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Friday 18.08.2017

Through a Forest Wilderness Exhibition and Symposium


Hilde Krohn Huse, Hanging in the Woods, 2014 | Filmstills | Courtesy the artist

THROUGH A FOREST WILDERNESS. ACTIONS IN THE FOREST. PERFORMANCE, CONCEPTUAL ART, EVENTS. 1960 - ∞
DOWN WITH ART! e.V.
http://www.throughaforestwilderness.tumblr.com

Info

Opening: 24 Aug 2017, 7 pm 25 Aug to 3 Sept., Wed - Sun, 2 pm - 6 pm Symposium: 1 - 2 Sept 2017

Contact

projects@downwithart.de
Petra Stegmann


Address

http://www.throughaforestwilderness.tumblr.com
DOWN WITH ART! e.V. in cooperation with Brandenburgischer Kunstverein Potsdam
Freundschaftsinsel Potsdam, Pavilion
14467 Potsdam
Germany

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'The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness' – such was the observation of Scottish-American naturalist John Muir as far back as 1890, seventy years before artists around the world discovered the forest as a creative space for themselves. The exhibition 'THROUGH A FOREST WILDERNESS', to be presented in Potsdam for a short time only, takes an original look at the artistic works and performances that have come about through the exploration of nature. The focus is on minimal yet often spectacular works of conceptual art, performance, minimal art and Fluxus.

It was for the artists of Central and Eastern Europe, in particular, that the forest functioned as a retreat and an alternative space during the period of the 1960s to 1980s; it became their stage, often serving as the only witness to activities that were prohibited in public cultural life. At the same time, the artists of Western Europe and America were engaged in discovering new territory outside of established and commercialised institutions.

The work of Petr Štembera, who planted a tree in his own arm in 'Štěpování' ('Grafting', 1973), shows just how radical this exploration of nature can be. Milan Knížák, who in 1980 invited spectators to form a friendship with a tree, had a connection of a more playful nature in mind. Other artists explored the contrast between organic and geometric forms, among them the Slovenian artist group OHO, whose minimalist interventions in the forest were formed of wooden rods, metal strips, ropes and toilet paper (1969). The bandaging of trees with gauze (Tabarz Recycling, 1983), by the CLARA MOSCH group from Karl-Marx-Stadt, reflected a new brand of environmental awareness during times of forest decline. Still, today, contemporary artists are pitting themselves and their work against nature and the questions it poses. This is especially evident in Hilde Krohn Huse's viral video 'Hanging in the Woods' (2014), an unplanned existential scenario, depicting the desperate attempt of the naked artist to free herself from a rope.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an international symposium (1 and 2 September) that will explore topics such as 'Art and Nature in Central and Eastern Europe', 'Conceptual Art in Norway' and 'Exhibiting Art in Nature'. With Contributions by: Maja Fowkes, Reuben Fowkes, Adrienne Goehler, Sabine Hänsgen, Hilde Krohn Huse, Ingvild Krogvig, Reiner Maria Matysik, Pavlína Morganová, Angelika Richter, Michael Saup, and Petr Štembera. There are plans for presentations at further venues and a subsequent publication.

Artists: ANK 64/SOUP 69/Visarid (EE), Artprospekt P.O.P (SK), Eugen Blume/Erhard Monden (DE), Bård Breivik (NO), CLARA MOSCH (DE), Vladimír Havlík (CZ), Geoffrey Hendricks (US), Wolfgang Henne/Michael Kunert/Steffen Volmer (DE), Lumír Hladík (CZ/CA), Aleksandar Battista Ilić (HR), Villem Jahu (EE), Milan Knížák (CZ), Kollektive Aktionen (RU), Hilde Krohn Huse (NO/GB), Reiner Maria Matysik (DE), OHO (SI), Yoko Ono (JP/US), Carolee Schneemann (US), Petr Štembera (CZ), Margita Titlová Ylovsky (CZ), Jiří Valoch (CZ), Robert Watts (US), Vadim Zakharov (RU/DE), Jana Želibská (SK) and others

Curator: Petra Stegmann


SYMPOSIUM THROUGH A FOREST WILDERNESS

1 September 2017
13.00 Petra Stegmann (DOWN WITH ART!, Potsdam): Introduction
I. ART AND NATURE IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
13.30 Sabine Hänsgen (University of Zurich): Field and Forest in the 'Collective Actions'
14.30 Pavlína Morganová (Akademie výtvarných umění, Prague): The Tree in Czech Performance Art. Petr Štembera and Margita Titlová-Ylovsky
15.30 Artist talk Petr Štembera (Prague)
17.00 Angelika Richter (Berlin): Rebellious Green. Art and Environment in the GDR
18.00 Maja Fowkes, Reuben Fowkes (Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art, Budapest): Silviphilia in East European Art

2 September 2017
II. CONCEPTUAL AND PERFORMANCE ART IN NORWAY
10.30 Ingvild Krogvig (Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo): Conceptual Art in Norway
11.30 Artist talk Hilde Krohn Huse (London): Hanging in the Woods: Manipulating and Being Manipulated

III. ART AND ECOLOGY
14.00 Performance Reiner Maria Matysik (Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design): Implant. Die Pflanze in mir
15.00 Adrienne Goehler (Berlin): Combining Deceleration and Basic Income through Art
16.00 Artist talk Michael Saup (Berlin)
17.30 Roundtable: Exhibiting Art in Nature