association for contemporary art, Graz
Artists:Kurt&Plasto, Andreas Leihkauf, David Moises, Monochrom, Ivan Moudov, Nebojša Šerić Šoba, The Blue Noses Group
Hot Testing: To put something to the test. And an exhibition in Kosovë can definitely be considered as a test.
A change of context: What does a piece of art, which works perfectly for an Austrian audience, mean within the context of Kosovë.
A matter of conscience: Can one show a piece of art in Pejë, a city that, only a couple of years ago, was haunted by death and demolition.
A vision: What message does an exhibition want to deliver to this city?
„Hot Testing” is what curators initially have to go through, when they face the challenge to organize this exhibition. Additionally, the title also refers to the selected art works, which put the perception of those actively or passively (the audience) involved, to the test:
David Moises from Vienna has constructed a “flying carpet” with the help of a leaf blower. Actually the audience can set the carpet in motion. They will not be able to really take off, but the dream image of a flying carpet finally takes on a physical form.
Nebojša Šerić Šoba, a Bosnian, who currently lives in New York, has seen his dream of N.Y.C. crumble to dust. The video work gives a melancholic account of the artist’s approach to and struggle with the world’s capital of art.
The Austrian group monochrom asked 25 people to remember the logos from famous companies and draw them from memory. It is hard to believe, what a deep impression some logos have left on people’s minds. This “test” illustrates this phenomenon very well.
Two artists who also work with collective memory are Kurt&Plasto. They send us “Greetings for Europe”, a collection of posters, which feature twelve different events or important characters taken from European history. Just to mention one of the motives: As one should know, the term „EUSCHWITZ“ was also an issue during the war in former Yugoslavia.
The Blue Noses Group is an artist collective from the Siberian metropolis Novosibirsk The group has developed a formal terminology which is characterized by a very unique sense of humour and irony. This allows them to treat issues in a very straight-forward way: „25 short performances about globalization“.
Andreas Leikauf shows bank notes covered up with paint, from his series „My First Million”. It is a subtle but vigorous attack on the monetary and capitalist system.
A subversive act of a different kind was initiated by the Bulgarian artist Ivan Moudov: With seven vehicles he blocked a roundabout in the city of Weimar. The actions and reactions to the resulting traffic jam were then recorded on video.
Besides putting things to the test, all the art works in this show have another thing in common: A certain sense of humour. Although this humour is always delivered in a different way – depending of course on the artist’s characters – this exhibition certainly encourages the audience to face reality with a pinch of salt.
The artist collective Cooks of Grind from Graz offers a similar approach: On occasion of the opening in Pejë on July 23 they will explore the boundaries between experimental cooking and art. They invite us to join their "Hot Tasting".