June 30, 2012 - Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Torun (CoCA) - Agnieszka Kurant and Theatre of Life
June 30, 2012

Agnieszka Kurant and Theatre of Life

Ana Prvacki, Do It Yourself Chivalry
(video still), 2009.*

Theatre of Life
18 May–16 September 2012

Agnieszka Kurant
Phantom Capital
15 June–1 October 2012

Centre of Contemporary Art 
‘Znaki Czasu’ in Torun (CoCA)
Waly gen. Sikorskiego 13
87-100 Torun, Poland


Theatre of Life
18 May–16 September 2012

Artists: John Cage, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, VALIE EXPORT, Natalia LL, John Baldessari, Neša Paripović, Ulay, Marek Sobczyk, Katarzyna Kozyra, Maurizio Cattelan, David Michalek, Pierre Bismuth, Jonathan Monk, Vanessa Beecroft, João Onofre, Francesco Vezzoli, Gil Kuno, Partick Tuttofuoco, Nezaket Ekici, Pilvi Takala, Marlene Haring, Ana Prvački, Mihoko Ogaki, Malin Ståhl, Branko Milisković, Francesco Fonassi, Nicola Ruben Montini, Lerato Shadi, Maks Cieślak

Curated by Dobrila Denegri.

Life, life itself… is the absolute art!
When Yves Klein pronounced these words for the first time they were highly provocative. Not only did they undermined conventional notions of art, they also anticipated all those artistic strategies which expanded, to the highest extent, the boundaries of art.

Theatre of Life is dedicated to artistic practices which looked for confluence between art, music, dance, and theatre. Performance, body art, and all those tendencies which put the focus on the action and on the body (of the artist) as the subject and the object of the artwork are the point of departure for the exhibition that aims to explore ways in which younger generations are addressing the same topics. Anarchic, freeing, and heroic gestures of the art of the ’60s and ’70s, their theatricality and subversiveness still echo in the practices of the younger generations, even though the emphasis today is more on repetition than on uniqueness and on the re-enactment as the strategy for expressing the new.

Why redo? Why re-perform? What are the motivations that drive artists, especially younger ones, to re-visit works/actions done decades ago? This is one, but not the only focal point of the exhibition. Another explores dichotomies: action/inactivity, motion/stillness, presence/absence. Silence, slowness, minimal gestures are common features recognizable in the works of younger performers and this exhibition investigates how reduced expressive language is capable of producing intense and involving artistic statements.

Departing from topical works by Yoko Ono, VALIE EXPORT, Marina Abramovic, and Natalia LL, this exhibition develops like a voyage through the multiplicity of “bodyscapes,” which might be static or in motion, live or on film. It is also a journey through challenging and provocative statements through which contemporary artists (Cattelan, Beecroft, Vezzoli, Kozyra) addressed conventions of patriarchal society, political or religious authorities, sexual freedoms, and art-taboos. The show is enriched by a monumental work by Partrick Tuttofuoco, Chinese Theatre—an auditorium in which screened selection of interconnected works by John Baldessari, Joao Onofre, Jonathan Monk, and Pierre Bismuth function as exhibition within an exhibition.

Agnieszka Kurant
Phantom Capital
15 June–1 October 2012

Curated by Joanna Sandell.

The personal exhibition of Agnieszka Kurant at CoCA Torun continues the quadrennial series entitled FOCUS POLAND, dedicated to emerging Polish artists and curated by guest curators coming form European museums and contemporary art centres.

Agnieszka Kurant’s practice relates to the “economy of the invisible.” She is interested in the “unknown unknown” of knowledge, “general intellect” and collective intelligence, mutations of memes and manipulations of collective consciousness. Her works reference phenomena such as virtual capital, imaginary property, and immaterial labour. Kurant explores how things created as fictions, rumors, paranormal phenomena, myths, objects not existing materially, enter into the economy of the contemporary world, how even the imaginary or the existence of the future in the present is also colonized, valorized, and politicized.

Agnieszka Kurant is interested in the hybrid status of things: hybridity of value, authorship, production, dispersion, and ownership as well as the aura of objects and the new modes of production, distribution, and dispersion in cognitive capitalism. Her works are often in constant transformation and have shifted their status and meaning in different ways since they were created. They shift forms and formats depending of different quasi-fictional or unexpected factors, parameters, and contexts operating in reality, such as the impact of rumors, fictions, or the weather on economy and politics.

Artist Agnieszka Kurant and curator Joanna Sandell will start a series of researches on signs of our times and the status of our collective memory, starting with the exhibition Phantom Capital at CoCA in Torun which will present new works: Multiverse, Silence is Golden, as well as a translation of Jean Yves Jouannais’ book Artists without Artworks with Kurant’s commentaries. Fragments of the exhibition at CoCA will also be included in Kurant’s solo exhibition-project at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, starting in the fall of 2012.

For more information:
Aleksandra Mosiolek
T +48 56 610 97 23
M +48 666 871 624

Exhibitions supporters:
Sharp, Hotel Bulwar, Japan Foundation, Austriackie Forum Kultury, Botkyrka Konsthall, Instytut Włoski, Polskie Radio Czwórka, Arteon, Art&Business, CzasKultury, Exit, Exklusiv, indexart, Kmag, natemat, Fundacja bęz zmiana, obieg, o.pl, torun24.tv

*Image above:
Ana Prvacki, Do It Yourself Chivalry (video still), 2009.
Courtesy the artist and Lombard Fried Projects, NY.



CoCA Torun presents Agnieszka Kurant and Theatre of Life
Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Torun (CoCA)
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