What, How & for Whom / WHW

Tuesday October 3, 2017 /// 7PM
The Boarding House
///
6 Dublin Street South, Guelph

                                              lamb_everything web bb.jpg

What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb and Berlin. Its members are curators Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. WHW organizes a range of production, exhibitions and publishing projects and directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb. Since its first exhibition titled What, How & for Whom, on the occasion of 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, that took place in Zagreb in 2000, WHW curated numerous international projects, among which are Collective Creativity, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 2005; 11th Istanbul Biennial What Keeps Mankind Alive?, Istanbul, 2009; One Needs to Live Self-Confidently…Watching, Croatian pavilion at 54th Venice Biennial, 2011.

Recent projects by WHW include the festival Meeting Points 7 that took place in Zagreb, Antwerp, Cairo, Hong-Kong, Beirut, Vienna and Moscow under title Ten thousand wiles and a hundred thousand tricks in 2013 and 2014, exhibition Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2014, So You Want To See, e-flux gallery, New York, 2015, Again and Again, David Maljković’s retrospective, (co-curated with Bojana Piškur), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana, 2016; My Sweet Little Lamb, (everything we see can also be otherwise), (co-curated with Kathrin Rhomberg), various locations in Zagreb, 2016/2017; Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb), (co-curated with Kathrin Rhomberg and Emily Pethick) The Showroom, London, 2017. 

Lecture: “My Sweet Little Lamb, (everything we see can also be otherwise)”

What, How & for Whom/WHW will present their practice, concerned with the continuous reconfiguration of the relationships of artistic and cultural production with notions of authorship, collecting, and display, as well as with history and politics. WHW's lecture will be focused on their most recent project My Sweet Little Lamb, (everything we see can also be otherwise) which they co-curated in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. Titled after a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947-2016), the project was inspired by his life-long anti-systematic artistic approach that searched for more autonomous ways of artistic production. After six exhibition episodes, taking place from November 2016 to May 2017 in independent art spaces, artists’ studios and private apartments in Zagreb, the project’s epilogue has been recently staged at The Showroom, London. Based on the Kontakt Art Collection from Vienna, which includes seminal works by artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe from 1960s to the present, the project juxtaposed the collection’s canonical works with a number of historical and contemporary works in order to address and reframe some of the recurring themes that stem from the collection, such as radical utopianism, the figure of the dissident artist, questions of gendered bodies, political subjectivities and engagement, and the status of public space.

Workshop: What, How & for Whom/WHW

WHW will conduct a workshop at the University of Waterloo Fine Art Department on Wednesday, October 4. Participation in the workshop is by pre-registration only. 

In a hybrid form that will combine show and tell, video and film screenings, and self-reflection process, collective What, How & for Whom/WHW will discuss ways in which the local perspective continuously influences their curatorial practice, anchored in directing the non-profit Gallery Nova in Zagreb. As in many other European countries, Croatia is facing the devastating side-effects of radical right-wing populism and historical revisionism, and its onslaught to the institutional infrastructure not only of independent cultural micro-organizations, but of wider social principles of solidarity and secular values inherited from the socialist era. The transition from a socialist to a capitalist system during the last two decades has brought a dramatic fall in production, rise of unemployment and increasing poverty across the region, rapid commodification of public services as well as ideological-historical revisionist cleansing of the anti-fascist and communist past. The workshop will address different possibilities of tackling these alarming developments. How can we rethink exhibitions as interventionist forms in ideological, political and material circumstances of high adversity?

If you would like to participate in the WHW Workshop on October 4, please contact cafka at cafka.org or info@musagetes.ca for details.

WHW group portrait.jpg

WHW members left to right: Ana Dević, Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić, Sabina Sabolović

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The Musagetes Foundation is concerned with the role the arts can play in addressing the faultlines of modern society. Musagetes is a hub for activist interventions that advance the role of the arts in modern life. It operates mainly by convening – by creating living experiences, some small, some large, that bring people together to articulate social needs, generate ideas and spark action.

CAFKA initiates conversations around public space and the social and critical functions of art. CAFKA's programming seeks resonance and support in the community where issues of ecology, marginalized communities, cultural participation, technology and urban life overlap with the issues addressed by contemporary artists.

Together, Musagetes and CAFKA are partners and co-producers of the Big Ideas in Art and Culture lecture series.  

Image: Mladen Stilinović, “My sweet little lamb,” 1993, Courtesy Branka Stipančić.