In recent years, contemporary artists have shown an increasing interest in materials, artisanal procedures, experimentation with material and techniques. The works make reference to both artistic traditions from craft and folklore and contemporary and technological discourses. Their approach to pre-modern / traditional / local knowledge, materials and procedures is not insular, but open to other cultures, modern and contemporary art, current discourse and digital developments.
Culture is understood as a flow of diverse, synchronously and diachronically fed and interlinked influences and elements, as a process in which local forms of knowledge and global knowledge transfer are interwoven. The importance and appreciation of handicraft as an essential component of material culture and cultural identity and, above all, the community-building potential of handicraft traditions, is linked to social and economic conditions in a globalised world. With this approach, artists also challenge – as a side effect, so to speak – contemporary political instrumentalisation of homeland, nation, folk art and tradition. Conceptions of coherent, self-contained cultures and unique identities literally begin to shift.
Artists: Azra Akšamija, Plamen Dejanoff, Olaf Holzapfel, Antje Majewski / Olivier Guesselé-Garai, Jorge Pardo, Slavs and Tatars, Haegue Yang, Johannes Schweiger.
Curated by Barbara Steiner and Franciska Zòlyom.
In cooperation with Kunsthaus Graz and the Kestnergesellschaft Hanover.
With the kind support of the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.