BLOK’S OPENING WEEK PICKS
- Berlin, Germany: The Berlin International Film Festival opens this week in the German capital, featuring an art exhibition called Forum Expanded at the Akademie der Künste. The program presents film, video, installation and performative works on varying themes, which form a critical perspective and an expanded sense of cinematography today.
- Bratislava, Slovakia: Krokus Gallery presents Art is Work, an exhibition exploring issues of labor and political economy in contemporary art. The exhibition is a collaboration between APART collective, Feministická (umělecká) instituce, Liam Gillick, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Jana Kapelová, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Bojana Kunst, Nulová mzda, Mohammad Salemy, Krisdy Shindler, Jiří Skála, Tereza Stejskalová, Pavel Sterec, Raša Todosijević, Anton Vidokle, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.).
- Bratislava, Slovakia: A new exhibition by Nika Kupyrova called Otis Rem opens at SODA Gallery. The exhibition is set to explore “Pseudo-Latin, everyday found object, readymade, malapropism. Like a spell that targets art production, like magic that haunts its gestures, the gestures of the manipulation of forms, the gestures of the manipulation of material.” (extract from the text by Franz Thalmair)
- Bratislava, Slovakia: The Paradox of Tolerance opens at Kunsthalle Bratislava. The exhibition presents a solo-show of Tomáš Rafa, exploring his work according to three thematic fields. The first field is videos mapping the rise of extremist and neo-fascist moods in Slovakia. Also related to this theme is his work photo-wall, where he challenges the viewer to take a stand. A second thematic field comprises recordings of participative activities, which the artist and his co-workers have been organizing in Roma settlement in Slovakia. The third field is videos which refer to the situation in the world, whether it be the conflict in Ukraine or the growth of right-wing extremism in Poland.
- Brno, Czech Republic: The opening and forthcoming exhibition of the Principle of Scalability, a new show by Andrej Ševčík, opens this week at Industra Art. The exhibition is set to explore questions around digital images and the conceptual limits of painting. The show examines the artist’s response to questions like: “Are Google Maps the biggest picture of all time?”
- Lillestrøm, Norway: Two new exhibitions by Ayatgali Tuleubek and Richard Alexandersson open at Akershus Kunstsenter. Both artists navigate mental and virtual landscapes, but while Tuleubek’s exhibition “Here be Dragons” revolves around a specific physical landscape, Alexandersson finds himself in a more abstract and virtual world.
- Prague, Czech Republic: The opening of several new exhibitions at the National Gallery (Trade Fair Palace) includes “Katharina Grosse: Zázračný obraz / Wunderbild,” “Maria Lassnig 1919–2014,” “Moving Image Department #8: Maria Lassnig, Lukáš Karbus,””Poetry Passage #6: Cool Water: Radek Brousil, Johan Grimonprez,” and “Introducing Patricia Dauder: Povrch / Surface.”
- Riga, Latvia: One opening, three shows and two performances mark the newest cycle of exhibitions at Kim?. The first exhibition entitled “In the Truth” is a solo exhibition by Latvian artist Toms Harjo, winner of the Open Kim? Call 2018. “From a Body I Spent” presents a series of video works and sculptures by Felix Kalmenson, while “Undersong” presents a dual show by Lithuanian artists Lina Lapelyte and Indre Serpytyte-Roberts.
- Vienna, Austria: The opening of Lindsey Lawson’s Wokeness at Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer will represent a showing of her previous work “Der Denker.” The show is set to meditate the artistic legacy of enlightenment, grappling with the question “Is it that this enlightenment is fragile or that it’s energy that it casts all doubt aside?”
- Budapest, Hungary: A new exhibit called Double Heads Matches opens at Új Budapest Galéria, assembling together works by Romanian artists from private collections. The title, inspired by Mircea Cantor’s work, suggests multiple narratives which one can elaborate on Romanian art, having in mind a compressed timeline, which will be discovered either through the historical end of this line itself or through the most recent art production of the young, vivacious art scene.
- Oslo, Norway: Nora Joung’s Ding Dong opens at Unge Kunstneres Samfund. At Kunstnernes Hus, Joung creates an enlarged, theatrical environment—overlooked from a mezzanine entrance—shrinking now puppet-sized audiences into a larger-than-life blue-lit living room fully equipped with rug and sofa, and centered around a TV.
