RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting

Thursday, January 22, 2009 16:59


Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana and MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest present:

Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting curated by: Domenico Quaranta

*MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest* Izvor St. 2-4, wing E4, Bucharest, Romania / Entrance from Calea 13 Septembrie
22 January – 13 March 2009

Panel discussion: 22 January 2009 at 18:00 Exhibition opening: 22 January 2009 at 19:00

Featured artists: Lucas Bambozzi, Vaginal Davis, Quentin Drouet, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Irwin, Eva and Franco Mattes (aka 0100101110101101.ORG), OHO group, SilentCell Network (Mare Bulc, Janez Janša, Bojana Kunst, Igor Štromajer)

MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest is proud to announce “RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting”, the world preview of the works realized in the last three years within the platform “RE:akt!” conceived by Janez Janša and produced by the Slovenian cultural institution Aksioma.

During recent years the term re-enactment and the practices it refers to have enjoyed increasing success in the artistic context. On one hand, the success of re-enactment appears to be connected to a parallel, vigorous return to performance art, both as a genre practiced by the new generations, and as an artistic practice with its own historicization. On the other hand the term re-enactment accompanies two phenomena that at least at first glance have very little in common: re-staging artistic performances of the past, and revisiting, in performance form, “real” events – be they linked to history or current affairs, past or present.

“RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting” tries both to research on the complexity of this concept and to get rid of it, approaching re-enactment not merely as “live action role-playing”
or “living history” but rather as a strategy for cultural critique, analysis and artistic expression. “RE:akt!” – meaning not only “to act again” but also “to respond to / to react upon” and
“Regarding: act!”– confronts current ideological and intellectual canons, power structures, policies, and distribution channels by re- enacting selected historical and culturally relevant events. Through processes of analysis, deconstruction, re-enactment and re-reporting, the intermedia research and presentation project “RE:akt!” examines media’s roles in manipulating perceptions and creating postmodern historical myths and contemporary mythology.

Thus, “RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting”, curated by the Italian art critic and curator Domenico Quaranta, will collect ten different approaches to the concept ofenaction: from Ich Lubbe Berlin! (2005, SilentCell Network), a take on the 1933 burning of the Reichstag building in Berlin, which explores the contemporary meaning of symbols such as the Reichstag itself, and of concepts such as “communism” and “terrorism”; to Das KAPITAL (2006, Janez Janša), a performance which re-stages the 1969 occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces with the languages of popular street artists; from C’était un rendez-vous (déja vu) (Janez Janša and Quentin Drouet), a project that plays with the paradigmatic history of a well known artwork, the film C’était un rendez-vous by Claude Lelouch, from “cinema verité” to “media fiction”; to VD as VB (2007), a series of actions in which Vaginal Davis, the “grande dame” of the queer underground in Los Angeles, dialogues with Vanessa Beecroft’s performances. In Mount Triglav on Mount Triglav (2007 – 2008), the three artists Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša re- stage a well known performance of the OHO group from the late Sixties, recently appropriated by the IRWIN group for their Like to Like Series (2004), performing it on the Mount Triglav itself, and then translating it into a monumental golden sculpture; while in Slovene National Theatre (2007), Janez Janša translates an infamous fact of recent racism against Gypsies – known in Slovenia as “the Ambrus case” – into a piece of theatre, re-invoicing it as it was featured by the mass media. In their Synthetic Performances (2007), Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG reenact on the virtual platform of Second Life a series of historical performances that are all but virtual, raising issues such as body, violence, sex and pain, thus exploring the meaning of these very issues in a virtual world. In SS- XXX | Die Frau Helga (2007), Janez Janšaagain adds details and proofs of evidence to an “urban legend” recently circulated on the Net and mainstream media, concerning the presumed creation of a cyber-sex doll by the Nazis. Thus, performance and reenactment are far from being the only strategies adopted in “RE:akt!”, which also involves strategies such as documentation, remix, re-invoicement, reconstruction and remediation (such as in the project The Day São Paulo Stopped 2009 by Brazilian artist Lucas Bambozzi), and media such as photographic print, video, media installation and even architecture (such as in the project Il porto dell’amore, by Janez Janša, an homage to Fiume as an example of pirate utopia).

On Thursday, January 22, MNAC will host a panel discussion featuring Domenico Quaranta, curator of the exhibition; Janez Janša, artist and director of Aksioma; and the italian theoretician Antonio Caronia, co- editor of the book RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting, to be published on March 2009 (with contributions by Rod Dickinson, Jennifer Allen, Jan Verwoert, Antonio Caronia and Domenico Quaranta).
On March 25, the exhibition will travel to ŠKUC gallery, Ljubljana
(Slovenia) and then further to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (Croatia).


Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

Supported by
the European Cultural Foundation the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia the Municipality of Ljubljana

Thanks to:
Institut Français de Bucarest, Irwin, Claude Lelouch – LES FILMS 13, Moderna galerija Ljubljana, MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana, RPS d.o.o.


Oana Tanase
MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest Izvor St. 2-4, wing E4, Bucharest, Romania
phone: +40 – (0)21 318 91 37

Marcela Okretič
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana Neubergerjeva 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija gsm : +386 – (0)41 250 830

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