Exhibitions

Current shows:

Next Image – The Past of the Future at Daegu Photo Biennale 2018,

curated by Sohee Kim and Bernhard Draz featuring among others Joachim Seinfeld

Daegu Arts Center, Daegu,  South Korea
Opening: September 7th, 5 pm

The show runs until October 16th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century

curated by Dr. Andrea Domesle and Frank Eckhardt

 

Artist House, Tel Aviv
August 30 – September 22, 2018

Opening Thursday, August 30, 8 pm

 Mo – Fr 10 – 13:00 and 17 – 19:00
Sa 11 – 14:00

http://artisthouse.co.il/?lang=en

Sa, September 1, 11:00 curators’discussion with the artists Frank Eckhardt, Thomas Galler, Karen Geyer, Anna Jermolaewa, Beate Passow, Jo Preußler, Joachim Seinfeld, Belle Shafir, Axel Töpfer, Martina Wolf and with some performative presentations

 

Sa, September 8, 11:00 guiding tour by the curator Frank Eckhardt

 

 

“Notes on the Beginning of the Short 20th Century” aims to show the historical traces of the First World War in the present, and reflects on our contemporary approach to them. What did that time mean then, what do those long past events mean to us today? What is behind current opinion, and elicits contemporary artistic engagement? How and where is the historical impact tangible in artworks? What are the intentions and the visual politics behind different forms of engagement with the past? 

 

The exhibition pursues the extent to which it is possible for contemporary art——between construct, reference and depiction——to expand the cultural memory, to correct or even contribute to finding the historical facts. At the same time, the exponents show altered rather than socially compliant images of history, highlighting differences between national narratives about the war and the distinct cultures of commemorating it. 

 

Until now, around 45 artists from countries that were involved in the most varied ways in   ‘the great seminal catastrophe of this century’ have participated and reflected upon its present-day influence in their works. The result is a polyphony of historical interpretations, of individual and national attitudes. Many of the artists created new works specially for this exhibition and in some cases, major installations.

This touring exhibition accompanies the commemorative years stretching from 2014-2018. Therefore the exhibition itself changes in focus as the tour continues, reflecting for example on the initial war enthusiasm as well as on the disaster and revolutions at the end. From venue to venue the visual impact of the touring exhibition is added to by raising new questions, incorporating new artworks and artists and specific national themes.

The venues so far:
●  Motorenhalle (D), October 15, 2014 (opening)-January 3, 2015 – Part I (Emphasis: France-Germany, Verdun, War Enthusiasm)
●  MuseumsQuartier, freiraum quartier 21 INTERNATIONAL, Vienna (A), June 2-August 16, 2015 (Emphasis: Assassination in Sarajevo, imperial and royal monarchy, relationship to art, cinema, avant-garde literature)
●  Emil Filla Gallery/University Jana Evangelisty Purkyne Ústí nad Labem (CZ), Oct. 17-Nov. 29, 2015 (Emphasis: the soldier)
● National Center For Contemporary Art (NCCA) – Kaliningrad Branch, (RUS), March 1-April 9 2017   (Emphasis: militery strategy, parallel universes such as Suprematism, film sets or stage constructions or how to escape WWI?
● Motorenhalle (D), November 8, 2018 – March 10 2019 – prospect with catalogue (Emphasis: Destruction, the October and the November Revolution, Title: „R_E-Volution“)

The exhibition at the Artist House in Tel Aviv shows several artworks which were presented  previously in Dresden, Vienna, Usti nad Labem and Kaliningrad. With this reference is made to the differing emphases placed on the contents and the perspectives of the other nations.

But a lot more has been changed too, so that the exhibition in Tel Aviv now appears in a completely new form. At each stage of the exhibition tour, just as again here in Tel Aviv, artists from the host and regional countries are invited to participate by the curators. This allows for the further possibility of bringing the Israeli perspective more strongly into this international touring show. The exhibition in the Artist House gallery inspired the team of curators to set new points of focus within the overall scope of the exhibition.  They specially select works and position them to create many layered contexts towards the historical surroundings of Palestine.

European history books provide fairly brief information about the First World War in this region. Perhaps this is due to Palestine being a part of the Ottoman Empire at that time. With the entry into the war of the Ottoman Empire, which fought on three fronts, the war grew into a world war: “The Ottoman Empire waged war on three fronts: in the Caucasus against the Russians, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea between the Suez Canal and the Dardanelles against the British and the French and also against the British, embodied by the British Indian Army, in Mesopotamia. The diffuse front on the Arabian Peninsula did not arise until later with the revolt of some tribes, and their strategic significance for the course of the war is usually overestimated due to Thomas E. Lawrence’s romantic stylization of the battles.” [1]

Thomas E. Lawrence is better known as Lawrence of Arabia. He was a British officer, achaeologist, secret agent and a writer  supporting the rebellious Arabs.

 

“Rather, the battles in Palestine, in particular the Battles of Gaza, which were comparable to the trench warfare and matériel battles on the western front, were decisive for the war.” [2] The Palestine front or Sinaifront 1915-1918 is usually regarded as a secondary theatre of war. However, it does have special historical events to boast: Close to Be’er Sheva was one of the last major cavalry attacks of the First World War on 31st  October 1917. Here the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps as well as the Ottomans are commemorated on two military cemeteries. Tens of thousands of soldiers of various origins were to fall in Palestine by the time of the British victory on 19th September 1918.

The First World War exerted great influence on the Zionist movement. It initially threw the Jewish settlers back enormously, as they got caught up between the fronts of the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain. Before the end of the war, on 2nd November 2017, the British Foreign Minister sent the Balfour Declaration in letter form which came to be named after him: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object(…).”[3] For the first time a European power gave official recognition to the intention of forming a Jewish state within Palestine. In 1922, the League of Nations awarded  Britain the mandate, which had in principle been exercised since 1918, to properly implement the Balfour Declaration.

