curators: Tomáš Glanc, Sabine Hänsgen, Emese Kürti
In Eastern Europe, there is a long tradition of sensitivity to the power, fragility and vulnerability of language. In the second half of the twentieth century, Eastern European poets and artists addressed the phenomenon of language being appropriated for purposes of mass communication, politics and ideology. Their interest was primarily directed at the artificiality, materiality and mediatization of language through performative art forms with the potential for examining possibilities of language and verbal expressions.
The international exhibition series Poetry and Performance – The Eastern European Perspective started in 2017. It gives space to a distinctive range of artistic approaches that confront authoritarian systems, presenting artworks from a historical perspective but also exploring how the potential inherent in the relationship of poetry and performance has repeatedly taken on significance in countries going through social and political crises, particularly, here, in the region. The exhibition presents photographs, text scores, interactive objects, audio and video recordings, films and performance documents of unique but interrelated works from countries of the region. It illuminates the context of work by artists from the subcultures of former socialist states and highlights some of the contemporary positions that seek ways of escaping from the vice of controlled language and normative communication patterns.
The exhibition material was gathered in the course of research at the University of Zurich between 2017 and 2020 on Eastern European performance art. In contrast with exhibitions held in other major European cities during the series, the Kassák Museum is presenting a concentrated, compact selection of the material.
Exhibiting artists: Gábor Altorjay (HU); Henri Chopin (F); Collective Actions Group (Kollektyivnije gyejsztvija) (RU); Attila Csernik (SRB); Tomislav Gotovac (HR); Bohumila Grögerová (CZ); Josef Hiršal (CZ); Katalin Ladik (SRB–HU); Vlado Martek (HR); Kirill Medvegyev (RU); Jan Měřička (CZ); Andrej Monasztirszkij (RU); Monogramista T.D Dezider Tóth (SK–CZ); Ladislav Novák (CZ); Pavel Novotný (CZ); Organge Alternative/Pomarańczowa Alternatywa (PL); Ewa Partum (PL); Dmitrij Prigov (RU); Pussy Riot (RU); Lev Rubinstein (RU); Gerhard Rühm (A/D); Mladen Stilinović (HR); Gabriele Stötzer (D); Tamás Szenytyóby (HU); Bálint Szombathy (HU); Raša Todosijević (SRB); Jaromír Typlt (CZ); Jiří Valoch (CZ); Young Girl Reading Group (Dorota Gawęda, Eglė Kulbokaitė (PL–LV)