The Showroom presents Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb), a contextualisation and rethinking of the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection. The exhibition forms the epilogue of a long-term project which originally took place in Zagreb from November 2016 to May 2017, curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg.
Taking selected works from the Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, including historical works by Mladen Stilinović, Július Koller, Valie Export, Geta Brătescu, Edward Krasiński and Sanja Iveković, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection by artists such as Nika Dubrovsky, Tim Etchells, Marcus Geiger, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Vlatka Horvat, David Maljković, Oscar Murillo, Manuel Pelmus and Stephen Willats.
In Zagreb the project unfolded in six episodes, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city.
This final stage of the project curated in collaboration with Emily Pethick at The Showroom, continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements.
The exhibition will be a dense installation of over fifty works, both historical and contemporary, incorporating diverse media including painting, photography, sculpture, video, performance and installation, which will be exhibited on the inside and outside of The Showroom’s building.
The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide.
Full list of artists:
Geta Brătescu, Lutz Becker, Josef Dabernig, Nika Dubrovsky, Tim Etchells, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Marcus Geiger, Tomislav Gotovac, Vlatka Horvat, Sanja Iveković, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Jiří Kovanda, KwieKulik, Katalin Ladik, Dora Maurer, Oscar Murillo, David Maljković, Paul Neagu, Neša Paripović, Ewa Partum, Manuel Pelmuş, Cora Pongracz, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Mladen Stilinović, Petr Štembera, Goran Trbuljak, Mona Vătămanu/ Florin Tudor, Stephen Willats.
The Kontakt Art Collection based in Vienna was initiated in 2004. It includes seminal works by a number of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, over the years selected by the members of its advisory committee that includes Silvia Eiblmayr, Georg Schöllhammer, Jiří Ševčík, Branka Stipančić and Adam Szymczyk. As such, it is a crucial source for research pertaining to the art history of the region, but also a suitable starting point to critically approach the very notion of Eastern European Art as a short-hand for the geopolitical paradigm and ideological framework in which it is contained, as well as the mechanisms of filtering local material to international prominence.
The project is a cooperation with the Kontakt collection and is supported by the Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation.