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Opening: September 28th

Petra Bauer

It is with great pleasure that we announce the solo exhibition of Swedish artist Petra Bauer on the 28th of September at 8pm.

The exhibition is the third part of our exhibition chapter "State Affairs". "State Affairs" is dedicated to artists that work mainly with video, and presents artistic practices that focus on thematics that are being narrated gradually through several artworks and a longer timespan and are distinguished for their interest in shedding light in historical conditions and how they affect contemporaneity. The programme aims to address directly current affairs, predicaments, problematics and cul-de-sacs of contemporary living, by summoning the past. 

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One of the most prominent artists from Sweden, Petra Bauer has for long been unfolding the powerful legacies but also realities of the women's movement. She is an artist, filmmaker and professor in art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Bauer is interested in the medium of film as a political tool that can be used to challenge contemporary social and political events and processes. Much of her work focuses on how women have collectively self-organised, within and beyond art, with an aim to change political and social structures as well as everyday life. Another recurrent theme that the artist addresses is the materialisation and consequences of the colonial world order on our present time.

Her works are often made in collaboration with existing social and political organisations, such as the Southall Black Sisters (SBS) – the radical, pioneering London-based feminist organisation, who since 1979 have politically engaged in the contemporary social and political conditions of black and minority women. Recent projects include And all is yet to be done: Grammar of feminist organizing (2018), k.ö.k (ongoing) and Workers!(2018). Her work has been presented at festivals and exhibitions internationally. 

For the exhibition the artist will present three of her previous works including the films Der Fall Joseph (2003), Sisters! (2011) and Choreography for the Giants (2013 - 2015)

For the film Sisters! which was in collaboration with the Southall Black Sisters (SBS) they used feminist strategies and theories to critically focus on and politicize conditions of production, authorship, narrative structures, and the choice of aesthetic strategies. The film documents one week in the life of SBS, taking its daily activities as a springboard for a visual discussion on feminism, politics and aesthetics in today’s society and  it  also  shows    political  resistance  in  its  most  ordinary,  everyday  form.

In Choreography for the Giants which consists of a book and a film,Petra Bauer and  Marius Dybwad Brandrud looks at the procession known as the Mechelen Ommegang (or  Cavalcade), a world heritage event which only takes place every twenty-five years.  The last time was in 1988, since then society has undergone many changes.  The artists concentrate on the production process of this edition of the Ommegang.  They pay critical attention to the claim to represent the whole of Mechelen societythrough the parade, particularly to the production of three new giant figures; an Arab, an African and an Asian. Who is being represented, by whom and on what conditions? Bauer is presenting here a video installation about the procession, made in collaboration with Marius Dybwad Brandrud.

Petra Bauer's video Der Fall Joseph deals with a tragedy that took place in the summer of 1997. A six year-old boy was found dead at a public swimming pool in eastern Germany. The boy's German mother and his Iraqi father suspected that their son did not drown but that a gang of neo-Nazis murdered him and they started their own inquiry. Their inquiry was still in progress three years later when,the "Joseph  case" became the subject of enormous publicity in the German media. There was speculation as to whether the family had, in fact, invented the murder theory themselves. The public prosecutor finally concluded that the boy had died of a latent heart disease and thus was not the victim of a neo-Nazi gang.

"Der Fall Joseph" is constructed from ten different narratives: the family's, the prosecutor’s, testimony from a witness, a police cross-questioning, excerpts from reports in the media and others. All of the narratives seem coherent, logical and credible but they all differ markedly from each other. With her video "Der Fall Joseph" Petra Bauer has chosen to emphasize the fact that subjective motives can contribute to creating an event and that an individual interpretation can become the accepted truth. Instead of blindly trying to establish the truth, her video discusses the entire process of looking back on a series of events  and seeing how the choices made at the time underlie and influence the final result. For whose opinion is it that finally wins the preferential right of interpretation.

State of Concept is supported by
Outset Contemporary Art Fund (Greece)

Anna Daučíková

We are happy to announce the opening of the season, with an exhibition of artist Anna Daučíková, one of the most outstanding feminist and queer artist of her generation. The exhibition will present selection of existing video works and a new film "In Their Shoes" (2018).

After her graduation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava in 1978 Daučíková emigrated to Moscow (then USSR) where she lived and worked until 1991. During this period she expanded her automatic painting practice and her interest in photography and writing, triggered by her encounter with feminist thought. The experience of life in 1980s Soviet  Union also later transferred itself into the therapeutical-testimony work "Thirty-three Situations" (2015), part of which will be presented in the exhibition.

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Returning to Bratislava in 1990s her artistic practice honed in the moving image and performative events, the artist´s body and bodily action, that became her main concern in presenting her positioning in that time context. The discovery of video further extended the haptic and prosthetic but also inherently political use of media.

Alongside her artistic work Daučíková was a co-founder and activist in several women NGOs and she became a spokesperson fo LGBT rights in Slovakia. This activist position can be also translated in the presented trilogy "Portrait of a Woman with Institution" (2011), that overcomes categories as self-portrait, documentary and costume or drag. Her academic career includes teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava and since 2012 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

Daučíková's work has been a de-linear de-historical testament on other stories and other trajectories that have been side-tracked by patriarchal, normalising societal structures. She carefully selects fragments of our mundane realities, repositioning them and giving them new narratives. Such as in Three Curtains (2014), another video in the exhibition, where expulsion and admission fluctuates between the bodily and the political.

Since 1991 she has exhibited internationally: 2018: Neubauer Collegium, Chicago; Gallery CarrerasMúgica, Bilbao; Sleeping with the Vengeance, Dreaming of the Life, Gallery Lítost Prague; 2017: documenta 14, Athens/Kassel; 2016, Gallery Futura, Prague; 2015: Kiyv Biennial/School of Kyiv; 2014: Manifesta 10, Eastern Window, St. Petersburg; 2013: “Good Girls”, MNAC, Bucharest; 2010: “Gender Check – Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe”, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw and in MUMOK, Vienna; “Ars Homo Erotica” at the National Museum in Warsaw; 2009: “Kunst und Öffentlichkeit”, 40 Jahre Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin;

This exhibition of Anna Daučíková, co-curated with Michal Novotný, is an incomplete attempt to summarise some of the most important topics in Daučíková's work. The reversed emigration and stay in 1980s Russia, the determination to depart and remain in the position of “the other” and the re-reading of past and present, all intercross on the locale of the political body.

State of Concept is supported by
Outset Contemporary Art Fund (Greece)

The exhibition is produced in collaboration with

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