- Riga, Latvia: A new exhibition by the acclaimed Polish photographer Rafal Milach opens at ISSP Gallery. Entitled The First March of Gentlemen, the exhibit unfolds as a fictitious narrative composed of authentic stories. Historical events related to the town of Września act as a starting point for reflection on protest and disciplinary mechanisms.
- Athens, Greece: A lecture performance by Yota Ioannidou is taking place in the frame of State of Concept Athens. Entitled the “Department of Justice” the piece explores the trial of the Greek journalist Staktopoulos and his imprisonment in connection with the murder of the American journalist George Polk, who was the CBS news correspondent in northern Greece in 1948, one of the most difficult periods in Greek modern history.
- Debrecen, Hungary: A new exhibition by Kinga Nowak opens at the MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition in Debrecen displays her narrative paintings reflecting on childhood and other crucial memories, creating a kind of surrealist spatial experience, combining exotic forms with constructive elements.
- Berlin, Germany: Some Other Things a performance by Przemek Kamiński and Sonja Pregradthe will take place at the Polish Institute in Berlin. The performance is inspired by Simone Forti who presented her performance “Five dance constructions and some other things” in Yoko Ono’s famous loft at New York’s Chambers Street. Start’s early at 14:00.
- Iasi, Romania: SAVAGED pINK. A History of 90s Gay Media opens at tranzit.ro/ Iaşi. The project is put together by Adrian Newell Păun, Adrian Schiop, Vlad Viski and curated by Cristina Bogdan, originally presented at the ODD project space in Bucharest, and now it arrives for the first time at tranzit.ro/ Iași with new elements from the local gay press in Iași. What were the gay cruising places in Iași, what were the attempts to strengthen the local community, what did it mean to be gay in 90s Iași?
- Warsaw, Poland: Kem Care is a new performance, cinema and art program at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, bringing together artists and practices that insist on empathy, interdependence and welcoming otherness across the somatic, social and environmental spheres. Kem Care focuses on the acts and gestures of care that emerge from empathy and love, as inherently political both on the level of sensual intimacy and the wider social body. As such, Kem Care draws from bodily, intuitive and non-verbal experience, as well as emancipatory movements. In addition, Kem Care will also have regular beginners Arabic Classes on Tuesday evenings called Ahlan wa sahlan and a feminist and queer film programme every Thursday that draws from the film collection of the Museum, through to April.
- Brno, Czech Republic: Three concurrent exhibitions are set to open at Fait Gallery next week, Jan Merta’s Return, Radek Brousil and Peter Puklus’s Stupid, and Tania Nikulina’s Friend of the Moon: The Feast. The trio of exhibitions will present various works both new and old.
- Prague, Czech Republic: At Pragovka Gallery, an exhibition by Boháč & Richter/Altman & Krykun will explore the “Basic Instinct Special Feat,” which is a collaborative project by Adrian Altman and Olga Krykun that encourages a complete immersion and participation from the viewer to experience a reality constantly imploding in on its own properties, whether simulated or tangible. The exhibition closes on 20 February.
- The MONDO Nordic /// Baltic Spring Residency has an open call that works towards strengthening ties and partnerships between Tromsø, Norway, and artists from the Nordic and the Baltic countries, available to artists from Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Åland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who work with books, publishing and/or printed matter. Deadline to apply: 15 February 2018
- Curatorial Program for Research has several fully funded research programs available for emerging curators. “The Curatorial Program for Research (CPR) is pleased to announce its open call for curators to participate in CPR 2018: Dimming the Northern Lights. In this program curators will travel to the Nordic region, visiting Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. CPR’s sixth fully-funded research program will take place from August 2 – 27, 2018.” Deadline to apply: 15 February 2018
- Open call for Re-Directing: East Curatorial Seminar and Residency “HOSPITALITY” at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. Re-Directing: East Curatorial Residency is a platform for carrying out research and meetings between curators, representatives of the most interesting grass-roots initiatives, and people in charge of organizing artistic events from all over the world. Open to curators both from within Europe and abroad. Deadline to apply: 25 February 2018
- Open call for projects during PQ 2019 in Prague. One for architects, dancers and choreographers called “Formations” for practitioners “concerned with the patterns we encounter in nature, urbanism and architecture,” and one for “Fragments” seeking “national curators to select only one item (an object, a model, sound or lighting file or a costume) designed by one of the most celebrated designers whose work keeps inspiring new generations of artists and audiences.” Deadline to apply: 28 February 2018
- Guest Room Maribor, Slovenia. An open call for projects that “form explicit relations with the specific social, historical, political, etc. context of Maribor and/or the local community (participatory, site-specific art projects, interventions in public space, etc.), are dealing with the power relations and tactics of domination in current neoliberal social context question engagement of art, it’s position in society and relations between art and politics. Deadline to apply: February 28.
