Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century

Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century

frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien

Joachim Seinfeld, WKI 1917, Luftabwehr from the series “When Germans Are Having Fun—Docufiction,” 2014. Photograph.

May 24, 2015

Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century
3 June–16 August 2015

Opening: 2 June, 7pm

freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL/MuseumsQuartier Wien
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 1–4pm & 4:30–8pm
Admission free

The exhibition Notes At The Beginning Of The Short 20th Century, curated by Andrea Domesle and Frank Eckhardt (GER), features current works by European artists on World War I, and opens at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL in the MuseumsQuartier Wien on 2 June.

Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century pursues the historical traces of the First World War in the present, and reflects on their treatment. What does that period of time, those events a long time ago, mean to us? What is behind current engagement with the subject? What are the intentions and the image politics behind different forms of engagement with the past?

The exhibition explores the extent that contemporary art can expand the cultural memory, correct or even contribute to a finding of the facts. At the same time, the exponents show altered rather than socially compliant images of history, highlighting differences between national narratives about the war and cultures of commemorating it.

The slideshow Reparatur. 5 Akte (2012) by Kader Attia (France) links, inter alia, the European treatment of the World War I and the history of colonialism with current policy on immigration. Deborah Sengl (Austria) shows the sculpture In-Chlor-Ious Basterd, in allusion to the “father of chemical warfare,” chemist Fritz Haber. While Olga Alia Krulisova & Jana Morkovska (Czech Republic) have filmed a re-enactment of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo. The New York-based Austrian Nin Brudermann (Austria) engages with her own family history for her installation Clash of Giants, as well as for a short film of the same title. The Russian artist group San Donato (Russia) have re-installed an iron soldier made of nails that was popular during the Great War as a patriotic sculpture.

The exhibition also includes new works completed by the quartier21/MQ Artists-in-Residence during their stay in Vienna, among these are an installation by the group ETAGE (Germany), who reflect on images of the war. Beate Passow (Germany) engages with the writings of Gottfried Benn and Georg Trakl, and uses embroidery as a metaphor for the combination of otherwise incompatible elements. In contrast, Joachim Seinfeld (Germany) manipulates historical documentary material in his series of photographs “Wenn Deutsche lustig sind – Dokufiction.” The artistic play on identities is intended to encourage viewers to reconsider their own individual social frame of reference for history.

A program of lectures, screenings, artist talks and guided tours accompany the exhibition, as well as events for children and teenagers.

Kader Attia (France), Simone Bader (Austria), Marcin Berdyszak (Poland), Nin Brudermann (Austria), Martin Chramosta* (Switzerland), ETAGE (Germany) (Stefan Bombaci & Daniela Dietmann)*, Karen Geyer – Grauton* (Switzerland), Sabine Groß* (Germany), Group San Donato (Russia) (Oleg Blyablyas, Alexey Chebykin, Evgeny Umansky), Thibaud Guichard* (France), Ruppe Koselleck* (Germany), Martin Krenn (Austria), Olga Alia Krulisova & Jana Morkovska* (Czech Republic), Anton Kuznetsov* (Russia), Jerôme Leuba (Switzerland), François Martig* (Belgium), Radenko Milak (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mladen Miljanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Beate Passow* (Germany), Joachim Seinfeld* (Germany), Deborah Sengl (Austria), Belle Shafir*
* quartier21/MQ Artist-in-Residence

Curated by Andrea Domesle (Germany) and Frank Eckhardt (Germany)

Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century is organized in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, “Motorenhalle. Projektzentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst Dresden.” and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.

Guided tour for the press: 2 June, 10am

Director of the MuseumsQuartier Wien: Dr. Christian Strasser

Enquiries to
MQ Press: Irene Preissler
T [+43] (0)1 / 5235881 1712 / ipreissler [​at​]

Artistic director, freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL:
Elisabeth Hajek
T [+43] (0)1 / 5235881 1717 / ehajek [​at​]

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frei_raum Q21 exhibition space/MuseumsQuartier Wien
May 24, 2015

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