Contemporary Art from Belarus, Croatia und Bulgaria

Works by Artists in Residence: Presentation 3/2012

Vernissage: Wednesday, 12 September 2012, 7 p.m.
Exhibition duration: 13 September – 5 October 2012
Tue., Wed., Fri. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thur. 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
and by appointment, tel.: 01 5238765-43

The artist and activist Marina Naprushkina, of Minsk, organises political actions through her “Office for Anti-Propaganda” and, from her base in Berlin, works in cooperation with representatives of the cultural and political scene in Belarus to support democratic processes in that country. The works she is presenting at Galerie ArtPoint have political content and were created during her residency in Vienna. Her comic drawing “Dialoge am Heldenplatz” (Dialogue on Heldenplatz) relates to a protest action that took place in Vienna in July. The protest was directed against the participation of L. Yarmoshyna, a high official and head of the Central Election Committee of Belarus, in the OSCE Conference in Vienna. Yarmoshyna has been on the visa ban list of the EU governments since 2004, but nevertheless she was issued a visa for Austria, which provoked heated debate throughout Europe. Naprushkina will also exhibit photographs of the action as well as the correspondence of her “Office for Anti-Propaganda” with OSCE officials. Naprushkina’s work “§8”, in which she makes reference to Austria’s legislation regarding freedom of assembly, also relates to the same protest action.
In her work “Home Aerobic”, Naprushkina focuses on the “silent protests” in the summer of 2011 in Belarus, to which the government responded with police violence and the arrest of some 2,000 persons. Superimposed on the photographs of the police arresting people – in many cases, women who had not participated in the protests – are photographs from the 1970s showing women doing gymnastic exercises in their homes. With this work, Naprushkina raises the question of where the boundaries between public and private life lie and point outs the extent to which everyday life is pervaded by politics.

Maja Rožman, who hails from Croatia, works mainly with the artistic media of installations and printmaking.
Her work “qrART” deals with the market value of art. She presents QR codes in the form of linocuts. By means of an app, visitors can decode them on their own smartphones. What they then see is the price of the linocut, which thereby becomes the central focus of the actual work. The QR code acts as a kind of oversized price tag. Commenting on her focus on artworks as prestige objects and the marketing strategies prevalent in the art market, Rožman says: “Owning an artwork often tends to be mainly about advertising its price rather than its dubious social values.”
The theme of her series of digital prints entitled “About Fear” is Rožman’s irrational fear of the unforeseeable, which in her case manifests itself primarily as a moth phobia. By observing and recording the hectic flight patterns of moths, Rožman attempts to make their movements foreseeable, which makes her fear of these creatures more bearable.

The preferred media of the Bulgarian artist Stela Vasileva are object art, installations, drawing and photography. She enjoys the challenge presented by each medium and the background associated with it. In her search for the “pure image”, she focuses on the object per se, by letting it float, so to speak, in an empty, “unlimited” space. In her work “Reflections”, for example, she works with mirrors, which break up the spatial structure and neutralise its singularities. In the video “Flowing Water”, Vasileva concentrates on the element of water and removes all images that could disturb this concentration. In this way, she attempts to give the viewer peace and relaxation and to evoke the trance-inducing effect of moving pictures.
In her drawings, Vasileva captures moments of daily life. Here, too, empty space plays an important role. In her drawings, people and their activities are very small and the space around them looks like a vacuum.

The Artists in Residence Programme

KulturKontakt Austria has invited 12 young artists to spend time in Vienna as Artists in Residence in 2012. During their respective three-month stays in Vienna, these artists are also being given an opportunity to present their works, including new ones created in Vienna, in four exhibitions held at Galerie ArtPoint. KulturKontakt Austria’s Artists in Residence Programme is for artists from Eastern and South Eastern Europe and Turkey, and has been offered since 1992. Since then, more than 5,600 artists have applied and 248 (including 2012) have participated in the programme. With its Artists in Residence Programme, KulturKontakt Austria enables artists to make contacts and engage in fruitful exchange in the Austrian and international art scenes.

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