Contact Zones GraphicsContact Zones Graphics

Since the spring of 2020, interpersonal contacts, as well as exchanges across national borders, have been perceived as potentially dangerous. As a result, people have been encouraged to socialize exclusively in their familiar and close circles, and to withdraw from public spheres. The measures taken to combat the pandemic, both socio-politically and individually, particularly affect vulnerable groups and economically disadvantaged members of society and have sociocultural effects whose consequences cannot yet be foreseen.

Retreating to these supposedly secure spaces also reduces the possibilities of intercultural and transnational encounters – and thus for “thinking outside the box”. We run the risk of both national borders, as well as the borders in our minds becoming more impermeable and “the others” a potential threat. Thus, the virus also provides fertile ground for nationalist and right-wing populist tendencies, which have been gaining strength anyway.

In order to counteract this narrowing of perspective, CONTACT ZONES brings together artists and curators to exchange ideas about the possibilities of art – both as a unifying element and as a relevant means of expression in relation to socio-political issues.

CONTACT ZONES is an international artistic and curatorial exchange project emphasizing encounter and process, and exploring different possibilities of exchange and collaboration – virtual, on-site and in public spaces. The first phase of this endeavor takes place in Leipzig in cooperation with IDEAL art space from June 25 to July 4, 2021. CONTACT ZONES’ second manifestation will be from September 23 to October 24, 2021 at “Florenc – podchod / underpass” as part of the Fotograf Festival in Prague.

Participating artists: Katrin Kamrau, Markéta Kinterová, Marge Monko and Benedek Regős.
Curated by Elisabeth Pichler and Tereza Rudolf.

Bezprostřední kontakt mezi lidmi i mezinárodní přeshraniční spolupráce byly od jara 2020 vnímány jako potenciálně nebezpečné. Lidé byli vybízeni, aby kontakt omezili výhradně na své rodinné příslušníky či nejbližší kruhy a stáhli se tak z veřejné sféry. Pravidla nastavená v boji s pandemií ať už na sociální a politické rovině, či v rovině čistě individuální, zasahují nejvíce již před pandemií ohrožené skupiny a ekonomicky znevýhodněné členy společnosti. Celkové sociokulturní důsledky pandemie pak nejsou nyní ještě zcela předvídatelné. Ústup do údajně bezpečných prostorů však snižuje možnosti mezikulturních a nadnárodních setkávání a tedy i možnost uvažovat mimo zavedené rámce. V důsledku hrozí, že se nejen hranice států, ale také hranice v našich myslích, stanou nepropustnějšími a v hrozbu se pak promění i „ti druzí“. Virus tak poskytuje úrodnou půdu pro nacionalistické a pravicově populistické tendence, které beztak v posledních letech zesilují.

Jako způsob vzdoru vůči těmto tendencím, které zužují naše perspektivy, sdružují CONTACT ZONES umělce a kurátory a poskytují prostor pro výměnu představ o možnostech umění, které vnímáme jednak jako jednotící prvek a jednak jako relevantní výrazový prostředek ve vztahu k sociálně-politickým otázkám.

CONTACT ZONES je mezinárodní umělecký a kurátorský projekt založený na výměně zkušeností a znalostí, v rámci kterého je důraz kladen na proces setkávání se a spolupráce – ať již virtuální, na konkrétním místě nebo ve veřejném prostoru. První fáze tohoto projektu se uskuteční v Lipsku ve spolupráci s uměleckým prostorem IDEAL od 25. června do 4. července 2021. Druhé představení CONTACT ZONES proběhne mezi 23. zářím až 24. říjnem 2021 v Praze, v prostorách podchodu na Florenci v rámci festivalu Fotograf.

Účastnící se umělci: Katrin Kamrau, Markéta Kinterová, Marge Monko a Benedek Regős.
Kurátorky projektu: Elisabeth Pichler a Tereza Rudolf.

