Sergio Zevallos, Untitled #11, from the series "Rosa Cordis", 1986, Courtesy: Sergio Zevallos
Sergio Zevallos, Untitled #11, from the series "Rosa Cordis", 1986, Courtesy: Sergio Zevallos
Horacio Zabala, This paper is a jail, 1972
Horacio Zabala, This paper is a jail, 1972
Indigo Group, Temporary Sculpture Made of Cotton Wool, 1981
Indigo Group, Temporary Sculpture Made of Cotton Wool, 1981
Júlio Plaza, Evolution/Revolution, 1971, Courtesy: Collection: Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Júlio Plaza, Evolution/Revolution, 1971, Courtesy: Collection: Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Carlos Leppe, The coat stand, 1974/75, Courtesy: Carlos Leppe
Carlos Leppe, The coat stand, 1974/75, Courtesy: Carlos Leppe
Ion Grigorescu, Mimicry, 1975, Courtesy: Ion Grigorescu
Ion Grigorescu, Mimicry, 1975, Courtesy: Ion Grigorescu
Grup de Treball, Hommage to Architectur, Courtesy: MACBA
Grup de Treball, Hommage to Architectur, Courtesy: MACBA
Autoperforationsartisten, Auto-Perforations-Artistik, 1988 (with Micha Brendel, Rainer Görß, Via  Lewandowsky), Photo: Ernst Goldberg, Courtesy: The artists
Autoperforationsartisten, Auto-Perforations-Artistik, 1988 (with Micha Brendel, Rainer Görß, Via Lewandowsky), Photo: Ernst Goldberg, Courtesy: The artists

Subversive Practices

INTRODUCTION

Subversive Practices
devotes itself to experimental and conceptual art practices that had established between the nineteen-sixties and eighties in Europe and South America under the influence of military dictatorships and communist regimes. The exhibition which comprises more than 300 works by around eighty artists has been developed by a team of thirteen international curators in close collaboration with the Kunstverein over a two-year process.

The exhibition’s nine sections focus on various contexts and strategies of artistic production along with their positioning vis-à-vis political and cultural repression in the GDR, Hungary, Romania, the Soviet Union, Spain, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. Of equal concern here are both the particularities of and the relations between the different temporal and local environments.

The exhibition undertakes the experiment of a shifted cartography and an extended understanding of conceptual art, which has become established well beyond the Anglo-American canon. In this respect, the related interdisciplinary, collaborative, and sociopolitical potentials are particularly emphasized—that is, the paradigm shifts between visual arts, politics, society, sciences, architecture, design, mass media, literature, dance, theater, activism, and so forth, which have been educed by these potentials.

Furthermore, the focus is on artistic practices that not only radically question the conventional concept of art, the institutions, and the relationship between art and public, but that have, at the same time, subversively thwarted structures of censorship and opposed the existing systems of power. Here, body, language, and public space represent the pivotal instruments, of resistance, symbolic and performative in equal measure. The appropriation of media and distribution channels—especially the postal service—has in turn played a distinctive role in the establishment of the widely ramified networks between (Eastern) Europe and Latin America.

In lieu of conceptualizing a comprehensive and homogenized discourse, the exhibition reflects specific questions and problems. The curators each developed individual presentational models for their respective exhibition section. In different ways they approach to the problem in presenting ephemeral, time- and location-specific art forms. Thus, the exhibition can be experienced also on a formal level as a polyphonic parcours, a multidimensional cartography.

The exhibition’s network traces back to the research project Vivid (radical) Memory (2007), carried out by the University of Barcelona, the Württembergischer Kunstverein and the Center for Culture and Communication in Budapest. Subversive Practices again is a project by Württembergischer Kunstverein in collaboration with the Center for Culture and Communication in Budapest and the Arteleku center of culture in San Sebastian. Further events referring to the content of the exhibition will take place in Budapest and San Sebastian.

A publication on Subversive Practices has been published.

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Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart