The CONTAIN[ERA] project is based on cultural diversity, on the principle of crossing boarders between countries, generations, as well as between physical and virtual reality.
It is concerned with the search of roots in today globalized world.
The project introduces work of eight young artists from eight European countries in an assemblage of mobile galleries built in eight shipping containers. These original exhibition spaces are traveling throughout Europe, serving as closed information capsules, synecochically representing the artistic perspective of each country, and transmitting the message of art unaltered.
The first part of the project, supported by EU, started on 20th August 2015 with opening of eight exhibitions in eight European capitals (Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, Warsaw, Berlin, Rome, Zurich). The multimedia installations in the containers, focused on depiction of national cultural heritage and informational transfer, are traveling on a circle route from one participating country to another just now, interconnecting neighboring cultures.
Following European artists are participating in the ContainEra project: Adéla Součková (CZ), Dionýz Troskó (SK), János Brückner (HU), Karol Komorowski (PL), Angela Kaisers (DE), Lukas Troberg (AT), Till Könneker (CH) a Carlo Zanni (IT).
Mobile Galleries Travelling Across Europe
More about the Contain[era] project
What is it that always connected fragmented Europe? The only aspect able to build lasting bridges, now attempted to be strengthen by Euroean union, was European culture, unified in its diversity. Equally, the only environment successfully merging global and local, miraculously maintaining subjective integrity in a space without borders, is the real virtual reality nowadays. These two elements became foundational stones of the Contain[era] project.
Through the core topics of the project – transfer of materialized information in the post-Internet era, crossing borders, keeping cultural diversity etc. – some of the participating artists touched on the pressing matter of immigration and questions of nationality in their work.
While Europe is struggling to define its borders – physical as well as cultural – it creates its future shape and re-defines its set of “European” values anew. We are facing not only different cultures, but we are confronted with the image of Europe in the eyes of the refugees at the same time. Because it is not only the economical stability that is appealing to them. There exists an utopian vision of Europe as an island of freedom. It is a picture we all built and hang to.
For instance in the installation by Till Könneker, a ship wreck is laying in the space, sticking out with its golden platted prow. Except, upon looking closer inside the container, the viewer is confronted with the rest of the boat being dingy and muddy, clos to disintegration. For Könneker a shipping container symbolizes trade with far away countries, the arrival of long awaited goods. In his installation it represents globalized consumerist culture. It also accounts for the false hope of immigrants that leads them like a marsh fairy light into risking anything for a vision of better life.
János Brückner (HU)
Opening: 20th of August 2015. 7 pm
‘Welcome’ is a multimedia installation that is to stage a post-human vision. We gave up our intimacy for the benefits of technology. Surrounded by devices we live in the conditions of everlasting circle of compulsory identification. The installation reflects on the human body at the post-Internet era in two ways. The ‘Likeprint’ transforms viewers to printers – by filling a blank paper with “like” stamps according to numbers they create an image. Inside the container a crowd of life-scale paper puppets creates an empty yet humanistic space of replacement, thus showing our dis-identified bodies. The exhibition object itself serves as the space of emptiness, a construction that is to contain and incorporate human content. The installation is to reflect the negative aspect of such spaces, thus manifesting replacement and lack.
Dionýz Troskó (SK)
Opening: 25th of August 2015. 7 pm
Site-specific project by Dionýz Troskó, alumnus of Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture in Prague and Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, is a personal reaction of a “common man” on currently often discussed and often misinterpreted refugee problem in Central and Eastern Europe. The artist sees its society as very short-sighted and unable to reflect on its own past. By reinterpreting personal memories captured in the works of writers from 1940s Slovakia, Troskó reminds the viewer that not so long ago the situation was reverse, showing a generation living within the role of refugees. He puts it in contrast with current xenophobic press on one side and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedom on the other. The latter a proclamed reminder to learn from our history.
