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11 Jul 2008

Vojin Bakic, Luca Frei, Marine Hugonnier, Sean Snyder at Grazer Kunstverein

vojin bakic, photo grazer kunstverein

Vojin Bakic, Luca Frei, Marine Hugonnier, Sean Snyder


open tue-sat 10.30am-6pm


palais thinnfeld
8020 graz

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until august 24

VOJIN BAKIC (curated by WHW/zagreb)

at the same time


From 4th of June until 24th of August 2008, Graz Kunstverein will be hosting an exhibition curated by the Croatian curators collective WHW (what, how & for whom), featuring the Yugoslav-Croatian sculptor and architect Vojin Bakic († 1992).

Bakic's work occupies a key position in the art of former Yugoslavia: during the Cold War, abstraction in art was made the arena for quite different and opposing ideologies and their interpretations or appropriations. Bakic's work rejected such simplifications from the 1950s onwards by employing abstraction - as an artistic grammar of forms – inside of the official, socialist art system. With his independent and wilful stance within the state art system, he questioned the polarity between which many artists in eastern Europe had chosen till then: conformity, or a withdrawal into the private sphere. Instead of responding to the demands of this either-or and abandoning artistic issues in favour of one or other of the ideologies, he decided to centre his attention on the conflict between the positions. Bakic's art, the successes and difficulties he encountered during his life, as well as the current disregard that is shown towards him from official Croatian quarters, provide a touchstone with which one can explore various problems and figures in the post-socialist arena.

The works of Luca Frei, Marine Hugonnier and Sean Snyder intervene directly into the ongoing exhibition of works by Vojin Bakic, curated by WHW and become part of the spatial ensemble. Parallel activities end up overlapping. Through this juxtaposition the two autonomous projects can be read as a dialogue taking place on the exhibition level.

With Luca Frei (Lund), Marine Hugonnier (London) and Sean Snyder (Kiev), three different and highly distinctive artistic approaches have been brought into setting. And yet the various aspects and interests that inform their work can all be fruitfully linked with Bakic's own production.

While WHW – on the basis the reception of Bakic's work - will show in an exemplary way how a particular body of art can undergo significant recoding within changing social contexts, Frei, Hugonnier and Snyder are generally interested in how both the perception and the production of signs and forms are determined by ideology and by its various possible voluntary and involuntary applications.

Thereby and through their playful manner, all of the works keep a critical aspect of modernism alive; they reassert the importance of their socio-critical potential in the present times. Still without proclaiming this as some universally valid dogma.