The concept of "shock" as a painful but fertile agent for change has become redundant. Now it is almost impossible to imagine the explosive effect of the pioneers of impressionism, the "primitive" cultic figures of Africa, the archaicising rhythms of the musical avant-garde or of Viennese actionism. Scandal disappeared during the sixties but has now become nothing more than a media five-minute wonder. Where thrills are staged in the theatre every day the shearing force of genuinely broken taboos is missing.
As a result we are left with "culture shock" in the social and religious spheres. Travel does not educate but screws you up. The economic force that is supposed to bind cultures together - tourism - shows itself to be nothing but an illusion. The returning connoisseur of the world accepts "shock" everywhere except in his own milieu - best of all of course in lavish television documentaries. The wonderland of TV reportage proliferates - while the west seems to choke on the Muslim headscarf.
Without shock art is disabled. But where is the fresh explosive charge necessary to blast the concrete of post-modernism and post-industrialism.
Where's the gunpowder for the long-awaited liberating explosion. The curatorially strangled "world art" scene arranged by a handful of Illuminati is spreading in a stupefying cloud of monotony. Art must be standardised and its function is to fit anywhere; dissent is pushed aside and suppressed.
The possibility of a different course is shown by Salzburg's newest gallery and its programme. This most recent intervention in Salzburg's gallery landscape will bring together artists from a wide variety of cultural contexts and art forms in a suburban garage, one of the city's undiscovered architectural jewels.
Salzburg begins to blossom from the margins inwards.
One used to say just the opposite.
The BIENNALE AUSTRIA association and the gallery KRUEGER DOSSIER Centre d'Art Moderne represent a new kind of exhibition project for Salzburg. We immediately succeeded in convincing the owners of the Salzburger Autogarage, Wilhelm and Michaela Gruber, about this idea and the already conceived title of Art Garage expérimental. This extraordinary location provides an inspirational setting and ongoing showcase for powerful works of art under the competition title Le Choc des Cultures - Kulturschock - Culture Shock.
It was not only these works but also the intensive commitment of the artists in many areas together with the organisers that allowed this project to mature and be realised. There are works by 42 artists from 15 countries that make this 1st Art Garage expérimental into an unusual exhibition experience in Salzburg during the 2011 Osterfestspiele.
We, the gallery owners, are obliged not only to our artists but also to Elisabeth Rass, director of the BIENNALE AUSTRIA, and to Dr Anton Gugg, head of the cultural office for the city of Salzburg, who opened the exhibition at short notice. We would also like to thank our sponsors who are listed at the back of the catalogue. It is remarkable how corporate sponsors are able to engage with art and culture in so many different ways and thus cover areas where state governments as the representatives for art and culture are having to cut back as a result of budgetary pressures.
We hope the works of the participating artists will receive a great deal of attention from visitors and arouse exciting reflections about these works which are shaped by many different cultures. They have in common that they are created by people for people who see art as a critical mirror of our times which can also sensitise those viewing these works to the social and cultural circumstances in areas both close to and far from their own experience.
We hope to be able to make the Art Garage expérimental into a regular institution during the Osterfestspiele. We therefore hope we and the artists will welcome many visitors and receive the continued support of art-loving business people from near and far.
Armand Dossier - Bernd Krueger / trans. Russell Dove, Ldn.
Salzburg, April 2011
An idea becomes reality
An idea becomes visible through the desire and trust of artists, the commitment of gallery owners, the voluntary efforts of artistic associations and their partner organisations and the support of sponsors.
This collaboration made possible this 1st exhibition of the Art Garage Expérimental project in Salzburg whose catalogue you are now holding.
An idea came to fruition in the exhibition entitled KULTURSCHOCK - LE CHOC DES CULTURES - CULTURE SHOCK and a foundation stone for contemporary fine art was laid with the Art Garage Expérimental project during the Osterfestspiele in Salzburg.
I would like to thank the participating artists, the gallery owners Bernd Krueger and Armand Dossier, and the partner organisations of the BIENNALE AUSTRIA association and the sponsors.
Elisabeth Rass / trans. Russel Dove, Ldn. <- download PDF 2,3 Mb
Wien, April 2011
******ARTIST OLIVERA VELKOVA :: LOVE :: 90X120cm :: Acrylic on canvas :: 2008 ******
LOVE as 100% pure energy. Unconditional LOVE. The one I'm aiming for in this very painting. The one that has result it as a crave for LOVE in this violent, dripping blood-red-love or tears as a candle wax cries out as it melts down...Is it just our LOVE spilling around and we're losing it huge quantities? It seems the key is in our hearts, the key is LOVE. When we are not afraid and letting go - than is The Moment when true, real and unconditional LOVE stepping on scene, and into our lives, making The World more beautiful and happier place to live. This painting is an expression of a soul call for turning direction, for a better understanding, for acceptance...as a state of an open wound, running soar...after a certain shock. LOVE can damage but also gives creation... Hopefully, through the pain and despair to achieve the stars...