CMRK is a network of four independent institutions for contemporary art based in Graz: Camera Austria, Künstlerhaus – Halle für Kunst & Medien, < rotor >, and Grazer Kunstverein.
Hans Hansen: Atelier
March 18–June 4, 2017
Monika Zawadzki: Der Keller
Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM– Graz)
March 11–June 11, 2017
Productive Wild Archive: < rotor > 1999 (1994)–2006
< rotor >
March 11–June 10, 2017
Céline Condorelli, Chris Evans with Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Ernst Fischer, Fiona Hallinan, Isabella Kohlhuber, Isabel Nolan, Adam Zagajewski
March 11–June 9, 2017
Hans Hansen is widely considered to be one of the most important creators of product and still-life photography. His pictorial language evolved through a quest for simplification and by toying with form and alienation, usually based on his experiments with light. By using reduction and liberating objects from their contexts of origin, Hansen has succeeded in imbuing the photographic image with a sense of autonomy that references questions of representation extending far beyond the field of so-called product photography. It is for this reason in particular that the work of Hansen remains a recurring point of reference for a younger generation of artists who primarily move within the realm of photography. The exhibition was initiated by artist Annette Kelm and designer Hendrik Schwantes and was put together in collaboration with Hansen. It shows a subjective cross-section from his long-standing photographic practice—intermingling freelance projects and commissioned works. Therefore, the exhibition at Camera Austria thematizes the junctions between free and applied photography. Atelier introduces the work of an applied photographer who transcends the conventions and purported boundaries of applied photography by developing his own pictorial language and by integrating diverse influences from the visual arts and design.
The exhibition Der Keller at Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM– Graz) is the first solo survey show of Monika Zawadzki outside Poland featuring new commissions, as well as 17 abstract and figurative works from different periods realized over the last ten years, showing the consequence of the artist’s path. Zawadzki creates sculptures, wall paintings, and videos using simplification displaying an economy of form, often limited to black color. The main topic of Zawadzki’s works is the functioning of individuals and groups within ethical, biological, and political orders. The space downstairs in the exhibition Der Keller (cellar) is a conceptual framework for displaying questions on violence, domination, and exclusion, as well as the relationship between corporality and spirituality. Her works are ambivalent in their message, full of dark humor and seriousness at the same time—rather accepting the existing scheme of things, a world where more than one catastrophic scenario might become real. The value ingrained in Zawadzki’s artistic practice is humility, understood as accepting the limitations of human beings.
After so many years of intensive production and presentation, it was about time to look through and sort the collected materials of < rotor >. In a first step, the exhibitions and projects realized between 1999 (and with Raum für Kunst prior to that since 1994) and 2006 will be reflected. A large number of treasures from the inventory can be experienced by the visitors and will definitely call up many a memory.
The Grazer Kunstverein is delighted to mark the launch of the 2017 artistic program with new and extended commissions by Céline Condorelli, Chris Evans with Morten Norbye Halvorsen, and Fiona Hallinan; the presentation of work by Isabella Kohlhuber, Isabel Nolan, and Adam Zagajewski; and an ongoing enquiry into the work of Ernst Fischer. Spring at the Grazer Kunstverein is a season inspired by the agency of art in the context of world-building and the lived environment. The season explores how art can enrich and confound our thinking processes, as with the work of Isabel Nolan; support, enable, and empower, through the work of Isabella Kohlhuber; and reflect on what it means to be alive together, through a series of new research initiatives and collaborations. As part of new commissions, Chris Evans, in collaboration with Morten Norbye Halvorsen, presents a jingle for the six entrance doors of the building, set to cumulatively proclaim and broadcast the arrival of each visitor. Fiona Hallinan launches the first iteration of Fink’s—a newly commissioned and ongoing “library of tastes,” designed in collaboration with local producers, to welcome conversation and exchange. The guiding leitmotif throughout 2017 is “The Necessity of Art”—inspired by Ernst Fischer’s 1959 publication: The Necessity of Art: A Marxist Approach. The year-long program of evolving new commissions and artistic research is guided by Fischer’s claim that art is not only necessary in order to make it possible for humanity to recognize and change the world, but that art is also necessary by virtue of the magic inherent within it.