Varia

ALL WE ARE

ALL WE ARE

Magdalena Abakanowicz (Poland) | Yael Bartana (Israel) | Anetta Mona Chişa (Romania) & Lucia Tkácová (Slovakia) | Judith Hopf (Germany) | Ida Persson (Sweden)

opening 17.04 7:30 p.m.

exhibition 18.04-31.05.2015

Gdańsk City Gallery 2 (Powroźnicza st. 13/15)

Curator: Viktor Neumann

The group exhibition ALL WE ARE presents works by six international contemporary artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz (Poland), Yael Bartana (Israel), Anetta Mona Chişa (Romania) & Lucia Tkácová (Slovakia), Judith Hopf (Germany) and Ida Persson (Sweden). The exhibition includes painting, drawing, sculpture, video and installation. ALL WE ARE revolves around the conditions, behaviors and structures of groups, crowds and masses. The displayed works explore various systems defined by political, economic, cultural, or ideological ties.

Since the 19th century, the fields of social psychology and philosophy have researched the concepts of herd behavior and crowd psychology, exploring the phenomena of large numbers of people acting in the same way at the same time and adapting the behavior of the majority of the other members. Within the manifold theories, the central concerns revolve around the loss of the sense of individual self and therefore personal identity, responsibility and morality. ALL WE ARE presents artistic strategies and gestures exploring “the crowd” both as structural phenomena and within concrete living conditions and social spheres:

As a historical and conceptual starting point, the exhibition presents a selection of rarely exhibited charcoal drawings and litographies titled “Tłum” / “Crowd” by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one of the most internationally renowned Polish artists. The works from 1987 depict Abakanowicz’s central topic of “the countless” and the relationship between the individual and crowds. Yael Bartana, the first non-Polish artist representing Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2011, presents the video installation “Inferno” (2013). The work pre-enacts the ceremonial inauguration as well as the destruction of the third “Temple of Solomon” in São Paulo, completed in summer 2014. Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkácovás’ video “Manifesto of Futurist Woman (Let’s Conclude)” (2008) reflects the position of "the woman" in a post-communist context and subverts patriarchal power structures. Judith Hopf presents parts of her sculptural work group “Flock of Sheep” (2013). Produced in a deliberately self-made process, the concrete herd combines both the massive and the fragile, brutalist repetition and tender distinction. In her large scale paintings (2013/14), Ida Persson examines the possibilities of visualization of invisible power structures and there perception in digital, global and neoliberal contexts.

The majority of the works selected for ALL WE ARE will be presented for the first time in a Polish art institution.

Curated by Viktor Neumann


As a historical and conceptual starting point, the exhibition presents a selection of rarely exhibited charcoal drawings and litographies titled "Tłum" / "Crowd" by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one of the most internationally renowned Polish artists. The works from 1987 depict Abakanowicz’s central topic of “the countless” and the relationship between the individual and crowds. The black-and-white drawings reveal a gestural approach and depict processions of headless figures pushing their way through a manifold of expressionless faces as well as marching crowds through landscapes, evoking experiences towards aggressive crowd behavior.

Magdalena Abakanowicz, born in 1930 in Raszyn-Falenty (Poland), lives in Warsaw. She has had solo exhibitions e.g. At Museum of Art, Lucerne (2003), Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York (1999), Miami Art Museum, Miami (1997), The Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (1995), MoMA PS1, New York (1993), Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz (1991), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1982), 37th Biennale di Venezia, Polish Pavillion (1980), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1975), Gallery Zacheta, Warsaw (1975) or National Museum, Stockholm (1970). She participated in group exhibitions such as at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004), The Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2003), Gallerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (2000), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (1997), Guggenheim Museum, New York (1997), 47th Biennale di Venezia (1997), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (1995) and MoMA, New York (1969).

Yael Bartana’s practice questions the concept of cultural identity and the systems of beliefs within society. Her video installation Inferno (2010) takes the construction of the third Temple of Solomon (Templo de Salmão) in São Paulo by the Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal Church named Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, completed in summer 2014, as a starting point. Built to biblical specifications, this new temple is a replica of the first temple in Jerusalem which was destroyed in the 6th century BCE. For Inferno, Bartana uses a method she refers to as “historical pre-enactment” comingling fact and fiction, prophesies and histories: using the stylized cinematic language of Hollywood blockbusters and religious epic movies, the video pre-enacts not just the ceremonial inauguration of the grand temple but also its destruction. Mixing past, present and - possible - future, Bartana reflects on the politics behind narratives of history as well as the individual and collective possibilities of political imagination.

Yael Bartana, born in 1970 in Kfar Yehezkel (Israel), lives in Amsterdam, Berlin and Tel-Aviv. She has had solo exhibitions e.g. at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2014), Secession, Vienna (2012), Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2013), Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (2012), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2012), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2012), 54th Biennale di Venezia, Polish Pavilion (2011), Moderna Museet, Malmö (2011), or MoMA PS1, New York (2008). She has participated in group exhibitions such as at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014), 31st São Paulo Art Biennial (2014), 19th Sydney Biennale (2014), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013), 7th Berlin Biennale (2012), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010), Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2010), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2010), Tate Modern, London (2009), Royal Academy of Arts, London (2009) and documenta 12 (2007).

Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová’s works reflect on gender-related hierarchies in socio-political realities as well as the art world. The video "Manifesto of Futurist Woman (Let's Conclude)" (2008) depicts a group of majorettes marching across an urban space while performing a choreographed message in the naval signal language Semaphore. The women perform the concluding part of the Manifesto della donna futurista, written in 1912 by the French poet, playwright and performance artist Valentine de Saint-Point. The text was a response to Elias Marinetti’s famous 1909 Manifesto del Futurismo. Critiquing the 'scorn of women' by Marinetti, Saint Point on the other hand proposed the 'strong woman' as a role model re-appropriating her instincts and vital strength in spite of a society which condemned her to weakness. Referring to these manifests, Chişa and Tkáčová yet again present their own take on the role of “the women” in post-communist contexts and subvert patriarchal rooted projections and power structures.

Anetta Mona Chişa, born in 1973 in Arad (Romania) & Lucia Tkácová, born in 1976 in Kremnica (Slovakia), collaborate since 2000. They live and work in Berlin and Prague. They had solo exhibtions e.g. at Waterside Contemporary, London (2013), 54th Biennale di Venezia, Romanian Pavilion (2011), Museo dell'Arte Classica, Rome (2010) and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2008). They participated in group exhibitions such as at Manifesta 10 (2014), National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (2014), Central Slovakian Gallery, Banska Bystrica (2013), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2013), Museum of Zemstvo, Chisinau (2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2012), 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2012), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2012), Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava (2011), Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2010), MUMOK Vienna (2009) and 6th Taipei Biennial (2008).

Judith Hopf’s work reflects on topics between the interweaved fields of politics and aesthetics. Her critical practice subverts normative social patterns and conditions of (self-)discipline and (self-)control. In Gdańsk, she presents parts of her sculptural work group Flock of Sheep (2013). Produced in a deliberately self-made process, the concrete herd combines both the massive and the fragile, brutalist repetition and tender distinction. The blocky bodies of the sheep made of concrete and cast from cardboard packing cases - some of them “lying“, others “standing” precariously on fragile iron legs left over from the casting process - are individually marked with coal drawn faces in the aesthetics of children's drawing. Referring to the history of anthropomorphic identifications with animals, and to associations towards herd behavior, the presence of the sheep in the exhibition space returning the gaze with their round charcoal eyes suggests an analogy with the human audience and it’s capacity for social differentiation.

Judith Hopf, born in 1969 in Karlsruhe (Germany), lives in Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions e.g. At PRAXES Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2014), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2013), Grazer Kunstverein (2012), Malmö Konsthall (2012), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2008), Portikus, Frankfurt a.M. (2007) or Wiener Secession (2007). She participated in group exhibitions such as at 8th Liverpool Biennial (2014), Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2013), dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), Kunsthalle Basel (2011), KunstWerke, Berlin (2010), Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde (2010), Kunsthalle Bern (2009), Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz (2009), Tate Modern, London (2008), Statens Museum for Kunst, Kopenhagen (2008), Kunstverein Braunschweig (2007), De Appel Museum, Amsterdam (2004) and 8. Biennale of Fine Arts, Havana (2003).

Ida Persson’s work decidedly reflects on the histories of control and discipline, specifically, the relationship between the organization of space and power, and the conditions for the individual. Her large-scale paintings presented in Gdańsk (2013/14) are characterized by reduction, abstraction and density: an obtrusive choice of bright colors creates intimidating sections that depict varying perspectives of hybrid constructions that resemble machines, furniture and architecture. These geometric forms are punctuated by shadows - round button-like shapes that are structured into continuous rows of rectilinear patterns which, from a distance appear like impenetrable organizations made-up of straight lines and strict forms, while close-up appear fragile, tangible and tensile. The juxtaposition between a resilient manifestation of the surface and an obvious debility in its very structure, reflect on the structural defects within systems or organizations that are built on shaky foundations and held together only in an insubstantial and breakable manner. Both on a structural and a socio-political level, the neoliberal era with its complex global interdependence of organizations and their balances of power has taken on a new dimension of inherent instability. Still, the tensile quality of the painted structure might be a silver lining, as if some change within the system itself - some steps out of the norm - are still imaginable.

Ida Persson, born in 1985 in Ystad (Sweden), lives in Umeå. She has participated in group exhibitions such as at Uppsala Konstmuseum (2015), Bildmuseet, Umeå (2014), Centre for Arts and Urbanistics, Berlin (2014), Latent, Säter (2012), Relativt Reell, Umeå (2012) and Liljevalchs Vårsalong, Stockholm (2012).

Viktor Neumann, born 1985 in Berlin, works as freelance curator and lecturer in Berlin. He studied art history at the Technical University, Berlin and the Humboldt University, Berlin, and has curated exhibitions and screenings e.g. at the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bildmuseet Umeå, National Centre for Contemporary Arts Yekaterinburg, Perm State Art Gallery, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Grey Noise, Dubai, Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin, Center for Art and Urbanistics, Berlin and the Senatsreservespeicher, Berlin. He was the assistant curator of the III. Moscow Biennale For Young Art 2012. He is a frequent lecturer on media art theory and has hold lectureships and workshops e.g. at the University of Arts, Berlin, American University Dubai, or Kunsthochschule Weißensee, Berlin.


Special events:

17.04.2015 | 6 p.m.

ARTIST TALK

Artist talk with Anetta Mona Chisa, Lucia Tkacova, Judith Hopf and Ida Persson. Moderated by Viktor Neumann

22.04.2015 | 6 p.m.

CROWD

Presentation by curator Henryk Gac on Magdalena Abakanowicz

16.05.2015 | 8 p.m.

THE NIGHT OF MUSEUMS

Book presentation by artist and author Patrycja Orzechowska - KINDERTURNEN.

29.05.2015 | 6 p.m.

Presentation by Sebastan Cichocki, curator at MoMA Warsaw, „Entartete Kunst Lebt! Film and Political Imagination in the art of Yael Bartana”