Artists: Gordana Andjelić-Galić, Apsolutno, Azorro, Yael Bartana, Pavel Braila, Egon Bunne, Chto Delat, Kaspars Goba, Hámos Gusztáv, Ana Hušman, Kai Kaljo, Šejla Kamerić, KissPál Szabolcs, Damir Nikšić, Adrian Paci, Radek Community + Dmitrij Gutov, Józef Robakowski, Anri Sala, Sólyom András, Milica Tomić, Artur Żmijewski
Curators: Curators: Rita Kálmán, Tijana Stepanović
The exhibition …on the eastern front examines the effects of the changes taking place on the area of the former “Soviet block” on the individual and the different groups of society from the aspect of socio-psychology. It concentrates on the human dimensions of the transition period lasting since the end of the eighties, on micro-processes. The period since the demolition of the Berlin Wall is characterised by democratisation everywhere in the region. However, the rate, timing, technique and extent of transition are different in every country. Consequently, the responses given to the challenge of transition are answered in various different ways by individuals, by groups and by society. The exhibition uses a psychological viewpoint to examine the relations and dynamics of the various groups of society and the individuals.
Radical political, social, economic changes can be excellently documented and analysed by video art, which started to develop and become widely spread in the region in the same period of changes. The exhibition harnesses this coincidence, when it uses this media to introduce the processes dominating the recent past of the region.
As opposed to the conventions of film production, which required complex technical apparatus, video art appearing during the 60’s represented a novel alternative. Due to the mass appearance of easy-to-handle, so-called portable video cameras and VHS from the 80’s wider groups of amateurs and professionals were increasingly able to record motion pictures. After photography and film making, the genre of video art also has offered novel possibilities of extending – and manipulating – private and historic remembrance. The ways of shaping public opinion and influencing public sphere have changed irreversibly, the setting in of information society was not simply an accompaniment of the changes of regime taking place in the region, but it became the facilitator of such changes.
The exhibited works address society with severe criticism, document, analyse and contextualise this conflict-laden region and period. But instead of giving final answers they inquire into issues that were typically avoided or swept under the carpet in public common talk in the countries of the region. What is our attitude towards our historical past? What are the consequences of the changes of national identity and national stereotypes? How can individual lives be carried on amidst all the rearrangements of society? What intergroup relations, conflicts have played a dominant role in the last twenty years?
The multitude of viewpoints and aspects, presented through the media of video art provide a unique asset of aesthetic and critical positions to the current discourse on the transition period.
Transitland – Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989–2009
The exhibition …on the eastern front is a thematic selection from the archives entitled Transitland – Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989–2009, a compilation of 100 single-channel video works, produced in the period 1989–2009 and reflecting the transformations in post-Socialist Central and Eastern Europe. Transitland is not only the widest-spanning presentation of video art from Central and Eastern Europe but also a unique attempt to address and reflect upon an extensive period of transformation and changes. This archive of 100 works is “capsulated” in so-called video jukeboxes, which are browsable and will be available in the Ludwig Museum, Budapest for research and individual viewing.
Transitland is a collaborative project of InterSpace (Sofia, Bulgaria), Ludwig Museum–Museum of Contemporary Art / ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange (Budapest, Hungary) and transmediale (Berlin, Germany).
A reader with essays, edited by Edit András and published by the Ludwig Museum, Budapest examines the video art of the last twenty years in post-Socialist Central and Eastern Europe. The authors of the book provide selective analyses of different aspects, and an angle on the field observed, demonstrating its fecundity and vividness.
Authors: Edit András, Ruben Arevshatyan, Giorgio Bertellini, Konstantin Bokhorov, Svetlana Boym, Boris Buden, Călin Dan, Margarita Dorovska, Zoran Erić, Antonio Geusa, Boris Groys, Marina Gržinić, Kathy Rae Huffman, Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, Mihnea Mircan, Miklós Peternák, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Boryana Rossa, Katarína Rusnáková, Keiko Sei.