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Research exhibition on State (Re)-Actions

In the course of a research exhibition we would like to focus on performances and happenings as the key indicators for the permeability and porosity of the actions, interactions and reactions between the State and the performance artists focusing on examples from Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic and the GDR between 1950-1990.

The exhibition will focus on original documents of these heterogeneous and often not unambiguous relationships between artistic and the state-driven documentation, so for example the documentation of performances by Secret Agents of the Secret Police.

On the reverse, the presentation of counter-actions of the State against artists, the strategic handling of the theory of happenings and the often crucial influence on performances triggered by the state surveillance is also a core point of the project.

We plan to present this exhibition at the Hardware Kunstverein Dortmund and at the Gessnerallee Zürich.

Photo credits
BSTU: “Eingeschränkte Freiheit.“ Der Fall Gabriele Stötzer, Berlin 2014, 45, 54, 62.


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Dmitry Prigov: Russian Earth, Soviet Earth, 1979

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Václav Havel: Generation of August, 21, 1968


Texts, Pictures, Objects, Performances in Art Practices from the 1960s to the 1990s
16th June to 30th October 2016
Exhibition venue: The Museum of Czech Literature (MCL), Star Summer Palace, Prague
Curators: Sabine Hänsgen, Tomáš Glanc, Petr Kotyk (MCL)

The intention of the exhibition is to introduce, for the first time in Bohemia, the artistic personality of Dmitry Prigov, by means of comparing his work with Havel’s Anticodes
and examples of Czech experimental poetics.

In different cultural areas, whether in terms of conceptual art or performance, we are currently witnessing the re-discovering of connections of which, until recently, there was very limited awareness. In various parts of Eastern Europe, there were parallels developing between movements and approaches that were separated not only by the Iron Curtain from the developments in the West, but also, paradoxically, by impenetrable barriers between those Eastern European cultures themselves.

This aspect is of particular importance in the work of Dmitry Prigov, who, from the 1970s onwards, developed a unique version of experimental poetics, that deals with text and graphics, or with the sound realization of words and verses. He specialized, amongst other things, on poetic performance, which comprises an essential part of his work.

In the five points of the Star Summer Palace, the basic forms of Prigov’s work and the ways in which they relate to Havel’s Anticodes’ and Czech experimental poetry will be presented.


Photo credits
Courtesy Galerie Sandmann, Berlin
© Dmitry Prigov Foundation
© Knihovna Václava Havla, Praha