“Many European portrayals of the Great War treat these war arenas as inconsequential, practically ignoring these effects of war on the soldiers employed in the Middle East”, according to Herfried Münkler, which is reason enough for us to look again. “However, the consequences of the war in the region itself, which characterize its political order to this day, are even more crucial. After the war ended, the British and French, who defined their spheres of influence in the region in the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, were not able to create a stable, developmentally capable order. The great multinational and multi-religious empire of the Ottomans came asunder and was replaced by dynasties that could rarely unite popular loyalty and that would be toppled by military coups or transitioned into party dictatorships. (…) The political instability and economic stagnation of the Middle East are legacies of the First World War that have lasted well into the 21st century.”[4]

Contemporary artistic engagements with these events dating from over 100 years ago in Palestine, are to form the local emphasis of the exhibition in the Artist House in Tel Aviv.

The exhibition is designed for a broad public comprising adults, teenagers and children with an interest in history and socio politics, as well as being for an expert audience.

The curatorial method of this touring exhibition project was developed by Dr. Andrea Domesle, following the example of the paths taken by Harald Szeemann, the famous independent curator from Switzerland, and by extending his method of individual field research in different countries towards transnational collaboration on site-specific interpretation view points.  The touring exhibition grows as it proceeds, the subject being recontextualized at each new venue by inviting new artists. Regional and global issues and varied contemporary local artistic scenes are crossed.  Different opinions are collected. Since 2004 Andrea Domesle has been initiating – often together with Frank Eckhardt (, director Motorenhalle Dresden, GER) – touring exhibitions with international partners on questions relevant to our society, bringing Eastern and Western art scenes into creative confrontation, allowing us to learn from one another.

Our goal is to incite the public to learn from history, to sensitize people to socio-political issues, to be able to find relevant courses of action for today and tomorrow“, say the curators Dr. Andrea Domesle and Frank Eckhardt.

In his review in Kunstforum (Aug.-Sept. 2015), Matthias Reichelt wrote: “The exhibition encompasses a broad spectrum of the most varied artistic strategies that show, using the example of the First World War, how deep an impression history has left down to the present day. Many artworks inspire questions pertaining to memory, the representation of history, and individual responsibility.”

 

The exhibition in Tel Aviv is supported by:

 

Austrian Cultural Forum Tel Aviv
ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Relations)
Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

In collaboration with:

Riesa efau – Motorenhalle (Motor Hall), Dresden

zollfrei (duty-free), association for mediation and distribution of contemporary art, Basel

Translation by Christopher Haley Simpson

 

List of artists

 

  • Simone Bader (b. 1964 Stuttgart, lives in Vienna)
  • Nin Brudermann (b. 1970 Vienna, lives in New York)
  • Eduard Constantin (b. 1977 Ploiesti, lives in Bucharest)
  • Frank Eckhardt (b. 1959 Dresden, lives in Dresden)
  • Thomas Galler ( 1970 Baden/CH, lives in Zurich
  • Karen Geyer (b. 1976 Konstanz, lives in Zurich)
  • Anna Jermolaewa (b. 1970 Leningrad, lives in Vienna)
  • Ruppe Kosellek (b. 1967 Dossenheim/Heidelberg, lives in Münster)
  • Martin Krenn (b. 1970 Vienna, lives in Vienna)
  • Jérôme Leuba (b. 1970 in Geneva, lives in Geneva)
  • Mladen Miljanović (b. 1981 Zenica, lives in Banja Luka)
  • Olga Alia Krulišová & Jana Pavlišová (b. 1987, live in Usti nad Labem and Praha)
  • Beate Passow (b. 1945 Oldendorf, lives in Munich)
  • Jo Preußler (b Germany, lives in Berlin) & Axel Töpfer (b. 1977 Königs Wusterhausen,
    lives in Basel)
  • Deborah Sengl (b. 1974 Vienna, lives in Vienna)
  • Belle Shafir (b. 1953 Germany, lives in Tel Aviv)
  • Joachim Seinfeld (b. 1962 Paris, lives in Berlin)
  • Zvi Tolkovsky (b. 1934 Haifa, lives in Jerusalem)
  • Martina Wolf (b. 1971 Wurzen/Saxony, lives in Frankfurt)
  • Arye Wachsmuth (b. 1962 in Hamburg, grown up in Tel-Aviv; lives in Vienna)

 

 

Further information is also available (texts and images) on the website of the Artist House

http://artisthouse.co.il/?lang=en, http://artisthouse.co.il/

 

Artist House
Painters & Sculptors Association

9 Alharizi Street
64244 Tel Aviv
Phone number:
+424 (0) 3-5246685

Email:
artassoc@012.net.il

or the curators Frank Eckhardt and Andrea Domesle
a.domesle@gmx.ch
frank.eckhardt@riesa-efau.de

[1] Herfried Münkler: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire: Mesopotamia, Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula in the First World War, in: „1914-1918/2014-2018“, chapter entitled „Perspektiven“, published by the  Goethe Institut http://www.goethe.de/ges/prj/nzv/per/en13072302.htm, accessed on 16.04.2018

[2] Herfried Münkler, ditto.

[3] Arthur Balfour, quoted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration accessed on 05.05.18, and also in reference to Jonathan Schneer (Hrsg.): The Balfour Declaration. The origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Bloomsbury, London 2010

[4] Herfried Münkler: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire: Mesopotamia, Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula in the First World War, in: „1914-1918/2014-2018“, chapter entitled “Perspektiven“, published by the Goethe Institut http://www.goethe.de/ges/prj/nzv/per/en13072302.htm,  accessed on 16.04.2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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