June 28, 2011 - The Power Plant - Rearview Mirror: New Art from Central and Eastern Europe
June 28, 2011

Rearview Mirror: New Art from Central and Eastern Europe

Anetta Mona Chişa and Lucia Tkáčová, still from “Manifesto of the Futurist Woman (Let’s Conclude),” 2008.*

Rearview Mirror:
New Art from Central and Eastern Europe
Co-produced by The Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Alberta
1 July–5 September 2011

Opening:
30 June, 8–11 PMThe Power Plant
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario
M5J 2G8 Canada

thepowerplant.org

Participating Artists: Paweł Althamer (Poland), Anetta Mona Chişa (Romania/Czech Republic) and Lucia Tkáčová (Slovakia), Gintaras Didžiapetris (Lithuania), Dušica Dražić, (Serbia), Igor Eškinja (Croatia), Johnson & Johnson (Estonia), Anna Kołodziejska (Poland), David Maljković (Croatia), Ján Mančuška (Czech Republic), Dénes Miklósi (Romania), Alex Mirutziu (Romania), Anna Molska (Poland), Ivan Moudov (Bulgaria), Ciprian Mureşan (Romania), Deimantas Narkevičius (Lithuania), Roman Ondák (Slovakia), Anna Ostoya (Poland), Taras Polataiko (Ukraine), Wilhelm Sasnal (Poland), Sislej Xhafa (Kosova), Katarina Zdjelar (Serbia)

Curated by Christopher Eamon

The Power Plant is pleased to present Rearview Mirror, an exhibition that brings together the work of a new generation of artists from Central and Eastern Europe. The work of the twenty-two artists in the exhibition looks to the past as well as to the future as through a rearview mirror. The artists engage post-conceptual strategies and forms, and collectively challenge accepted notions of Eastern Europe as a social, political and art historical monolith. In an attempt to alter stereotypes of Eastern Art and Easternness in general, the exhibition is a preliminary experiment and dialogue in the post-socialist period.

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, one might expect great changes in the cultural practices in the region known since the Yalta agreement as the Eastern Bloc even though the political cultures and histories of the various nations comprising it greatly diverge. Indeed this is the case in many practices that have been selected for Rearview Mirror, mainly for the artists’ choices of non-traditional forms that range in media from video, installation and performance to sculpture and painting. Many of the artists are self-taught or have worked outside of the academy (where their non-traditional approaches would not have been supported). Other artists worked through academic channels where previous avant-gardes maintain their position within official institutions.

Although the specific political histories of the countries of the East are inextricably linked to past aesthetic practices, in many exhibitions based largely on a political geography there is a tendency to expect art to demonstrate something about the relation between East and West. Instead this exhibition does not do this and does not attempt to be all-inclusive or encyclopedic. Rearview Mirror brings together the work of artists from diverse backgrounds and histories to look at the non-traditional practices of a younger generation of artists from the last decade, presenting an opportunity to view art works by relative newcomers such as Ciprian Mureşan, Gintaras Didžiapetris and Anna Molska in the context of some of their contemporaries already known through international art circuits such as Paweł Althamer, Roman Ondák and Wilhelm Sasnal.

Guest curator Christopher Eamon is a Canadian-born, New York-based independent curator who has curated numerous international exhibitions and edited and written for a wide number of publications. For over a decade Eamon was curator of the Pamela and Richard Kramlich Collection in San Francisco.

The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial publication edited by Christopher Eamon that features commissioned texts by Zoran Erić, Raimundas Malašauskas and Andrzej Szczerski. It is co-published by The Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Alberta.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a full slate of public programs including a performative lecture by Anna Ostoya entitled Jiggling and Rustling (2 July), a lecture on the exhibition by guest curator Christopher Eamon (20 July), a screening of films by Wilhelm Sasnal (10 August), and regular performances of Roman Ondák’s The Stray Man.

*Image above:
Courtesy of the artists and Christine König Galerie, Vienna.

Rearview Mirror: New Art from Central and Eastern Europe
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