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Nature: Attention History!

Saturday, November 25, 2017, 14:00 to 19:00


Candida Höfer, Zoologischer Garten Paris II, 1997, © Candida Höfer, Bildrecht Wien, 2017

In conjunction with the exhibition Natural Histories. Traces of the Political, this symposium will include lectures and discussions on historical and contemporary depictions of nature, seen as a motif and a mediator of history and politics, beyond any romanticizing or ahistorical approaches.

Key themes include the history of colonialism and its consequences, conflicts associated with totalitarian ideologies and wars, as well as historical breaches and transitions in state but also social systems and their effects at the time and today. The starting point is with neo-avantgarde positions, in which a critique of the art business and institutions is accompanied by historical content. In the 1960s and the following decades, references to history in nature was an international theme that both transcended and mirrored ideological divisions and the politics of specific states.

Authors of essays in the exhibition catalogue will hold lectures on specific issues and positions, which will also be discussed with artists represented in the exhibition.


Welcome and introduction
Rainer Fuchs (Deputy director and head of exhibitions at mumok, curator of the exhibition Natural Histories. Traces of the Political)

Working with Trouble: Reassembled Landscapes of History and Nature
Maja Fowkes (Art historian, curator and co-director of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art)

Artist Talk mit Anca Benera und Arnold Estefan, and Nikita Kadan
Moderated by Maja & Reuben Fowkes and Raluca Voinea (Curator and art critic, based in Bucharest. Since 2012 co-director of Association)


From the Idyllization of the Distant to the Distancing of the Idyll
Rainer Fuchs

Structure, Function, Environment. Artistic Paradigms of Sigma Group in the 70s in Romania
Ileana Pintilie (Art critic and curator, professor at the Arts Faculty, West University in Timişoara, Romania)

Artist Talk with Christian Philipp Müller, Margherita Spiluttini and Constantin Flondor
Moderated by Rainer Fuchs and Ileana Pintilie


Violent Topographies
Noit Banai (Art historian and critic, professor of Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History at the University of Vienna)

Artist Talk with Christian Kosmas Mayer, Tatiana Lecomte, Miroslaw Balka, and Christopher Williams
Moderated by Noit Banai

Participating artists:

Anca Benera (*1977) and Arnold Estefan (*1978), Miroslaw Balka (*1958), Constantin Flondor (*1936 in Czernowitz, Bukovina), Sanja Iveković (*1949 in Zagreb), Sven Johne (*1976 in Bergen, Germany, lives and works in Berlin), Nikita Kadan (*1982 in Kiev, Ukraine), Christian Kosmas Mayer (*1976 in Sigmaringen, Germany, lives and works in New York and Vienna), Tatiana Lecomte (*1971 in Bordeaux, lives and works in Vienna), Christian Philipp Müller (*1957 in Biel, Switzerland, lives and works in New York), Margherita Spiluttini (*1947 in Schwarzach, Austria), Christopher Williams (*1956 in Los Angeles).


Free admission