OMV supports a special project at the VIENNAFAIR already for the third time. This year the focus is on non-profit spaces and new galleries in Romania and – as in the previous years – on Turkey. The project is complemented with perspectives from the up and coming contemporary art scene in the Caspian region. “DIYALOG”: New Energies is curated by art expert Gaisha Madanova from Almaty, Kazakhstan as well as the artistic directors of the VIENNAFAIR, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and Vita Zaman, in cooperation with OMV.
Beyond its economic engagement, OMV would like to contribute to cultural dialogue in the field of contemporary fine art. In addition to Austria, Romania and Turkey are the core markets of the integrated, international oil and gas company. Furthermore, OMV is also active in the Caspian region.
The following galleries and cultural institutions will make presentations in the framework of “DIYALOG”: New Energies:
Romania: KILOBASE BUCHAREST (Hermannstadt/Sibiu), Club Electroputere (Bucharest), Salonul de Proiecte (Bucharest), Experimental Project (Bucharest)
Turkey: CDA PROJECTS (Istanbul)
Kazakhstan: IADA (International Art Development Association)
Special OMV project “DIYALOG”: New Energies!
In the framework of this year’s special OMV project “DIYALOG: New Energies” we have taken an opportunity to expand the geography of our interests and get to know processes taking place in the contemporary art of Romania, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. This is an interesting project as it focuses on non-profit art spaces and young art galleries, whose flexible organizational structure enables them to react quickly to changing conditions of the environment and implement innovative ideas without being afraid to experiment. They contribute to the development of educational processes in their countries by popularizing contemporary art at different levels.
The historical contexts and ways of development of contemporary art in these countries are different – as well as their current situations. Despite the common socialist past of Romania and Kazakhstan, in Romania, processes of reconsideration, transformation, and formation of art systems commenced in the early 1990s after the fall of the Iron Curtain, when the country became no longer isolated from the global art processes. Today, there are mechanisms that attract international interest to Romanian contemporary art – Romania has a sufficient number of art galleries and venues, the country has held several of its own biennials, runs non-profit organizations and foundations, and has various art magazines, media resources, and different art programs. All these factors create favorable environment for the formation and effective development of the artistic community.
Initially, support of contemporary art in Kazakhstan and its integration into the international art scene were held more on individual basis. Kazakh contemporary art started developing actively in the late 1990s – early 2000s with the advent of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art (which was closed in 2010). All attempts to initiate art processes before and after the SCCA were worthless due to the lack of financial support from the government structures and international organizations. Today, however, thanks to emergence of a new generation of artists, curators, and art managers, who got their education abroad, there is a revival in the artistic environment, and Kazakh art scene experiences anew all the processes it already went through.
Now comes the major task of redefining the experience of previous generations. The current situation should be re-evaluated, young artists and new art institutions should emerge and develop. And last but not least: the state has begun to cooperate and allocate resources.
Turkey has been undergoing massive social and cultural changes since the mid-80s, when the shift in economic conditions resulted in the rise of the art scene. The processes of modernization of the contemporary art of Turkey are associated with the first Istanbul Biennial in 1987. It was a result of the art scene’s transition to the new level and demonstration of active processes that attracted the interest and attention of the international community. As a result, today we can observe a significant success of the Turkish contemporary art, production, and collection of which draws not only international attention, but also a considerable domestic interest. This means that the country has created conditions, in which not only has been formed an art community, but also a community that is interested in contemporary art – the one that supports, evaluates and funds contemporary art practices.
The special OMV project “DIYALOG: New Energies” involves 58 artists represented by six organizations that have their own strategies and approaches to the cultural context. We have an opportunity to try to understand their local situations as well as the topics the artists address. The presented projects by artists of different generations explore various philosophical, sociopolitical, and historical subjects.
This year, within the framework of the special OMV project “DIYALOG: New Energies” we have tried to broaden the Info Zone, in order to show a wider range of activities taking place in Romania, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. We have also tried to involve visitors to the cultural space of these countries by providing a platform for new networks and discussions.
KILOBASE BUCHAREST (Hermannstadt/Sibiu, Romania) is a“nomadic gallery”, initiated by the artists Ioana Nemeş (1979–2011) and Dragoş Olea. With its projects and exhibitions they test the limits of the art market and explore the ways it functions and the artists’ influence on it.
KILOBASE BUCHAREST will present Bucharest art collective Apparatus 22. In his performances, video performances, and photographs, Farid Fairuz centers on subjects like capitalism, sexuality, cultural production, religion, and the failure of the Eurocentric society. Before he reinvented himself as Farid Fairuz along with a fictional biography and developed a new form of interaction between himself and public space, the artist ranked among the foremost representatives of contemporary dance in Romania after 1989. Born in Stockholm and living and working there today, the twin brothers Carl & Pontus Olsson investigate the physical boundaries of language and its form charged by critical and political gestures in their installations. Their key subjects are eclecticism, appropriation, and contingency. For Tobias Sternberg art only comes about when the viewer gets in touch with the work. With his interactive pieces, the Berlin-based Swedish artist invites the public in a both humorous and ironic manner to touch his sculptures, to climb, or crawl across them. Providing often completely absurd alternative proposals, he suggests that our own world with its institutions, habits, and rules may be equally absurd when looked at from outside.