Adéla Součková (CZ)
Opening: 15th of September 2015. 7 pm
The installation by Adéla Součková, alumnus of Prague Academy of Fine Arts, and Dresden Hochschule für Bildende Kunste, for the Contain[era] project is a Chiasm. The artist interweaves fragmentary clues with stories without an ending or beginning the same way she is guiding the viewer through her work. The way to entirety is through instinct. Pictogramic drawings of symbols, historical mingling with new continuously, resemble visuality of the Internet – a visuality of flashing caligrams. Through them a video emits light from the end of the space. It is a conclusion, fulfilling of viewer’s desire. What do we desire, anyway? To be deceived by image, to be close, to belonging, to be recognized as an individual. The catharsis is a deception, the video promises everybody the same concept in a repetitive loop. What is true is the body, here, present in the drawings and the object of the video. Body constructs “reality” as well as “virtuality”.
Karol Komorowski (PL)
Opening: 22nd of September 2015. 7 pm
Komorowski’s exhibition consists of large scale photographic works. Their panoramic format and overall poetics connotes with the popular genre of cityscapes. By means of its subject-matter – the computer hardware – the works will reflect with a more physical approach on today’s technology-driven society.
While the discourse on the post-Internet condition gained speed, it is now important to look at what happens before the computer screen fills a lonely net-flaneur’s room with its cold, synthetic light. Computer hardware being both hidden and sacred, became a void place seamlessly obscured by the apparent dominance of displays, and therefore images, a domain of experts, a body neglected in the praise of intellect – in this case the software underlying all the processes taking place anywhere in the world. However, hardware in a very literal sense, has its inner logic expressed by its uber-complex architecture and at the same time represents consistent aesthetic qualities. But how to relate these seemingly distant, micro-cityscapes to our city-centric culture? And is it the nature of data processing itself that makes everything so compatible and universal or the very information?
Angela Kaisers (DE)
Opening: 29th of September 2015. 7 pm
The installation ‘BALD’ is based on six popular fairy tales collected by the brothers Grimm and discusses the transfer of stories, knowledge and morals. Additionally it takes a critical stance against the way women are portrayed in these narratives. For the fairy tales were travelling bundles of information and showcases of cultural heritage, mostly but not only national. When analyzing the content of the six chosen fairy tales (The Frog King, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood) it becomes apparent that the basis for all of them is a state of “waiting”. For something, for someone or for an event. In ‘BALD’ Angela Kaisers breaks down the stories’ contents, reduces them to this notion of waiting and thereby highlights and criticizes the moralistic and gender stereotypical elements they purport. With its play on words the title of the installation introduces the artist’s thematic and conceptual approach: the German word “bald” (English “soon”) is associated with waiting for something or someone whereby the English expression “bald” means direct, blunt.
Till Köenneker (CH)
Opening: 6th of October 2015. 7 pm
An empty ship wrecked boat is laying open in the shipping container with only the bow peeking out, gold plated. Looking inside the container you can see the rest of the dingy dirty boat. In Koenneker`s installation a shipping container means trade with far away countries, the arrival of long anticipated goods. It is one of the building blocks of our globalized consumerist culture. It symbolizes the deceptive hope which refugees follow like a light and which lets them accept and take every possible risk for a better life.
Carlo Zanni (IT)
Opening: 13rd of October 2015. 7 pm
Zanni’s work ‘LOCALHOST’ is part of artist’s long-term interest in public, interactive, site-specific art and its variations were introduced to public in different places and situations. The work shows a standardized 404 Internet error message stating that an image named “me_BIG.jpg” is not found within a path of several directories. Some of these directories are left blank for visitors to fill, others describe values the artist „personally believes in but which sometimes are hard to live by“, especially in nowadays society. Keeping in mind that values vary from place to place and from person to person, the piece works like a graffiti in progress and invites the viewers to participate and interact. In the Contain[era] version of the piece all the directories are left blank and the people can freely interpret the project and interact with it.
Lukas Troberg (AT)
Opening: 20th of October 2015. 7 pm
By entering the space of Troberg`s installation ‘Speed Run’ one can feel blindfolded, unable to see. Transitioning from the sunlight exterior into the darkness of the container, one will have the feeling of oppression. Inside a computer screen projecting surgery with an endoscope will show images from within the human body combined with sounds from video games, making the real versus entertainment, interchangeable.
Joined exhibition in Prague – CONTAINERA – EXPO
The second part of the project will take place in the heart of Europe, the organizing city Prague, on the Štvanice island. It will serve as a climax of the first, traveling phase. The two week long joined exhibition will be enriched with a collectively created, ninth, “European” container installation, made by all eight participating artists.
