Date/Time: 05/08/2004 12:00 am
K&S Gallery, Berlin
August 6-14, 2004
Opening: August 5, 2004, 7pm
Curator: Miriam Bers
Pavel Braila, Yane Calovski & Hristina Ivanoska, Mircea Cantor, Joost Conijn, Esra Ersen, Michal Pechouchek.
(EA)stories exhibits a selection of video works whose histories are rooted in Eastern Europe and examine current clichés and prejudices, regional conflicts and processes of understanding and reconciliation. Above all, however, they document the manifold nature of cultural identity, which is reflected in the artists‚ cosmopolitan approaches. In this way, Esra Ersen‚s Hello!!! where is it? (2000) characterizes the specific geographic location and meaning of Istanbul as a city between two continents, and takes a look at the socio-geographic clichés connected with this situation. The video shows several car trips over the Bosporus Bridge. Here, the passengers conduct incidental conversations and attach no meaning to the fact that they are driving from one continent to the other. While the film Shoes for Europe (2002), which Pavel Braila presented at Documenta 11, is a metaphor for the complexity of the term “understanding” and the difficulties connected with it, it shows the difficult procedure of fastening new chassis on Moldavian trains so that they can continue their journeys on the different rail systems in Romania and other countries.
Mircea Cantor, who now lives in Paris and Nantes, addresses economic and geopolitical questions in reference to Romania, where he was born. Double Head Matches (2002-2003), a video shown at the last Venice Biennial, reflects the extraordinarily uneconomic production process of double-headed matches in a Romanian factory, which had to be fabricated by hand for one of the artist‚s works. In Smen (2002), the artist films a youth and his special technique of pilfering money from tourists in Romania. Joost Conijn‚s experiences were much different. The artist traveled from Holland to Albania via Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Ukraine and Hungary in a charcoal-fueled car he made himself. His video Hout Auto (2003) documents this unusual undertaking in territories unfamiliar to him and his positive experiences with this.
Historical lines of questioning, current events and imaginary elements originating in part from the areas of art, literature of film inform the work of Yane Calovski and his partner Hristina Ivanoska. In Spiral Trip (2003), an “activity in space” work, the artistic couple also confronts the concept of territories ˜ in this case, areas of Macedonia. Their trip leads them through places like the southwest of the country, where military conflicts between local troops and the Albanian National Liberation Army continue. Taking reference from Robert Smithson‚s Spiral Jetty, Spiral Trip was created as a process-driven work, which developed according to respective exterior, but also personal, conditions.
In contrast, Michal Pechoucek‚s Usual Hostage (2001) primarily concentrates on the film noir genre. In homage to Chris Markers La Jetée and with musical sequences from Hitchcock‚s Vertigo, the Prague-based artist creates a film montage from stills and moving images. His narrative is based on finding a red bag that had been left at a bus stop: The same destiny befalls everyone who takes possession of it until the spell is broken in an unexpected way and the story takes an unexpected ending?
Yane Calovski and Hristina Ivanoska‚s video installation will be on view in the gallery‚s front space; the other works will be projected in sequence on a large screen.