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Gregor Podnar
curated by Gabriela Gantenbein

Adresse
Volksgartenstrasse 3
1010 Wien

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Kurator*innen
Gabriela Gantenbein
Gabriela Gantenbein
CV

Gabriela Gantenbein ist Kunsthistorikerin und Kulturmanagerin mit Schwerpunkt zeitgenössische Kunst und international als Kunstberaterin und Kuratorin tätig. Sie ist Autorin von Beiträgen in Ausstellungskatalogen und Künstlerbüchern und Herausgeberin architektur-und kunstwissenschaftlicher Monographien. In Auswahl: Textures of Thought. Geta Bratescu, Ion Grigorescu, Dan Perjovschi (2015), Come and Go (2014) und Hubert Gessner; Architekt zwischen Kaiserreich und Sozialdemokratie 1871 – 1943(2011).Im Frühjahr 2024 publizierte sie ihren ersten Roman “Ereignishorizont”. Sie war Gründungsdirektorin der viennafair in Wien (2005) und ist board member of the Tate acquisition comitee CEEP. Gabriela Gantenbein lebt und arbeitet in Wien und Frankreich.

Q&A

Which aspect of "Untold Narratives" is relevant for the exhibition you are curating?

 

I find the notion of “archives as nervous systems” mentioned by Noit Banai relevant - although I have isolated it from the concept of the nation-state and placed it on a rather philosophical level.

 

What interests me is the archive that is created in every individual – mostly without it being noticed or reflected upon. An archive that has nothing to do with what is stored in our learning or knowledge, not even with consciously matured personal experiences, but which could represent the "peripatetic or tentacular connection between life forms, communities and cosmologies" that Noit Banai is referring about.

 

I believe that our archive is a kind of "collective unconscious" described by C.G. Jung and that we should be brave enough to open it and listen to the stories it tells us.

 

It may actually contain something from the past (as Einstein said: the difference between past, present and future is an illusion…) that has been "obscured or lying dormant", but it certainly tells us about ourselves. This is a prerequisite for us to start understanding non-human existence.

 

The artists in the exhibition open their archives and let us participate in their stories. They talk about human existence, the search for freedom, the opening into a universal unspeakable, the connection to our home planet and possible metamorphoses or resilience.

 

As the title of the exhibition, I borrowed the title of a film by Tomislav Gotovac. "Don't ask me where we are going" formulates the realization of not even overlooking the short time span of one’s being, and thus at the same time the awareness of being a small wheel in the chaos of our world and the space around it.

 

Instead of being humble towards our planet and its habitats in the face of this understanding process, which many philosophers before us have already formulated, humanity, drunk of its own self-esteem, believes it can control the future with a technology it has invented. Without investigating our evolutionary history, without recognizing our inner archives, without respecting our non-human existences and without reflecting on our own fragility, we will not survive.

 

How would you describe your curatorial practice? What distinguishes it from other approaches?

As a curator, I try to explore the essence of each artistic work, to reveal this gift to the viewer through the appropriate visual, audible and tangible setting. Whenever possible, I incorporate music into my exhibitions and works by artists from different generations and countries, as I did in this exhibition.

 

How did you decide on the artist you invited?

 

The artists embrace the insight formulated in the exhibition´s title (see above) in their works, by unfolding observations from their inner archives in which they invite us to participate. Their stories are not normative, but welcome life variations or mutation, changes and new ways of thinking towards the future. What they have in common is not only their joy of experimentation, but also their articulation through the act of writing - be it in diaries or publications - and/or their immersion into music.

 

What motivates you to curate exhibitions?

To give intelligent, highly sensitive individuals an exhibition setting where they can speak to the audience through their art.

Q&A

Which aspect of "Untold Narratives" is relevant for the exhibition you are curating?

 

I find the notion of “archives as nervous systems” mentioned by Noit Banai relevant - although I have isolated it from the concept of the nation-state and placed it on a rather philosophical level.

 

What interests me is the archive that is created in every individual – mostly without it being noticed or reflected upon. An archive that has nothing to do with what is stored in our learning or knowledge, not even with consciously matured personal experiences, but which could represent the "peripatetic or tentacular connection between life forms, communities and cosmologies" that Noit Banai is referring about.

 

I believe that our archive is a kind of "collective unconscious" described by C.G. Jung and that we should be brave enough to open it and listen to the stories it tells us.

