight the high sense of nomadic life in a continuous state of economic precarity, manifest artists’ individual experience of creating their own identity. On a personal level, some of the artists - namely Kathi Hofer, Marzena Nowak as well as Tarwuk – consider it crucial to refer in their art practices to their biographical moments, family’s stories or places of origin.

Curated by Aurelia Nowak and Vanja Žanko

Courtesy of the artists
Fotocredit Janusz Piszczatowski