Galerie Marenzi; Leibnitz (A)
Opening: Jan. 13, 19:00
Welcome: Klaus-Dieter Hartl (curator)
Introduction: Reinhard Braun (Camera Austria)
Exhibition: Jan. 14 – Feb.25, 2023
Book launch: "Silent Activism": Feb.10, 2023, 7 pm
The new installation "Re-enchanting the World" (the title refers to Silvia Federici's book) is based on photos of the elaborate construction of the large-scale sculpture of Karl Marx's head, which was inaugurated in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in 1971. In recent years, however, the sculpture has been serving increasingly as a background devoid of meaning for events and various manifestations - including those of neo-Nazis. The installation is complemented by further objects such as "insorgiamo" ("We rise up") - which refers to the strike of metal workers in Florence in 2022. Thus it interprets our social state of mind today as a large "construction site", namely how we can construct a more socially just society and develop visions for it.
Instead of propagating activism in the direct sense, Holub focuses especially in her interventions in public space but also in (art) institutions or companies on the (re)discovery of hidden or lost social as well as poetic moments that question the life in our Western world, which is increasingly characterized by pragmatism and efficiency. In this way, the participants in her projects are encouraged to transcend envisioned boundaries and actively participate in shaping processes.
Barbara Holub also crosses boundaries in the media she uses. Photography is turned into drawing, in which the equal tracing of all image information with a 1 mm ink pen blurs the differentiation of significance between possible important and unimportant information, thus raising the question of the value of information. Holub has been pursuing this practice of her so-called "coloring book pictures" since the 2000s in various techniques that range from picture to object, and all the way to installation - as now in "Re-enchanting the World."
For many years, Barbara Holub has been concerned with the artist's relationship to the public, crossing the boundaries between reception and production. Thus, at Galerie Marenzi, she constructs a situation that considers "exhibition" as an experience. In doing so, she links her new works with a selection of previous works, which she connects under the title "Silent Activism - we want to enchant the world again."
"Silent Actionism" is also the title of Barbara Holub's monograph, edited by Başak Şenova (de Gruyter Verlag/ Edition Angewandte), which details her artistic practice and was published in December 2022.
The first book launch will take place on Friday, Feb.10, at 7 pm at Galerie Marenzi in Leibnitz.