Minimal Differences

Friday, September 10th, 2010 | Razstave

Exhibition: Minimal Differences
Location: White Box, 329 Broome Street, New York, NY 10012
Date: September 15 – October 23, 2010
Opening Reception: September 15, 2010, 6 – 9 pm
Panel Discussion: September 16, 2010, 6 – 8 pm

Curators: Denise Carvalho, Monika Szewczyk

Artists: Paweł Althamer, Azorro, Vesna Bukovec, Jiři Černický, Oskar Dawicki, Katarzyna Kozyra, Zbigniew Libera, Joanna Malinowska & Christian Tomaszewski, Anna Molska, R.E.P., Slaven Tolj, Marek Wasilewski, Julita Wójcik, Martin Zet

Panelists: Michal Koleček, Izabela Kopania, Jerzy Onuch, Jarosław Suchan, Marek Bartelik
Moderator: Denise Carvalho

Minimal Differences

About the exhibition:
“Central Europe,” the umbrella term favored among formerly “Eastern” European countries, is defined by membership, not geographical position. Although called ‘central’, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, et al, remain in the periphery of continental Europe, having within their borders great differences in regard to language, religion, ethnicity, economics, and politics. These differences become ironically ‘minimal’ in light of the new economic demands that enable their survival in the global economy. This catch-22 leaves Central Europeans with little choice but to reflect themselves as stereotypes of ‘otherness’, as virtual realities, an otherness within, like two parallel worlds living together, even though only one is real. Postcolonial societies over the centuries have chosen to inhabit the very stereotypes they hoped to overturn; only by “being” could they eventually subvert their own half-identities, somewhere between the colonizer and the colonized. “Minimal Differences” explores the two sides of this ironic self-definition: one, which has become ‘central’, therefore losing all the privileges of subversion, resistance and rebellion of its previous state of difference and otherness; and the other, still a memory of itself, a self-stereotype humoring itself as a parallel reality, a phantom-limb, itching and hurting, but no longer real.


I am participating with the project Contemporary Art for Parents

Contemporary Art for Parents

With Vesna Bukovec’s video and interactive piece, Contemporary Art for Parents (2002), this idea of meaningful meaningless is turned on its feet, as art becomes as meaningful as a new ideology that needs to be learned by parents and people of earlier generations. In Bukovec’s work, she is the narrator, the interrogator, and the ruler. She creates the laws of either understanding or misunderstanding art. Bukovec applies a didactic method in which misunderstanding art is the most effective way to actually understand it. It is also interesting to consider how the communication of contemporary art is its most valuable tool to sustain language autonomy from an art market that reduces ideas into desirable objects or marketing strategies. The historical trajectory of Art has gone from being an object of mediation between beauty and function to an object of language, from object to subject matter; it has become an advocate for the dying dialect of the intellect of an elite-turned-margin of the global world. In today’s world of consumerist functionality, the subject matter of contemporary art is a dead language, but its object is mostly alive. How to explain to parents and the mainstream lay person that the art object’s concept is still what drives it into the economic circuit? This is an ongoing task. Vesna Bukovec’s work is also about the difficulties in sustaining communication on the most basic levels, here paralleled to the level of the stereotypes in central Europe. The artist tries giving a hands-on explanation to her parents about the most important issues in contemporary art, looking at market, history, institutions, browsing through texts, tasks that prove to be quite difficult. The issue of being didactic, which contemporary art avoids, ironically becomes the main tool for achieving a common ground.

From the text Minimal Differences by Denise Carvalho

Photos from the opening

Minimal Differences, White Box, NY

Minimal Differences, White Box, NY

Minimal Differences, White Box, NY

Minimal Differences, White Box, NY

Minimal Differences, White Box, NY

Slovensko | English

Vesna Bukovec deluje na področju sodobne vizualne umetnosti.

Je članica umetniške skupine KOLEKTIVA.