Agnieszka Brzezanska, Aleksandra Domanovic, Karl Holmqvist, Reto Pulfer, Adriana Salazar Arroyo, Gernot Wieland, Amelie von Wulffen
November 25, 2011 to February 26, 2012
Opening: November 24, 2011, 7pm
With a lecture/performance “Things that leave me sleepless” by Gernot Wieland at 8 pm.
The lecture/performance will be repeated in English at the exhibition closing on February 26, 2012 at 4 pm.
Opening hours: Thursday to Saturday, 2 – 6 pm
The current group exhibition signals the start of the second phase of the OSLO10 program. Following temporary, one-off events held inside and outside of the exhibition space, a series of solo and group exhibitions will take place from November 2011 until October 2012. The exhibition HOTAVANTGARDEHOTHOT bears the same title as that describing the two-year-long program of OSLO10.
The group show addresses the linguistic and social attributes of the avant-garde and its significance today. In the history of the visual arts, the avant-garde refers to the artistic movements that occurred at the start of the 20th century, and is inseparable from the discourse on modernity. Since the end of the 20th century, the term “avant-garde” has become especially fashionable within the culture industry: it is often used in describing new brands or certain lifestyles. Has the movement of art going forward, in search of new territories, become obsolete, and/or has its vanguard gone elsewhere today?
In contemporary artistic production, the notion of the avant-garde appears most prominently in critical or ironic observations and references. What unites the artists represented in this exhibition is their non-hierarchical treatment of available cultural material. They appropriate it by repeating pre-existing works (Karl Holmqvist, Reto Pulfer), shift its perception through radical fragmentation (Agnieska Brzezanska, Adriana Salazar Arroyo) and alter its meaning by changing its format. They use the aesthetics and techniques of arts and crafts, scientific exposition and applied art and question the value and relevance of the artwork today (Karl Holmqvist, Gernot Wieland, Amelie von Wulffen). The old avant-garde utopias no longer seem appropriate for the times – the wish for change and the attack on existing norms, however, has not yet been lost. Hence the monuments appear in several works, as symbols of established and rigid dogmas – as fragments of a failed ideology in the work of Adriana Salazar Arroyo, and as the means of creating a new identity and a new historical awareness in the works of Aleksandra Dominic and Gernot Wieland.
Today, the realization and implementation of forward movements have become subtler and the abandonment of what has become a historical concept of the “avant-garde” reflects a democratization of the art system. Contemporary artists now have numerous channels of distribution and communication at their disposal and the access to art and its comprehension is no longer limited to a small few. Thus artists such as Aleksandra Domanovic reflect the distribution and production possibilities of the electronic media and use it systematically for their own works. In this sense, the exhibition HOTAVANTGARDEHOTHOT reflects on the intermediate state both for and against the avant-garde(s) and presents individual reflections on its accomplishments, its influence as well as its failure.
Photos: Serge Hasenböhler