Salonul de Proiecte (Bucharest,Romania) is a program initiated by Magda Radu and Alexandra Croitoru and it runs with the financial and logistic support provided by MNAC. This initiative is focused on production and envisages the organization of exhibitions, presentations and debates focusing upon Romanian contemporary art and placing young artists’ productions into a broader generational context. http://www.salonuldeproiecte.ro
Using the artist’s handwritten letter reproduced as a silk-screen print, Salonul de proiecte invited a number of artists to participate in a group show on the subject of money with works on paper (drawings, collages, texts, etc.). Forty-two artists – among them Marina Albu, Mihuț Boșcu Kafchin, Geta Brătescu, Tudor Bratu, Anetta Mona Chișa & Lucia Tkáčová, Olivia Mihălțianu, and Delia Popa – are presented with one work each as part of the program of “DIYALOG”: New Energies. Mona Chişa and Lucia Tkáčová’s works investigate gender relationships and the role of Eastern European artists in an art world dominated by the West. Preferably working with texts and the means of performance and video installation, Delia Popa derives her ideas from history, comedy, visual anthropology, and trauma. With Geta Brătescu the show also includes a renowned artist of the older generation. Her works, which have already been on display in the Tate Modern in London, at La Triennale in Paris in 2012, at the Istanbul Biennial 2011, and in Vienna’s MUMOK, comprises graphic works, drawings, collages, photographs, and book illustrations. Mihuţ Boşcu Kafchin is certainly to be regarded as one of the most distinctive voices among the new generation of Romanian artists. He ironically thematizes various aspects of our culture like history, popular culture, and science, as well as media such as movies and video games. Mihuţ Boşcu Kafchin’s works are presently on show at the Prague Biennial 6. Olivia Mihălţianuʼs work testifies to the artist’s keen observation of people in her surroundings, their personal traits and peculiarities, as well as the medial and sociopolitical reality of life in her native Bucharest. Her videos, films, photographs, objects, installations, and performances explore the issue of identity, the development of the image of women, and the role of the artist in today’s society. In his most recent works Tudor Bratu examines the concept of morality as a driving force of social developments by focusing on the documentary power of media like photography and video. Marina Albu’s work is pivoted on the written text and the spoken word. She derives the subjects for her audio and video works, interventions, performances, and objects from a variety of everyday incidents, events, and scenes. www.salonuldeproiecte.ro
Experimental Project (Bucharest, Romania) was founded as a non-political non-profit organization in Bucharest in 2010 in order to make cultural and educational programs accessible to a wider public. Every other year, Experimental Project organizes the International Experimental Engraving Biennial (IEEB): the event is aimed at creating a new understanding of printed graphic work as a medium of art in its own right and at exploring recent techniques. The works by Marilena Preda Sânc, Valeriu Șchiau, and Patricia Teodorescu presented by Experimental Projectfocus on sociopolitical issues.
Patricia Teodorescu, a conceptual artist, studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest and explores philosophical, ecological and sociocultural subjects in her works. In many of her performances, installations, paintings, and video works, she takes a feminist stand such as in the exhibition “Good Girls” dedicated to contemporary women artists, which is still on show at the Muzeul Naţional de Artă Contemporană in Bucharest until September 29. After finishing her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest in 1980, Marilena Preda Sânc did her doctorate there in 2002. Having intensely dedicated herself to painting, drawing, sculpture, and visual concrete poetry, she has increasingly worked in the fields of installation and video performance since 1993, sounding the boundaries between static and moving image. Born in the Republic of Moldova and living and working in Bucharest today, the artist Valeriu Șchiau’s paintings deal with the Post-Communist era, which he knows from first-hand experience, with loss, childhood nostalgia, getting older, as well as with forms of uprooting and the disintegration of the family. www.experimentalproject.ro
Club Electroputere (Bucharest, Romania) was founded by Adrian Bojenoiu and Alexandru Niculescu as a Romanian center for contemporary culture in Bucharest in 2009. Its program is aimed at supporting new forms of artistic expression and reinstating the cultural discourse in Romanian art.