 

It may actually contain something from the past (as Einstein said: the difference between past, present and future is an illusion…) that has been "obscured or lying dormant", but it certainly tells us about ourselves. This is a prerequisite for us to start understanding non-human existence.

 

The artists in the exhibition open their archives and let us participate in their stories. They talk about human existence, the search for freedom, the opening into a universal unspeakable, the connection to our home planet and possible metamorphoses or resilience.

 

As the title of the exhibition, I borrowed the title of a film by Tomislav Gotovac. "Don't ask me where we are going" formulates the realization of not even overlooking the short time span of one’s being, and thus at the same time the awareness of being a small wheel in the chaos of our world and the space around it.

 

Instead of being humble towards our planet and its habitats in the face of this understanding process, which many philosophers before us have already formulated, humanity, drunk of its own self-esteem, believes it can control the future with a technology it has invented. Without investigating our evolutionary history, without recognizing our inner archives, without respecting our non-human existences and without reflecting on our own fragility, we will not survive.

 

How would you describe your curatorial practice? What distinguishes it from other approaches?

As a curator, I try to explore the essence of each artistic work, to reveal this gift to the viewer through the appropriate visual, audible and tangible setting. Whenever possible, I incorporate music into my exhibitions and works by artists from different generations and countries, as I did in this exhibition.

 

How did you decide on the artist you invited?

 

The artists embrace the insight formulated in the exhibition´s title (see above) in their works, by unfolding observations from their inner archives in which they invite us to participate. Their stories are not normative, but welcome life variations or mutation, changes and new ways of thinking towards the future. What they have in common is not only their joy of experimentation, but also their articulation through the act of writing - be it in diaries or publications - and/or their immersion into music.

 

What motivates you to curate exhibitions?

To give intelligent, highly sensitive individuals an exhibition setting where they can speak to the audience through their art.


Künstler*innen
Tomislav Gotovac
Tomislav Gotovac
CV

 Sombor, Serbien, 1937 - Zagreb, Kroatien, 2010 


Ion Grigorescu
Ion Grigorescu
CV

Bucharest, Rumänien, 1945, lebt in Bukarest 


Anna Jermolaewa
Anna Jermolaewa
CV

 *Leningrad, ex USSR, 1970 - lebt in Wien, Österreich 


Yves Klein
Yves Klein
CV

Nizza, Frankreich, 1928 – Paris, Frankreich, 1962 


Julije Knifer
Julije Knifer
CV

 Osijek, Kroatien, 1924 – Paris, Frankreich, 2004 


Benoît Maire
Benoît Maire
CV

Pessac, Frankreich 1978 – lebt in Bordeaux, Frankreich 


Marzena Nowak
Marzena Nowak
CV

Piaseczno, Polen. 1977 – living in Waschau, Polen and Casablanca, Marokko 


Christine Rebet
Christine Rebet
CV

 Lyon, Frankreich, 1971 – lebt in Paris, Frankreich und New York, USA 



Gabriele Gantenbein

Don’t ask me where we are going

 “Don’t ask me where we are going” is the title of a film produced in 1966 by Tomislav Gotovac, which curator Gabriela Gantenbein has used for her eponymous exhibition at Gregor Podnar in Vienna. 

At the heart of the exhibition’s concept is the notion of the “archive” (from Noit Banai’s impulse essay “Untold Narratives” for this year 2024 „Curated By“ Gallery Festival), transposed in a philosophical context by the curator, who analyzes it through C.G. Jung’s “collective unconscious.” 

The eight artists in the exhibition open their own inner archives and share them with us. They speak about human existence, the quest for freedom, the revelation of an unspeakable universe, the inseparable connection to our planet Earth and possible metamorphoses. Their works challenge us to dare looking into our own archive and find a possible answer to the question “where are we going”, and to shape our future according to our inner archive’s insights. 

Only by respecting our spiritual subconscious, understanding the history of evolution, honoring each individual life, and reflecting on our own fragility, we can preserve our existence.

 

 Text by Gabriela Gantenbein 

Mehr

Bilder

Tomislav Gotovac, "Don't ask where we’re going", 1966, (film steel), 16mm film, 10:18 min., ed. 1/5+2 AP.
Courtesy: the artist and Gregor Podnar, Vienna.