June 29, 2014 - WRO Art Center - The RenomaWRO exhibition: Istvan Kantor: Media Revolt
June 29, 2014

The RenomaWRO exhibition: Istvan Kantor: Media Revolt

Opening of Istvan Kantor: Media Revolt. Photo: B. Świerszczek.

Istvan Kantor
Media Revolt
The RenomaWRO exhibition

June 20–July 31, 2014

Renoma Department Store

Curated by Piotr Krajewski

Open pop star Monty Cantsin, also known as the steadily eccentric and radical Hungarian-born Canadian artist Istvan Kantor, is showing his exhibition Media Revolt in Wrocław’s Renomabuilding. This is the second experimental undertaking jointly organized by the WRO Art Center and Griffin Art Space in the RenomaWRO series, which started with an international exhibition of installations during the WRO 2013 Media Art Biennale.

“The RenomaWRO Media Revolt exhibition is a continuation of Kantor’s discourse on the subject of the conventions of social institutions and cliches of art duties,” says Piotr Krajewski, the curator of the exhibition.

Born in communist Hungary, and living and working in Canada, Istvan Kantor (aka Monty Cantsin, aka Amen!) creates intense and idiosyncratic productions that never fail to provoke discussions about the nature of art authorities and the institutionalization of art. He uses widely assorted means of expression: screen works, performances, multimedia installations, painting, photography, actionism, pop culture, anti-ideology, legalism, revolt, social movements, noise and song. In his ongoing battle for the independence of artists in a society that’s increasingly unified technologically but increasingly stratified economically, Kantor’s tone remains ironic and personal, and he finds the strategies of appropriation and reciprocity, pathos and mockery, planning and improvisation equally useful. As the open pop star Monty Cantsin, Kantor became the icon of Neoism, a subversive movement he launched in 1978 with an underground, anti-institutional stance that questioned mainstream ideology, economy, culture and artistic production.

Kantor’s works are experimental intellectual rebellions. “Bringing about the downfall of art by giving up art objects was a 20th-century game, full of lost and failed revolutions…But there are signs that the game isn’t over yet, and the remaining desperate players are still trying to overthrow the reigning system of art as commodity,” Kantor says. In keeping with the spirit of Neoism, Kantor carries on avant-garde traditions of rebellion, and his artistic endeavors—no matter what media he uses—always relate to the social situation. He has been arrested and jailed a number of times in the last three decades for his activities, including guerilla-style interventions in art institutions.

Kantor has won numerous prestigious awards, such as the Telefilm Canada Award for the Best Canadian Film and Video in 1998, the Transmediale Berlin Award in 2001 and the Canadian Governor General’s Award in Visual Media and Art. He has participated in several WRO Biennales: At WRO 93 and WRO 97 he won second prize (for his works Barricades and Nineveh, respectively); at WRO 09 honorable mention for (The Never Ending) Operetta, and the audience at WRO 2011 responded very enthusiastically to his performance Antihero!.

In conjunction with Media Revolt, the WRO Art Center is publishing in English a multimedia collection of Kantor’s most important writings, video works and musical performances. The publication is part of the WIDOK: WRO Media Art Reader series.

For more information on terms and conditions of the distribution of the publication Istvan Kantor Media Revolt (WIDOK: WRO Media Art Reader series, book + DVD, in English), for interested parties and institutions (teachers, students, artists, galleries, museums, libraries, etc.), please visit www.wrocenter.pl/mediarevolt

Realisation: WRO Art Center
Patron of the RenomaWRO project: Griffin Art Space


The RenomaWRO exhibition: Istvan Kantor: Media Revolt
WRO Art Center
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