- International Festival Odessa Photo Days Open Call 2018: “The festival is a non-profit platform for photographers and anyone interested in this media. In the course of three years, with the efforts of our team, volunteers and photographers, the Odesa / / Batumi Photo Days festival has become well-known in different parts of the world, appeared on the international map of photo events and has implemented a number of special projects, both in Ukraine and abroad.” Deadline to apply: 1 March 2018
- International Curatorial Residency in Sofia, Bulgaria. Open call for curatorial residency for non-Bulgarian emerging curators, regardless of their age or country of origin. Curatorial experience of at least two years or at least three realized curatorial projects are required, as well as good command of English. Supported byArt Affairs and Documents Foundation, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria and Credo Bonum Gallery. Deadline to apply: 10 March 2018.
- Call for residency applications 2018–19 and 8th Inter-format Symposium on Rites & Terrabytes at Nida Art Colony in Lithuania. The residency programme at Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts (NAC) is open for emerging and experienced artists, designers, architects, curators and researchers. NAC is one of the largest art, residency and education venues in the Nordic-Baltic region. It provides the opportunity to live and work in the Colony’s contemporary architecture, situated in a coastal pine forest. Since 2011 over 350 artists and other culture professionals have stayed at the Colony. Deadline to apply: 15 March 2018.
ART, MARKETS, FINANCE, SCANDAL
- Controversy erupts in Germany after a planned memorial to victims of the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, has a big void in the center of Hamburg. Plans to commemorate the women, men and children who were murdered at the hands of the Gestapo are being repurposed into high-end shops, chic offices, ritzy apartments and a luxe hotel, as per The Guardian:
“We’re talking here about nothing less than the central place in this city where people were taken to be tortured,” said Norbert Hackbusch, one of the protesters who gathered in front of the building on Tuesday for a showdown with authorities on the 85th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor.
They included relatives of those tortured there, some of them clutching portraits of their loved ones, while others victims’ faces were projected on to the freshly painted walls of the complex.
“Nobody who was brought here for interrogation came out unhurt,” said Detlef Baade, whose father was tortured by Hamburg’s Gestapo in 1933. “We have a societal obligation to do this. We owe it to the dead,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
- Italy’s Far Right Targets Museum for Arabic Speakers’ Discount. As per the New York Times: “Right-wing protestors have objected to a policy at Turin’s Egyptian Museum that offers a two-for-one discount to Arabic speakers.”
- Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev continues his legal crusade over the ‘largest art fraud in history’, as per artnet news:
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev is continuing to doggedly pursue his former art advisor Yves Bouvier in an international legal battle that becomes more complex by the day.
Rybolovlev’s latest efforts constitute something of a one-two legal punch. Last week, Bouvier appeared before a Geneva prosecutor over accusations of fraud related to the multi-million-dollar art transactions he brokered on the billionaire’s behalf.
Bouvier isn’t the only one under scrutiny, however. Authorities in Washington, DC, are investigating Rybolovlev’s purchase of a pricey Palm Beach estate from now President Donald Trump for $95 million in 2008. Less than two weeks after Rybolovlev’s name appeared in the Kremlin report—a list of officials and oligarchs with close ties to the Russian government who may receive sanctions—Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requesting “a thorough investigation into any potential money laundering or other illicit financial dealings between the president, his associates, and Russia.”
- Last but certainly not least, the ongoing controversy surrounding Artforum was hit by a vocal complaint by We Are Not Surprised, a feminist group with links to the art world. The group claimed in an open-letter that the magazine is paying lip service to minimize public controversy surrounding the lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct against Knight Landesman, who remains co-owner of the venerated industry magazine.
Blok is committed to providing coverage of under-reported art events, news, and exhibitions from across Central Europe and beyond, including artists and curators from the region working or exhibiting abroad. If you have an event, opening or breaking news for us to cover, please email us at: email@example.com