Hungry Man, Reach for the Book.
It is a Weapon!
Curated by What, How & for Whom
April 10 - May 22, 2010
Reception: Saturday, April 10, 5-7 pm
Printed Matter is pleased to present Hungry Man, Reach for the Book. It is a Weapon!, an exhibition curated by What, How & for Whom / WHW (Zagreb). Please join us and the curators for a reception on Saturday, April 10, 5-7 pm.
Hungry Man, Reach for the Book. It is a Weapon! repeats the socialist mantra that glorifies education as a condition of emancipation, and that found its well-deserved poetic form in Brecht's famous poem.
The exhibition focuses on the political geography from before the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, that 'obscure disaster', as Badiou calls it, which described a definitive end to the epoch that began with the October Revolution. This geography, once made up of the so-called “socialist states,” now presents a more variegated reality, reflected in the artists’ publications presented here.
Brecht's call to enlightenment persists as an historical reminder, residue, or inspiration, even when rejected. With the title of this exhibition, we suggest that it is possible to “read” the works shown here outside of the dominant matrix of the individual artist-genius and production of objects for the art market. Rather, they can be read as the artists attempt to articulate, agitate, propagate and communicate critical thinking that imagines a new possibility currently repressed by the dominant state of affairs.
The exhibition is in no way an overview of the heterogeneous production of artists' books in Eastern Europe. It does not take statistics as its politics of representation. Rather, it suggests a kind of discontinuous geographical and temporal journey that looks at Eastern Europe along the lines of a question posed by the Romanian philosopher Ovidiu Tichindeleanu: "For what point is there in a discussion about East European debates on communism if not to look there for a renewal of the theoretical tradition of the left?"
Publications included in the exhibition manifest an inclusion within the context of artistic practices that since the early 1960s have questioned the modernist canon. The artists' books that we are considering have sought to establish control over production and distribution of art on the horizon of the emancipatory political struggles that have transformed the world on both sides of the Iron Curtain. But the point is not to define some differentia specifica of artists' book production in Eastern Europe, not to fetishize either a resistance to official art and social repression in the name of artistic freedom and autonomy, or the delayed reverberations of artistic practices born within artistic centers of the West; but rather to complicate and refine a vision of modernity that does not belong exclusively to the West.
An essay written by the curators on the occasion of the exhibition is viewable here.
Artists in the Exhibition: Vyacheslav Akhunov, Karen Andreassian, Artpool, Chto delat / What is to be done?, Ciprian Muresan, Gorgona, Idea Art, Sanja Iveković, Maj 75, Dan Perjovschi, Škart, Mladen Stilinović
What, How & for Whom (WHW) is a non-profit organization for visual culture and curators’ collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb, Croatia. Its members are curators Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Natasa Ilić and Sabina Sabolović
This exhibition has received special support from the ERSTE Foundation and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Printed Matter, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1976 by artists and art workers with the mission to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists' books and other artists' publications.