'Landscape (Distance and Removal)'
31 March - 10 June, 2007 Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart
Collective Actions (RUS)
Württembergischer Kunstverein is presenting the "Landschaft (Entfernung)" project from March 31 to June 10, 2007. The exhibition presents eleven artistic positions that each examine the phenomenon of landscape in very different ways, both in terms of form and content. They focus on the more or less natural physical landscapes as well as on their representation in art. They test and appropriate landscape as a medium for ideological messages, as a mirror and stage of the (artist) subject, as a fatigued form of artistic expression, and as material for alternative spatial concepts.
The exhibition features works from the past thirty years, including films, videos, photographs, drawings and a site-specific installation. It will also include a film programme as well as a performance by video artist, director and author Rabih Mroué.
Conventionally, landscape is equated with notions of idyllically transfigured nature, an obsolete artistic tradition or, prosaically, the geographical formations characteristic of a certain place. In contrast, today landscape is understood rather as a material and result of producing space. It is created in accordance with (more or less clearly identifiable) political, ideological, traditional or individual interests and is hence their expression and representation. It appears "natural" to the observer for the sole reason that the causes and motives underlying its creation are not (made) visible: In this sense, landscape is a polemic positing of meaning that fails to supply its justification. Constantly disputed, it is a temporary physical arrangement.
While conventional forms of depicting landscapes in art served the purpose of drafting, affirming and naturalising these ideologically determined spaces, the positions presented here are, in contrast, driven by the suspicion that the ostensible transparency of space is in fact an optical illusion. This is a systematic attempt to sabotage the trimming of landscape to an ideological essence of meaning. It is replaced by multi-perspective and often contradictory views of landscape. For example, the works on show at the exhibition choose different forms of artistic intervention that inscribe themselves directly into the surface of the landscape, confronting incompatible landscape images with each other with the purpose of mutual devaluation, or analysing spaces with the aid of critical, documentary strategies between classical research and artistic orientation.
These different approaches to the phenomenon of landscape may be interpreted in a more general sense as an examination of problems of distance and removal. The works use and question strategies of critical or physical distancing, observation from a distance or in detail, media refraction in order to alienate and, at the same time, make visible in a new way (i.e. cancelling distance), and processes of gradual or radical removal and remodelling of space.
Curator: Katrin Mundt
Preparation and Documentation of the works by KD - Sabine Hänsgen
Collective Actions, Trips out of Town
The Moscow-based artist group Collective Actions has been carrying out conceptual performances on the periphery of the Russian capital in a varying line-up since 1976. These are minimal but precisely choreographed actions performed by the group or by individuals on an empty, usually snow-covered, tree-lined field. The thus defined "field of action" becomes the scene of non-events, or rather events whose significance consists not in the execution or observation of a particular action, but rather in the perception of its perception. As, for example, in the Losung 1980 (Slogan 1980) action in which one of the artists is given written instructions to fasten a veiled banner between two trees on the edge of a field, to move a few hundred metres away, to unveil the slogan on the banner from this distance using a special device, only to find that it cannot be read from this distance. The journey out of town thus culminates in a systematic shift and dissipation of meaning.
BOCHUM ACTIONS [KD] | KD' MAPS (in Russian) | ADDITIONAL KD' MAPS (in Russian)