June 28, 2005 - mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien - Nach Rokytník: The EVN Collection
June 28, 2005

Nach Rokytník: The EVN Collection

Melik Ohanian, Selected Recording #003, 2003, Lambda print, 124 x 160 cm, Courtesy evn sammlung, Maria Enzersdorf

Nach Rokytník: The EVN Collection
July 3 - September 18, 2005
Opening: July 2, 2005, 7:30pm
Press Conference: June 30, 2005, 12pm

MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
Museumsplatz 1
A 1070 Vienna


Curator: Brigitte Huck

With this presentation of the EVN Collection, MUMOK begins its Year of Collecting. In so doing, the museum seeks to highlight its own initiative in establishing a current and lasting debate on the present and future of the public and private collecting of contemporary art.

The EVN Collection is characterized by its international make-up and its radically contemporary quality. For ten years, a team of experts (Brigitte Huck, Georg Kargl, Paul Katzberger, Wolfgang Kos, and Hans Ulrich Obrist) has continuously developed the profile of the collection of the Lower Austrian energy company EVN, without any imposed limitations in terms of content or medium. The collection focuses on the art of the last two decades, a time in which contemporary art faceted out in many different ways, transcending particular issues, media, and sites.

Organized in a pluralistic and polyphonic way from the very start, the EVN Collection is open to all kinds of artistic strategies, including non-object-based work. Important here are the artists themselves and the power of their works to seduce the beholder, and not specific issues like energy. Over the years, the collection has grown to include over 150 works. It represents an important part of the corporate philosophy and is shown within the public areas of EVNs company headquarters.

Among the wide variety of issues and media represented in the EVN Collection, one focal point crystallizes around the relation between art and the public, or the links between aesthetic and social questions. The question of identity and its construction in a media-dominated world thus represents a central thematic area of the collection. In various artistic approaches, interpersonal relations and personal positions are presented before the backdrop of past and present experiences (Marlene Dumas, Marcus Geiger, Douglas Gordon, Mona Hatoum, Elke Krystufek, Elizabeth Peyton, Muntean/Rosenblum).

The title of the exhibition also refers to the issue of identity: it derives from one of the first works acquired for the collection, Nach Rokytník, a series of photographs by Jitka Hanzlová in which the artist portrays her home village in the Czech Republic, Rokytník. This attempt of the artist to approach her own history in photography corresponds to the goal of the expert jury to develop a distinct contour for the collection.

A further emphasis of the collection is on works that interrogate the responsibility of the individual within the dichotomy of civilization and nature. These works explore processes and energies, and interrogate the mutual interrelationship between natural and artistic resources in a differentiated way, as well as the question of peripheries and center (Maurizio Cattelan, Fischli/Weiss, Andreas Gursky, Andreas Slominski, Lois Weinberger).

Beyond these thematic areas, yet still in relation to them, the collection also includes numerous representative positions that focus on the production and definition of art. These include works that reflect on the nature of the media and thus transcend the traditional artistic disciplines, as well as images, objects, and projects in which the traditional media of painting and sculpture are analyzed and expanded (Angela Bulloch, Bernard Frize, Liam Gillick, Mike Kelley, Herwig Kempinger, Thomas Locher, Inés Lombardi, Walter Obholzer, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Sarah Morris, Sue Williams).

The EVN Collection also includes the most recent artistic production, which is characterized by an increased discursivity and politicization and engages critically with artistic judgments typical of modernism (Mircea Cantor, Roza El-Hassan, Jakob Kolding, Dorit Margreiter, Melik Ohanian, HuangYong Ping, Florian Pumhösl Anri Sala, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Milica Tomic). An additional emphasis is on models and staged vitrine objects that demonstrate on a sculptural level realitys multiple layers or its fragmentary quality (Jimmie Durham, Joep van Lieshout, Marko Lulic, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreicka, Franz West).

Despite all the differences among the works in the collection, they still interact with one another, enabling relationships between the works and creating new narratives unlike the encyclopedic taxonomies of more classical models of collecting. Finally, the visual archive assembled in the EVN Collection is also marked by the subjective perspective of fans and enthusiasts.

The conception and profile of the collection are rooted in the conviction that professional collecting on a private or corporate basis is an undertaking with a public relevance, and that current art production can be seen as necessary for critical reflection about our present historical situation. Showing the collection at the company headquarters as well as in a museum context is one manifestation of this point of view. For MUMOK and the visitors to the museum, this exhibition of the EVN Collection also provides an opportunity to see MUMOKs own collection in a new way.

An extensive catalogue, featuring articles by members of the EVN Art Council as well as an introduction by Edelbert Köb and a text by Thomas Trummer, will accompany the exhibition.

Our thanks to MUMOKs sponsors: Telekom Austria, Dorotheum, Der Standard, and
Information: Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
MuseumsQuartier | Museumsplatz 1 | A-1070 Vienna Phone ( 43-1) 525 00 | Fax ( 43-1) 525 00-1300
info@mumok.at | www.mumok.at
Press contact: Barbara Hammerschmied
Phone ( 43-1) 525 00-1400 | Fax ( 43-1) 525 00-1300

mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
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