The Waste Land
Exhibition, 2 September – 16 October 2011
Opening: Thursday, 1 September, 6 pm
Performance by Sue Tompkins: Thursday, 1 September, 7 pm
Reading by Jiří Valoch: Tuesday, 11 October, 7 pm
Curated by Lenka Vítková
Artists: Rashid Johnson, Zbigniew Libera, Jan Nálevka, Jiří Thýn, Sue Tompkins
The Waste Land exhibition offers a few examples of text in works of art. The name of the show is taken from the poem by T. S. Eliot. With its powerful dramatic potential, Eliot’s text represents the search for lost wholeness, which, paradoxically, is mirrored in fragments that resonate one after another. The five artists in the exhibition work with performance art, video, photography, minimalism, magic and post-conceptual thought. The fact that the textual component is not self-evident only enhances the power of the statement. While the text opens cracks in reality and inverts the senses, it is not subversive – though clear expression in words always has subversive potential.
+++ Performance by Sue Tompkins: A Bee crawling around in the flower dome +++
The written foundation of Sue Tompkins’ performance piece is a carefully edited collection of texts on numerous sheets of paper, which Tompkins essentially reads and sings during her performance. But her piece is in fact much more than that. She works with intonation and time, with rhythm and repetition; she hurtles sounds and words into the microphone, separating them from one another, even splitting the sounds and words themselves as she retreats from her boards during the reading in the repetitive choreography. It’s as if Tompkins is trying to shake off attention and everything that has been said before, instead intensifying the tension between herself and the audience as they wait for the words and then leaving the subsiding sounds to settle deep in their ears.
ERSTE Foundation is the main partner of tranzit.org. More information is available at www.erstestiftung.org/project.