The collective exhibition represents a panoramic shot, personal encounter over incredible accomplishment, sharing of an experience. Prague, the center of the impulse will host all exhibition containers, participating artists, gallerists, curators, theorists and further professional public from the eight countries. In respect to the structure of the project, this stage will be a catharsis.
Exhibition of the nine installations and the accompanying conference will offer essence of gained methodological experience to the public. Following the practical, traveling phase, a theoretical part is in line. Naturally, it will provide numerous outputs e.g. lecture records, expert texts, basis for the catalogue, as well as movie documentary. All accumulated experience growing throughout the project in participants and in the audience as well will be given voice then.
As a part of the opening of Prague joined exhibition, rich, international, accompanying musical program (e.g. Slovak singer Katarzia or Los Chilla Killers from Mexico) will take place in the friendly environment of adjusted Mystic Skate park on Štvanice island. During the exhibition, two day-long conference occur in the Štvanice Villa. Participating lecturers will consist of exhibiting artists as well as theorists from the eight countries. We are delighted to announce that the world known, French theorist Gregory Chatonsky will be present, together with the philosopher Tanja Nittka from Germany. For Czech republic Václav Jánoščík will have a lecture about object in the post-Internet art. Last but not least, a thematic workshop for public will take place with the lector Zdenka Švandlenková.
The joined exhibition will start on 24th October, going on till 7th Novemeber 2015.
The third and last phase of the project
The “winter” part of the Contain[era] project will represent a typical one-to-one, institutionalized exhibition. It will be a return of an artist into a foreign country, offering a solo show in one of the participating galleries. There will no longer be a closed message from foreign culture, but a regular blend of the artist and local environment. To some extent, this will be a contra-process to the principles set in the first phase. Be doing so, a unique opportunity will be provided to compare and to evaluate the project. Beside this, the second exhibition will allow the young, emerging artist to strengthen his/hers connections and place on international art scene.
Dionỳz Troskó (SK): Vjeran pas* – Visual Guide of Forgetting
Opening: 19th February 2016.
Opening event: guided tour by Beata Jablonska, Slovak curator and Dionỳz Troskó
Project coordinator: Bea Istvánkó
On view: 20th February – 3rd March 2016.
1053 Budapest, Képíró u. 6.
The exhibition Vjeran pas (Loyal Dog – Visual Guide of Forgetting) is about historical monuments; destroyed and forgotten monuments, about modified monuments and about public spaces which are continuously meaningfuls for the prevailing political systems therefore building, replacing or demolishing the memorials is a common practice.
Dionỳz Troskó (SK), focuses on three emblematic memorial locations, which are demonstrating the peculiar relationship of the Slovak and the Hungarian history. Based on the above-mentioned three categories the Hungarian-born Troskó, with the language of contemporary sculpture, is reflecting on the Millennium monument demolished after the Treaty of Trianon in the castle of Devín, on the continuously modified Zobor hill monument next to Nitra and on the three successive representative monument of the Ľudovít Štúr Square (former Coronation hill Square) in Bratislava.
Out of the five selected monuments by Troskó the Devín and the Zobor hill memorials are both part of the series of seven sculptures which was ordered by the Hungarian Wekerle government to the Millennium celebrations in 1896. The plan of the monuments was created by Gyula Berczik, Architect and Technical Counsellor, not by a professional sculptor which suggests that the primary inspiration was to communicate a political message. The third location chosen is the Ludovít Štúr square in Bratislava with the monument of Maria Theresa from 1897, after with the General Štefánik statue of Milan Rastislav from 1938 and finally with the Ludovít Štúr sculpture from the seventies. The idea of the reconstruction of the Maria Theresa monument came up in 2009, but was rejected in 2012 by the city council.
Troskó with his large scale metal sculptures, made specifically for the exhibition, reflects on the phenomenon that the change in the political system is associated with the physical deconstruction of the symbols of the past, or at least with their transformation according to the preferences of the actual regime.
*Vjeran pas: song title of the Croatian emblematic punk band called Termiti from the 1970s. Vjeran pas means loyal dog.
Dionỳz Troskó’s exhibition, Vjeran pas is the closing event of the Contain[era] – Materialized Information Transfer in the Post-internet Era project, funded by the European Union.
Photo: Zsuzsi Simon
For more information about the project go to www.containera.eu