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Program

15 Jun 2013 00:00 - 21 Jul 2013 00:00

Individual Order featuring Jiří Kovanda

The exhibition presents conceptual works that unravel various stories as poetic comments on political situations, or even disturbances of the order of things, and provide unexpected encounters and absurd actions that rediscover the expressive possibilities of the individual against a normative standardised society. Jiří Kovanda will make a re-enactment of his two seminal installation works, accompanied by a series of photographic works of his earlier performances.

Gallery Open Thurs - Sun 11 - 6


INDIVIDUAL ORDER - PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
JIŘÍ KOVANDA, FRANCIS ALŸS, CARLOS BUNGA, GRACIELA CARNEVALE, KAROLINA ERLINGSSON, MAIDER LOPEZ, ADRIAN PIPER

Individual Order investigates how diverse artistic strategies, seemingly humble or even invisible, can unfold as gestures of resistance; ultimately even as instruments for radical change. Can moments of absence, immateriality, and small individual interventions literally and metaphorically transform a situation? And if so, how can these strategies maintain a reflective or critical relationship to the surrounding world while remaining almost unnoticeable as actions?

The conceptual works showcased at KARST’s most extensive exhibition to date, unravel various stories as poetic comments on political situations, or even disturbances of the order of things, and provide unexpected encounters and absurd actions that rediscover the expressive possibilities of the individual against a normative standardised society.

Partly inspired by Julia Kristeva's writings - discussing ‘what there is to revolt against’- the exhibition questions the failure and defeat of rebellious ideologies by unrestrained consumerism, and examines the role these individual acts can still play. Immaterial labour, especially in critical work, is hard to value as a commodity in a global market. However, through the psychoanalysis of Freud, Kristeva states that happiness exists only at the price of a revolt; ‘None of us has pleasure without confronting an obstacle, prohibition, authority or law that allows us to realise ourselves as autonomous and free’. By representing absence, the loss of old foundations, the fragility of memory and the ambiguity ahead, there is potential to live with these insights; perhaps these are the cornerstones on which to build a new future.

For KARST, Jiří Kovanda will make an re-enactment of the two seminal installation works: Installation I, December 1978 and Installation II, February 1979, accompanied by a series of photographic works of his earlier performances.

Jiří Kovanda (b. 1953, Prague, Czech Republic, where he lives and works) is an internationally recognised artist and a leading figure of the second generation of Czech ‘actionism’ in the late 1970s. He is known for his almost invisible, minimalist actions and ‘action-interventions’, which might be reffered to as protocols of a general record.

Kovanda’s artistic gestures carries a certain romanticism and poetry in comparison to so many traumatic and political influential performances taking place in the depressing reality of the 70s, but still remain strongly political actions of individual resistance. Like Untitled (Waiting for someone to call me), from 1976, or the later performance piece Kissing Through Glass (2007), where he surrenders his active artistic self to the decisions of others. In Jirí Kovanda's invisible gestures or minimal interventions, his strategy is to connect with people by his own way of existing and acting, as exemplified in his works now displayed at Karst. This could be the simple action of gazing fixedly at the people in an escalator, or intentionally-unintentionally touching passers-by on a street by keeping his arms stretched out. Kovanda’s performative acts are based on repetition of existing elements, and the idea of imitation, though in many cases Kovanda creates the possibility of new and unexpected encounters in a increasingly non-communicative society, by using non-verbal communication, or parody, to undermine authority.

The two works that Kovanda re-enacts for Individual Order (Installation I, December 1978 and Installation II, February 1979), use the concrete pillars that constitute the gallery space of KARST as starting points. Behind one pillar in an empty room a domestic plant is to be found, altering that which would be expected in the gallery place, on another pillar there is a string attached, leaving the audience to fill in with its own narrative, concluding the experience.

 

KARST is a non-profit, artist-led initiative in Plymouth focused on providing studio space and the exposure of international contemporary arts, offering innovative curatorial projects a test-bed for gallery presentation. KARST was founded in 2012 and functions as a venue for contemporary arts through selected and guest-curated projects working with partner organisations, collaborative groups and individuals.

KARST has commissioned and exhibited works with support from Plymouth City Council, the Arts Council England, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, OCA: Office for Contemporary Art Norway, the Danish Arts Council, the Swedish Embassy, Czech Centre and the Acción Cultural Española among others.

 

More information at: http://www.karst-projects.org/individualorder.html

Venue:
Karts Gallery, 22 George Place, Stonehouse, Plymouth, PL13NY
Date

From: 15 Jun 2013 00:00
To: 21 Jul 2013 00:00

Organizer:


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