Artist: Hannes Egger (IT)
Curator: Michal Koleček
The exhibition of Italian artist Hannes Egger prepared for the House of Arts in Ústí nad Labem refers in its title to a performance that author realized in September this year in Milan. As part of this event, the rental car with advertising board repeatedly drove through roundabouts and offered a view of changing message defined by the simple text Everything´s Changed — Nothing´s Changed. At the heart of the region heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis, Hannes Egger drew attention to dramatic shifts in the functioning of society in response to pandemic threats and at the same time he offered hope associated with a determination to face this unusual situation with an emphasis on respect for each individual destiny and the ethical dimension of relations within complex society.
This line of thinking became a starting point in preparation of author’s project for Ústí nad Labem and it was increasingly clear that in alternating waves of hope and threat, the possibility of using traditional exhibition formats for its presentation is irrevocably fading away. External, seemingly restrictive influences gradually began to be transformed by Hannes Egger into inspiring and creative stimuli, which ultimately not only co-determined the choice of expression and communication strategies of the exhibition, but also its final thematic focus. At the same time, the author implemented the project exclusively remotely without the possibility of working directly with gallery space in Ústí nad Labem, and the cooperation with the production team of Ústí nad Labem House of Arts became an important aspect shaping its final form.
The exhibition Everything´s Changed — Nothing´s Changed is thus built on a hybrid structure, while its significant — participatory — part takes place online in a virtual form. The results of this online communication will give a decisive shape to the following physical form of the exhibition presentation, which, however, in connection with the coronavirus situation, can be realized just in a closed gallery space or again virtually. The exhibition is defined by structured participatory scheme spread between closed social and cultural institutions (schools, universities, galleries, museums, theaters, concert halls, music clubs, etc.) operating mainly in Ústí nad Labem and its surroundings, artists from various fields who can not to carry out fully their everyday artistic practice, and audience who send letters to the organizing institution with their stories related to the year 2020 as part of an open call. Institutions temporarily inaccessible to the public provide within mutual cooperation selected pieces of currently unused equipment from which Hannes Egger and the production team will assemble a processual installation visible via gallery’s windows. Stories of viewers representing their 2020 experiences are published anonymously with their consent directly in the House of Arts Ústí nad Labem and on its online platforms. This material also will serve as a source for publishing author’s art publication — a kind of chronicle of 2020 prepared for publication in the form of exhibition catalog. Hannes Egger will offer some of the stories to the participating authors — actors, musicians, dancers and audiovisual artists — to interpret them, and these artistic etudes will be recorded and presented in short video format in gallery windows and online.
Hannes Egger’s exhibition in the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts thus becomes a platform for overcoming communication difficulties associated with isolation of individuals and the closure of institutions. It opens up space for reflection on the current complex pandemic period as well as the strengthening of mechanisms preventing freedom of imagination and social functioning. (Michal Koleček, curator of exhibition)Read more