The Art Collection of Erste Bank Group
May 26th, 2006

On the occasion of his visit to Belgrade, O3ONE has invited the Erste Bank Group curatorial advisor – Mr. Walter Seidl – to give a talk about the Erste Bank Group’s art collection. Mr. Seidl‘s talk will specifically revolve around the exhibition Kontakt … works from the Collection of Erste Bank Group, a cross-border project that took place in Vienna / Austria [MUMOK:: Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien::] and Bratislava / Slovakia [Tranzit Workshops::] on March 17th – May 21st, 2006.  In cooperation with:
Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Bank Group

Walter SEIDL:: Curatorial Advisor
Erste Bank Group:: Vienna

Born in Graz, Austria. Based in Vienna. Works as curator, writer, and artist. Ph.D. in contemporary cultural history. His curatorial work has included projects in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Slovenia, and the U.S. He is contributing to an art, Camera Austria, contemporary, Praesens, springerin, a life of Art, et al. Seidl is currently building up the art collection of Erste Bank Group in Central Europe.

Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Bank Group explores art production in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe with a special emphasis on contemporary art discourses and critical theory. Kontakt reflects the political transformation in Europe and the significance of art before the background of specific cultural, social and economic developments in the post-socialist countries. It aims to develop a collection with a sound art-historical and conceptual basis that deals with artistic positions rooted in a specific location and context that has long been neglected by many museums despite this art’s international credentials. This endeavor causes displacements within the existing canon of the most recent art history and opens new opportunities for the positioning of artistic activity.

Kontakt … works from the Collection of Erste Bank Group presents an overview of art from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. The works shown in the exhibition reflect the political and historical transformations that have taken place in Europe since the 1960s, as well as the importance of art before the backdrop of current cultural, social, and economic developments. Performance art, media reflexivity, and responses to modernist art practices make up the central focus of this presentation, which marks the beginning of the Art Collection of Erste Bank Group. In the interest of a process-oriented, open structure, the presentation of works is subject to relational and decentral criteria: it crosses borders and is not tied to any one representative site. The more historically focused part of the exhibition, with works in from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, was on display in MUMOK. Most positions of a more recent date, which stand in productive tension with the older works and provide a glimpse of the collection’s future development, were shown in transit workshops, Bratislava, a project supported by Erste Bank Group. Curators: Silvia Eiblmayr, Georg Schöllhammer, Walter Seidl, Jiří Ševčík, Branka Stipančić, Adam Szymczyk.

To accompany the exhibition, an extensive catalog [approx. 280 pages, German / English] was published, featuring several essays and individual texts on the artists represented in the exhibition. With texts by Silvia Eiblmayr, Rainer Fuchs, Marina Gržinić, Dóra Hegyi, Edelbert Köb, Boris Marte, Ileana Pintilie, Piotr Piotrowski, Walter Seidl, Jiří Ševčík, Branka Stipančić, Adam Szymczyk.

:: Contact. Art collection Erste Bank Grupe
VALTER ZAJDL [Walter Seidl]
FRIDAY:: MAY 26th, 2006:: 18:00h