Seit dem Frühjahr 2020 werden zwischenmenschliche Kontakte, aber auch der Austausch über Landesgrenzen hinweg, als potenziell gefährlich wahrgenommen. Damit einher ging die Aufforderung sich aus den öffentlichen Räumen zurückzuziehen und sich ausschließlich in vertrauten und engen Kreisen zu bewegen. Die gesamtgesellschaftlichen und individuellen Maßnahmen zur Bekämpfung der Pandemie treffen insbesondere verletzliche Gruppen und wirtschaftlich benachteiligte Mitglieder der Gesellschaft und haben soziokulturelle Auswirkungen, deren Folgen noch nicht absehbar sind. Der Rückzug in die vermeintlich sicheren Räume reduziert dabei auch die Möglichkeiten zu interkulturellen und transnationalen Begegnungen – und damit „über den eigene Tellerrand zu blicken“. Nicht nur nationale Grenzen, sondern auch die Grenzen in unseren Köpfen drohen undurchlässiger zu werden und damit „die Anderen“ zur potenziellen Bedrohung. So bietet der Virus auch einen fruchtbaren Boden für ohnehin erstarkende nationalistische und rechtspopulistische Tendenzen.

Um dieser Verengung der Perspektiven entgegenzuwirken, bringt CONTACT ZONES Künstler*innen und Kurator*innen zusammen, um sich über den Möglichkeitsraum der Kunst auszutauschen – als verbindendes Element und als relevantes Ausdrucksmittel in Bezug auf gesellschaftspolitische Fragestellungen.

CONTACT ZONES ist ein internationales künstlerisch-kuratorisches Austauschprojekt, das unterschiedliche Formen der Begegnung und der Zusammenarbeit erkundet – virtuell, vor Ort und im öffentlichen Raum. Die erste Phase dieser prozessorientierten Arbeit manifestiert sich in Leipzig in Kooperation mit dem IDEAL art space vom 25. Juni bis 4. Juli 2021. Die zweite Phase von CONTACT ZONES wird vom 23. September bis 24. Oktober im Rahmen des Fotograf Festivals Prag im podchod Florenc sichtbar.

Teilnehmende Künstler*innen: Katrin Kamrau, Markéta Kinterová, Marge Monko und Benedek Regős.
Kuratiert von Elisabeth Pichler und Tereza Rudolf.

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Katrin KAMRAU

SPEKTRUM* (2016)
SPEKTRUM* is both, an artist publication and a catalog. SPEKTRUM* uses an open, participatory structure to embrace a triangle relationship between the publication itself, the reader, and the producer. Through reproductions of artworks, interviews, (exhibition-)texts, and exhibition views, the reader can delve SPEKTRUM* — an ongoing artistic research by Katrin Kamrau in the field of photography — to collectively reflect on processes of image production and image perception within Western societies. To be continued.

Editor: GWK, Münster (DE), Design by Ward Heirwegh, with texts by Thomas Thiel, Anna Zika, Fabian Knierim, Friederike Fast, Maité Vissault, Juliane Schickedanz, published by Verlag Kettler.

SPEKTRUM* (2016), loose-leaf-collection in a box, 250 x 180 mm, 30 cards, 7 texts, 1 index, offset printed with partial silkscreened varnish. © the authors
Katrin Kamrau (*1981, GDR) engages in the processes of image-making and image-perception with regard to their social implications and normative functions within Western society. Her artistic practice is fed by theories of visual culture, feminism, and social sciences, with a special focus on social interactions, power structures, role models, and networks of relations that form around printed images. Katrin Kamrau studied “Photography and Media” at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld (DE) and holds an MA in Visual Arts from the University College Ghent (BE). Publications play a major role in her work.

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SPEKTRUM* objekt18 (portrait) II (2015)
SPEKTRUM* objekt18 (portrait) II is based on the schematic representation of a color chart used in the ‘The Joy of Photography’ publication by Eastman Kodak Company in 1980. Here on view during the exhibition “Filters and Frames. Developing meaning in photography and beyond”, curated by Katja Böhlau and Elisabeth Pichler, at the gallery of the Brunswick University of Art (DE) in May 2019.
SPEKTRUM* objekt18 (portrait) II (2015), installation, 43 lambda prints, variable dimensions, installation view at Brunswick University of Art, 2019. Photo © document-architecture.com
DAS OBJEKT (2019)
The book series DAS OBJEKT is a critical and subjective reflection of icons and symbols used in photo handbooks to illustrate optical laws for photographers and those interested in photography. The 40 illustrations in this artist’s book reproduced in chronological order, are extracted from manuals published in Germany (Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, GDR, FRG). ISBN 978-3-00-061859-8
DAS OBJEKT (2019), 320 x 230 mm, 40 pages, softcover, thread bound, offset printed with 2 inserts in color, in collaboration with Dear Reader. © the authors
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Markéta KINTEROVÁ

What You See Is What You Think
How do we see the cityscape and its periphery? Can we read these as a composition of volumes pasted over with brand labels and messages? The appearance of our cities is a mirror image of the state of our culture. People read and interpret the city based on a form of text written by the private sector and the state. What does our urban public space tell us? The artist book responds to visual strategies deployed in public space with the intention to consolidate and entrench a repressive system of control, turning citizens into consumers.

Concept, Texts, Images: Markéta Kinterová Editor: Hana Buddeus Copy Editor: Marek Hejný Translation: Barbora Štefanová, Keith Jones Graphic design: Adéla Svobodová Published by: AMU Press, the Publishing House of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (NAMU), 2020 Printrun: 300 copies Printed and bound by: Quatro print a.s. ISBN 978-80-7331-529-0

What You See Is What You Think, artist's book, 2020
Eyes Wide Open for City
Eyes Wide Open for City – Prague, performative guided tour, 2020
Markéta Kinterová is a contemporary artist and photographer living in Prague, Czech Republic. Her focus is on conceptual photography, oftentimes overlapping into public space. She studied photography at the Faculty of Art and Design at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic. The publication “What You See Is What You Think” [Kam oči, tam hlava] was published as the artistic part of her doctoral thesis “Oppositional Reading of Public Space”, which she defended at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in 2019. Markéta Kinterová is head of the Documentary Photography Studio at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) since 2016. She is editor-in-chief of the Fotograf Magazine and the executive director of the Fotograf Gallery and Fotograf Festival in Prague.

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bbs paper 1067x1556
Left: bbs paper 1067x1556, (What You See Is What You Think, work in progress), 2020
Right: bbs paper 1067x1556, (What You See Is What You Think, work in progress), 2020
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Marge MONKO

Seamless Flawless II (2019)
Seamless Flawless II (2019), installation view at Boven ’t Y Winkelcentrum, Amsterdam. Photo © Charlott Markus
Marge Monko lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. She has studied in Estonian Academy of Arts, in University of Applied Arts in Vienna, in HISK (Higher Institute for Contemporary Art) in Ghent, Belgium; and works with photography, video and installation. Her works are inspired by historical images and influenced by theories of psychoanalysis, feminism and visual culture. She works as a professor in the Department of Photography in Estonian Academy of Arts.
Marge Monko has had solo exhibitions a.o. in Folkwang Museum, Essen (2019) and in mumok, Vienna (2013). She has shown her work in group shows in (a.o.) Museum of Modern Art in Freiburg, Riga Biennial of Contemporary Art RIBOCA, ParaSite, Hongkong; Lenbachhaus, Munich; FoMU, Antwerp; Museum of Art in Łódź; Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; CCA Glasgow, UK; Manifesta 9, Genk, Belgium.

