EXHIBITION

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Artists

Alexandru Antik (RO)
Tina Bara & Alba D'Urbano (DE)
Kurt Buchwald (DE)
Károly Elekes / Árpád Nagy / Gruppe MAMŰ (RO)
György Galántai / Artpool (HU)
Ion Grigorescu (RO)
Sanja Iveković (HR)
Voluspa Jarpa (CL)
Jens Klein (DE)
Daniel Knorr (RO/DE)
Csilla Könczei (RO)
Korpys/Löffler (DE)
Jiří Kovanda (CZ)
Jill Magid (US)
Simon Menner (DE)
Arwed Messmer (DE)
Clara Mosch (DE)
Orange Alternative (PL)
Peng! Collective (DE)
Józef Robakowski (PL)
Cornelia Schleime (DE)
Nedko Solakov (BG)
Gabriele Stötzer (DE)
Tamás St.Turba (NETRAF-agent) / Gábor Altorjay (HU)

Files

- Politische Polizei, Switzerland
- Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), GDR
- Służba Bezpieczeństwa (SB), PR Poland
- Štátní bezpečnost (ŠB), ČSSR
- Komitet gosudarstvennoj bezopasnosti (KGB), USSR
- Belügyminisztérium (BM), PR Hungary
- Securitate, SR Romania
- Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA), Chile
- Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD), The Netherlands
- Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany

Reviews

"Der gute Informant", der Freitag, 31.10.2019

"«Wer performt hier eigentlich für wen?»", trailer Ruhr, 30.10.2019

"Ausstellung Artists and Agents – der Zusammenhang zwischen Geheimdiensten und PerformancekünstlerInnen", Nordstadtblogger, 28.10.2019

"Artists and Agents", ZDF: heute +, 25.10.2019

"Wie Geheimdienste Performancekunst unterdrückten" (Fotostrecke), WDR, 25.10.2019

"Hartware MedienKunstVerein zeigt Artists & Agents", Westfälischer Anzeiger, 24.10.2019

Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Fazit – Kultur vom Tage, 24.10.2019

"Mit zersetzender Kreativität", Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Kompressor, 24.10.2019

"Die Kunst des Ausspähens", Deutschlandfunk: Corso, 23.10.2019

"Performance und Geheimdienst", Kunstforum International, 17.10.2019

„Artist & Agents – Performancekunst und Geheimdienste“, Foto: Ion Grigorescu: „The Talkie-Walkie People“ (1975), Grafik: Nathow & Geppert

Artists & Agents – Performance Art and Secret Services

Dortmunder U | Level 3 | 10/26/2019 - 03/22/2020

From 26 October 2019, the elaborately researched international group exhibition Artists & Agents - Performance art and Secret Services will be on view at the HMKV in Dortmund, Germany. The exhibition, developed in cooperation with the Slavic Seminar of the University of Zurich, is curated by Inke Arns, Kata Krasznahorkai and Sylvia Sasse.

The exhibition focuses on the interaction between secret services and performance art – an art form that was considered particularly dangerous. Archives are accessible almost exclusively in Eastern Europe and reveal the "disruption" and "liquidation" of critical artists by state security services. For this, however, some of the agents had to become 'performance artists' themselves. Artists & Agents presents examples of artistic subversion and secret service infiltration, some of which have never been shown before. Recent works show: The question of the increasing use of secret service methods in today's politics and everyday life is highly topical.

The exhibition is featuring works by artists from Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and the USA.

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After 1990, many intelligence archives of the former Eastern Bloc countries were opened up for scientific research. This made it possible for the first time to examine the documentation of art through agents and the influence of the intelligence services on artistic work. Above all, the exhibition intends to show the interaction of intelligence actions and performance art in particular, which the totalitarian states of Eastern Europe were most afraid of.

The research for this project has made clear that the intelligence files reveal little about the observed, but much more about the fears and strategies of the observers. These fears and strategies, which can be traced back to the tiniest details of these acts – narrative, verbiage, abbreviations, punctuation, and omissions – are not only of particular importance to the history of art, but also contribute to raising awareness of today's democratic societies for the dangers and warning signs of dictatorships. The intelligence reports document, sometimes down to the smallest detail, artistic activities; they speak of the monitoring and "processing" ("destruction", "liquidation") of the artist scene and reveal information about the active, operative intervention of the state in the artistic production. However, not only the artists used performative techniques; also the agents had to "perform" to gain relevant information about performance art.

To illustrate the relevance of these issues for the present, the 2019 exhibition is taking place in the year which marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain. In the GDR, it was the democratic opposition (including many artists) who stormed the Stasi headquarters in 1989 in order to stop the further destruction of the files. In the run-up to the exhibition, extensive and targeted research was carried out in intelligence archives in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Germany. The exhibition will focus on examples from these countries from the years 1960-1990.

An exhibition by HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein), Dortmund in cooperation with the Slavic Department of the University of Zurich

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and by the European Research Council (ERC) in the framework of the project "Performance Art in Eastern Europe 1950-1990. History and Theory".

Funder HMKV: Kulturbetriebe Stadt Dortmund / Dortmunder U - Center for Arts and Creativity



Press

For press handouts and photos please visit our press section.

EVENTS

Sun, 11/24/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 12/1/2019
Guided tour for kids “Artists & Agents”
15:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 12/1/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 12/8/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 12/15/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 12/22/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Thu, 12/26/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 12/29/2019
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 1/5/2020
Guided tour for kids “Artists & Agents”
15:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 1/5/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 1/12/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 1/19/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 1/26/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 2/2/2020
Guided tour for kids “Artists & Agents”
15:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 2/2/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 2/9/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 2/16/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 2/23/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 3/1/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 3/8/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 3/15/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U



Sun, 3/22/2020
Public Guided Tour “Artists & Agents”
16:00 | Dortmunder U