With Mihail Trifan, Club Electroputere presents an experimental, only little known independent Romanian position in the context of “DIYALOG”: New Energies. Not related to the scene abroad and the relevant cultural and artistic environment, Trifan’s art has remained isolated from both the Western and, sometimes, the national discourse in a way. His production effortlessly merges painting, performance art, installations, objects, and music. Committed to a circumspectly imprecise goal of research and thematization, Trifan’s work is charged with information implying surfeit, chaos, and self-destruction. Rooted in a sensitive Conceptualism and lacking the obvious elements of political and social criticism, his position is one of those Eastern European approaches to art that have only received little attention so far. This is why the solo presentation in the context of “DIYALOG”: New Energies is a premiere. www.clubelectroputere.ro
IADA (Kazakhstan) the International Art Development Association is a non-profit organization aimed at supporting the cultural exchange between European and Central Asian artists in the international art world. It was IADA that initiated the presentation of contemporary artists in a special pavilion for Kazakhstan in the context of the 55th Venice Biennial in 2013, for example. Shown as part of “DIYALOG”: New Energies, the group exhibition “Ahh… Youth!” confronts the viewer with the new generation of artists from Kazakhstan. The works by Ada Yu, Bahyt Bubikanova, and Gulnur Mukazhanova on display are primarily concerned with subjects preoccupying the country’s people since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the 1990s and with new formal solutions and modes of visualization. The title of the show is borrowed from a work by Mike Kelley from 1991.
In her current work shown in the context of “DIYALOG”: New Energies, Ada Yu deals with the place where she was born. The photograph titled Counterpoint (2013) captures the magic moment the artist experienced as a child following the clouds in the sky while sitting in an apple tree. Bahyt Bubikanovaʼs painting is characterized by a profound, powerful and extraordinary mode of visualization. A first look at the both lively and static pictorial and color compositions of her “Metaphysics Series” (2013) already triggers a feeling of anxiety and makes the viewer explore his/her own fears. One of the subjects Gulnur Mukazhanova devotes herself to in her works is the issue of identity in Kazakhstan and the loss of cultural values and the country’s national roots through the increasing globalization. The vanishing of the traditional Kazakh wedding dress and the saukele, the female wedding headdress, serve as an example. In her work Mankurts in the Megapolis (2013) she thematizes this loss, using a mankurt ‒ a being half-human and half animal that serves as a slave – as a metaphor. As Asian victors pulled the skin of a freshly slaughtered animal over their prisoners’ shorn heads in former times, knowing that the skin, drying in the sun, would shrink, press the brain together like iron clamps, and make the victim lose his senses and will, globalization exorcises man’s ability to remember.
CDA PROJECTS (Turkey, Istanbul) was founded by Moiz Zilberman as a gallery for contemporary art in Istanbul in 2009 to help make known the work of young Turkish and international artists. Since 2010, Cda Projects has been organizing the project “The Young Fresh Different” through an open call. For “DIYALOG”: New Energies, Cda Projects has prepared a selection of works by Burçak Bingöl, Alpin Arda Bağcık, Zeynep Kayan, and Özlem Şimşek which explore the social, political, economic, and human alienation caused by the influence of post-capitalism.
Burçak Bingöl’s work comprises drawings, photographs, and ceramics. She is concerned with such subjects as fragility, detachment, and alienation grounded in our present-day understanding of picture and form, mass production, and repetition. Alpin Arda Bağcık examines our perception of reality in his work. He deliberately defamiliarizes the impressions resulting from our individual and socially informed perspectives by incorporating unequivocally ambivalent and almost schizophrenic structures in his works. Zeynep Kayan’s photographs and video works unfold as an unrelenting search for old things from which she creates something new through re- and deconstruction. An expressive pictorial language results from the visual motifs she uses, reworks digitally and photographs again and again. Özlem Şimşek writes contributions to various media such as Cumhuriyet, Genis Açi Photography Magazine, and Hürriyet Gösteri. Her central field of research is photography as a mode of expression in contemporary Turkish art after 1980. She lives and works in Istanbul.
With Group sales of EUR 42.65 bn and a workforce of around 29,000 employees in 2012, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is Austria’s largest listed industrial company. In Exploration and Production, OMV is active in two core countries Romania and Austria and holds a balanced international portfolio. OMV had proven oil and gas reserves of approximately 1.12 bn boe as of year-end 2012 and a production of around 303,000 boe/d in 2012. In Gas and Power, OMV sold approximately 437 TWh of gas in 2012. In Austria, OMV operates a 2,000 km long gas pipeline network with a marketed capacity of around 103 bcm in 2012. With a trading volume of around 528 TWh, OMV’s gas trading platform, the Central European Gas Hub, is amongst the most important hubs in Continental Europe. In Refining and Marketing, OMV has an annual refining capacity of 22 mn t and as of the end of 2012 approximately 4,400 filling stations in 13 countries including Turkey. OMV further strengthened its position through the ownership of a 97% stake in Petrol Ofisi, Turkey’s leading company in the retail and commercial business.
OMV’s sponsorship extends to sport and culture. In the sporting arena, OMV is involved in regionally significant locations in Central and Eastern Europe in ski jumping (national ski associations in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania), running and football. OMV’s cultural sponsorship focuses on promoting cultural exchange between its core markets in Austria, Romania and Turkey in the field of contemporary fine arts.