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I Don't Know You So I Can't Love You (2018/2020)
I Don't Know You So I Can't Love You (2018/2020), installation view at Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg, Germany. Photo © Bernhard Strauss
WoW (Women of the World, Raise Your Right Hand) (2018)
WoW (Women of the World, Raise Your Right Hand) (2018), HD video with sound, 16 min 38 sec., installation view at Tallinn City Gallery. Photo © Karel Koplimets
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Benedek REGŐS

Atelier (from the series Angle and Distance)
Atelier (from the series Angle and Distance), 2020–ongoing. Photo © the author
Objects of Gratitude (installation)
'Objects of Gratitude' engages with the phenomenon of votive cult in the European tradition. 'Ex votos' are offered or given to a saint or to a divinity in gratitude or in a fulfillment of a vow. The cult in Hungary was spread by catholicism in the baroque era when it became the adequate form of thanksgiving. Almost everything can serve as a votive object, which in this form gets symbolic meaning. Votive churches, chapels, altairs, crosses, statues, but votive plaques, paintings, and the so-called identification objects also serve the same purpose. It’s material, size and shape testifies to financial and social positions. Votive offerings can be also defined as monuments, because they represent and preserve an abstract sense for eternity in a tangible and physical form made by us. Behind their symbolic meaning each one involves the history of a personally experienced joyful event.
Objects of Gratitude (installation), Fotogalerie Wien, in the exhibition Rituals II – Ceremonies, 2019. Photo © Michael Michlmayr
Benedek Regős (*1989 in Szentendre, HU) lives and works in Budapest. His main focus of interest is the role and impact of the photographic medium on human culture. By combining different genre specifics and technical features, he reflects on the nature of photography through science, architecture, history of art, and the built and tangible heritage. He graduated in 2017 from the Photography MA program of MOME in Budapest, and previously spent two semesters at the Atelier Fotografie at UMPRUM in Prague.

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Untitled (torso), Untitled (column)
In his work Structure, Benedek Regős investigates the operational mechanism of photographs and semiotic dilemmas associated with their nature through the analogy of architectural situations of film sets. As film sets are built for the perspective of the camera, they reduce reality to its „visual condition” (to its illusion). This abstraction results in an almost flat, essentially two-sided structure that faces the camera with only one side. In the series, the different sides of backlots appear separately from each other with further, associatively related images, evoking the lability of the relationship between the mediated architectural context and reality.
Left: Untitled (torso), (from the series Structure), pigment print mounted on plywood, 2017. © the author
Right: Untitled (column), (from the series Structure), Pigment print mounted on plywood, 2017
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LEIPZIG
June 25th – July 4th 2021

Location pinIDEAL art space, Schulze-Delitzsch-Straße 27, Leipzig, DE

IDEAL art space is an artist-run platform for exhibitions, collaborative processes and discursive formats at the Neustädter Markt in the east of Leipzig. Based on the interest in the artistic potentials of processes of circulation and distribution, the space functions as a flexible infrastructure for experimental exhibition formats. In this framework, the project questions the conditions of the space, interrelations of site specifics and site fiction, global and local idioms, the virtual and the real. The project space was launched in 2018 and is run by Gregor Peschko. CONTACT ZONES will take place as part of this year’s experimental exhibition formats IDEAL FORUM and IDEAL DIALOG.
Location Leipzig - IDEAL art space
Location Prague - Florence podchod / underpass

PRAGUE
September 23rd – October 24th 2021

Location pinFlorenc podchod / underpass, Prague, CZ

Florenc is a crossroads with intersections on many levels. The present subway stations of two metro lines were built as a gate to the then workers’ districts of Karlín and Žižkov. Today, it is not only different types of transport, such as long-distance or city buses, trams, cars and bikes, which are meeting here, but also different social groups, as Karlín was rapidly gentrified in recent years but some locals still managed to bypass the rapidly climbing prices for living here. CONTACT ZONES is taking place in the very center of this – in Florenc’s underground passage – using shop windows that were once shining in a prominent subway corridor, avoided now by most people, as it simply feels more reassuring crossing streets on the surface and not beneath.