Dóra Maurer: Study of Minimal Movements (Etude with Shoes), 1972

Dóra Maurer: Dropping Acid to the Plate, 1970

Tamás Kaszás - Anikó Loránt: PANGAEA - visual aid for historical consciousness, 2011

The 12th Istanbul Biennial - Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011

Hungarian participants: Dóra Maurer and Tamás Kaszás - Anikó Loránt

ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange is glad to announce that – just as two years ago – two Hungarian participants have been invited to the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Among others the works of Dóra Maurer and Tamás Kaszás – Anikó Lóránt are on display between 17 September – 13 November 2011 at the venue of the Biennial.

The curators of the Biennial, Jens Hoffmann and Adriano Pedrosa were invited to Budapest for a curatorial research trip in the frame of ACAX’s Check-in Budapest curatorial visitor program in January 2010. Following their visit, they invited the artists to participate in the Biennial. The Hungarian contribution is supported by ACAX, department of Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.

The 12th Istanbul Biennial explores the relationship between art and politics, focusing on works that are both aesthetically innovative and politically progressive. The work of the Cuban-American artist Félix González-Torres (1957–1996) is a clear example of this kind of artistic practice, and a primary inspiration for the biennial.

The Biennial is structured as five group shows taking five works by González-Torres as a point of departure: “Untitled” (Abstraction), “Untitled” (Death by Gun), “Untitled” (History), “Untitled” (Passport) and “Untitled” (Ross). In addition, fifty solo presentations will be arranged in the exhibition spaces surrounding the group shows, connecting to the central themes and providing further interpretations on them.

In response to the mentality today devaluing the exhibition as the primary format of artistic and curatorial expression, favoring instead ancillary events and programming, the organizers of the 12th Istanbul Biennial propose to renew the focus on the exhibition itself. The precise selection and installation of artworks in a carefully constructed setting indicates that the curators are primarily interested in how the exhibition comes together as a whole, privileging above all else the display and juxtaposition of the artworks.

Dóra Maurer is presented as one of the solo exhibitors at the Biennial with several series made between 1970-79 (31 works altogether).
Maurer discovered a creative approach for herself in the early Seventies, having defined her oeuvre ever since. She talks about this practice among others in an interview from 1993 as follows:
„I am interested in – to use an ugly jargonised term – the thematisation of the structure. This means that on the basis of some observation, or even an experience, I set up a model situation, which features a number of elements: they may be geometrical forms, or even human characteristics that cannot be easily described verbally. Then I let them go together, making use of an appropriate organising principle. What will be brought about in this way? I observe it again and if possible, mould it further.”
(Triptych. An Interview with Dóra Maurer and Tibor Gáyor by István Hajdu, in: Maurer Dóra/Gáyor Tibor. Párhuzamos életművek/Parallele Lebenswerke/Parallel oeuvres, Dóra Maurer (ed.), Győr, Városi Művészeti Múzeum 2002, p. 11.).

Tamás Kaszás – who frequently works together with Anikó Loránt – was commissioned by the curators to create a new artistic project for the Biennial.
The work entitled “PANGAEA – visual aid for historical consciousness” follows the artistic world that Kaszás has been consequently building up for several years.
His works can be grouped around two major themes: the recycling and reinterpreting of historical symbols and contents, and the raising consciousness concerning the dangers threatening our civilization while seeking and propagating strategies to escape.
Pangaea – title of the site-specific installation made for the Biennial – is the name of the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozolic and Mesozoic eras, before the continents were separated into their current configuration.

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