It has been a busy start into a new season at this Austrian Cultural Forum, with a host of Austrian talent past and present at last week’s Frieze & Frieze Masters Art Fair two exhibitions supported by the ACF at the Korean Cultural Centre and The Photographers’ Gallery and our autumn exhibition Tender Touches opening next week. With so much to see we thought that it would be nice to give some background and context to these exhibitions!
KOREAN CULTURAL CENTRE
A fantastic exhibition that opened last week is Riptide at the Korean Cultural Centre London. Koo Jeong A, the KCCUK’s artist of the year, is at the centre of the project with 20 large-scale line drawings. She invited a selection of international artists, including Austrian-born and New York based Martin Roth, to respond and exhibit alongside her existing works. Taking Koo Jeong A’s drawing Civilising Process as its departure point the artists respond to her work with site-specific installations, as well as existing works refigured within the space. Martin Roth’s untitled installation at Riptide uses a number of traditional Persian rugs as its basis, brought to life with the cultivation of grass. The sensual installation engages the audience beyond the visual, visitors can walk on the carpets and feel the emerging grass beneath their feet, the rugs also disseminate a damp smell and invite conversation.
THE PHOTOGRAPHERS GALLERY
Feminist art is seeing a revival at The Photographers’ Gallery this season. The temporary exhibition Feminist Avant–Garde of the 1970s comprises 48 international female artists and over 150 major works from the VERBUND COLLECTION in Vienna. Besides highlighting the innovative approaches of this generation, the exhibition also reminds us of the historical significance of these women’s work. Established artists like the Austrian VALIE EXPORT, and American photographer Francesca Woodman are presented alongside the work of artists like Katalin Ladik, Nil Yalter, Birgit Jürgenssen and Sanja Iveković. Curated by Gabriele Schor Feminst Avand-Garde of the 1970s showcases the revolutionary character of the artists’ work using photography, collages, performance art and films, all produced throughout the 970s. Addressing issues like the female body, sexuality, emancipation and gender equality, the exhibition contains both a political and a very personal dimension.
Tender Touches is a 1976-series of works by Austrian feminist and avant-garde artist Renate Bertlmann. Addressing representations of the body, sexuality, and relationships, this series inspired the Tender Touches exhibition opening at the ACF on October 18. Curator Daria Khan examines how female and feminist artists have incorporated these issues in their work from the 1970s until today. The art on display challenges stereotypes of representation, fetishisation, domesticity, as wells as digitalisation and hybridity of these notions and their forms.
The exhibition features work by Renate Bertlmann (1943, Austria), Friedl vom Gröller/Kubelka (1946, Austria), Eva Stenram (1976, Sweden), Zoe Williams (1983, UK), Julia Zastava (1982, Russia/Austria),
During the private view Zoe Williams will present Village Baroque; a collaboration with musician Vicky Steiri who will play a series of piano interludes accompanied by the serving of fine brandy and a ceremonial gateau throughout the evening.
In addition, Anna Vasof will deliver a live performance at the Photographers’ Gallery on 23 October at 3pm. The artist will activate a variety of absurd domestic devices for her performance Mechanisms of Happiness. From 27-30 October Close-Up Cinema is showing a retrospective of VALIE EXPORT films and documented performances, spanning the artist’s career from the 1960s to the present.
Tender Touches is presented in connection with the Photographers’ Gallery presentation of Feminist Avant Garde works from the Verbund Collection, Vienna and thanks to the support of the Richard Saltoun Gallery.