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  [OPEN SKY. Spaces beyond their Practice]

Schloss Kalsdorf
8262 Ilz, Ausgeschilderte Zufahrt: Autobahn A2, Abfahrt Ilz, 1 km Richtung Norden

Opening: 05.07.2008 7 p.m.

Sat & Sun, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Initiative: Festival “DIWAN/regionale08”
The exhibition OPEN SKY analyses the relation of localisation and dislocation of space-specific instants towards transformed, extended interpretations. With different artistic formats (sculpture, installation, painting), categories of spatial depiction shall be questioned and rearranged towards potentially “other”, concrete as well as abstract spaces. The presented artistic projects shall make accessible possibilities of usage and interpretations of the “space”, in order to “sculpturally open” it, similar to a productive display, towards transformed blueprints.

Can we think of “space” as open or has it always been based on already preset parameters, can we think of “space” apart from architectonic or (socio)historical categories in the sense of a scope which is open for individual creation? Referring to the philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre (“La production de l’éspace”, 1974), symbolic spaces or “emotional architectures” are searched, which blueprint distinct, spatial definitions by the medium of image, sound, citing and intervention. The artistic projects target the creation of expansive imaginations, the offering of perceptual displacements or also the evoking of (suppressed) memories. These “third spaces” try to avoid common space-specific conventions and, thus, question existing, (socio)cultural circumstances, by offering unexpected aspects of handling the present or an abstract space. This displaced exposure to the perception or to the use of the (surrounding) space could lead to a questioning of the habits with respect to local resources and their culturally as well as historically conveyed ascriptions.

In the sense of a productive “dis/orientation”, OPEN SKY tries – beside questioning, amongst other things, historically grown, geographically derivable identification process(es) – to confront potential translation phenomena of an intercultural exchange with countries of the (Western-oriented, blurred and deniable term) “Orient” (see Edward W. Said, “Orientalism”, 1978). The exhibition also addresses historico-culturally relevant and currently re-emerging factors, interactions and transgressions of (partly stereotyped) images of the Middle and Mid East with a (mid-)European space, which can be derived from interactions evolving in the discussion of the allegedly “other” (within ourselves?). Just questions of a (respective) regional historicity and their possible manipulation through distinctly orientated cultural practices are posed, in order to stimulate, in sculpturally connoted images, a desire for metaphorical “spaces beyond their practice”.

OPEN SKY is realized by the Graz-based arts institution Kunstverein Medienturm and its director Sandro Droschl, and initiated by the new Styrian festival “Regionale”: committed to West-Eastern intercultural translation phenomena, it presents around 30 formats, which are embraced by the topic “DIWAN. Borders and Congruencies”. The festival is hosted by the formerly peripheral region South-Eastern Styria, in remembrance of the translator and specialist in Middle Eastern and oriental studies Josef von Hammer-Purgstall. The attractive exhibition venue, namely the Castle of Kalsdorf, offers around 25 interior spaces as well as ample exterior sites, providing a variant-rich ensemble.

Lida Abdul, Fikret Atay, Walead Beshty, Calin Dan, Julia Meltzer / David Thorne, Igor Eškinja, mounir fatmi, Max Frey, Bernhard Fruehwirth, Ewald Gfrerer, Manuel Gorkiewicz, Clemens Hollerer, Franz Kapfer, Gülsün Karamustafa, Yves Mettler, Navid Nuur, Hartmut Skerbisch, Kamen Stoyanov, Sophia Tabatadze, Simon Wachsmuth

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Lida Abdul, White House, 2005. 16mm film transferred to DVD, 5’00’’. Courtesy: Giorgio Persano Gallery, Turin