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Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and EvilProgramme | 06.11.2015
GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN /THE EXHIBITION "BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND EVIL"
Salon of the MoCAB (14 Pariska St.)
November 6, 2015 - January 18, 2016
The Museum of Contemporary Art presents a global art star, the Austrian-Irish artist Gottfried Helnwein.
The exhibition “Between Innocence and Evil” will be officialy opened on Friday, November 6, at 18:30, in the Čolaković Legacy, and afterwards the gathering in the Salon of the MoCAB is planned to take place in 20:00.
The speakers at the opening in the Čolaković Legacy: the Executive Director of the MoCAB Slobodan Nakarada, the Ambassador of Austria in Serbia Johannes Eigner, the Director of the Austrian Culture Forum Johannes Irschik, the artist Gottfried Helnwein, and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Information Saša Mirković.
On Saturday, November 7, at 13:00, a conversation with the artist Gottfried Helnwein will be organised (in English language).
With the statement „My art is not the answer, it is rather a question“, Gottfried Helnwein explained his work in the best possible way. This artist is concerned with the critique of the political situation, the crimes perpetrated during the WWII, Nazism and Holocaust, bringing these together with the motifs such as violence on children, children violence and pedophilia.
The experience from the childhood spent in the post-Nazi Vienna, where nobody ever spoke about these issue irritated Helnwein, and so throughout his artistic career he expressed his critique and revolt against war atrocities and the politics of National Socialism. Instigated by the atmosphere of such an environment, he began to study the history of the phenomenon of cruelty and violence on helpless and innocent people, mostly focusing on the motif of a child. In his first watercolor he showed a wounded child smeared with blood, whereby he laid the foundation of his own visual iconography that will stick with him throughout his entire life as an artist, with realism and hyperrealism as his main stylistic features. By painting children in an unsettling way, but also in their unrivalled beauty, the artist presents them at the same time as symbols of innocence and evil.
Beside the child images occupying the central place in his painting and the critical-historical subjects, the artist also did series of photos―self-portraits in which, showing himself in the act of self-torture, referring to the vulnerable and opressed existence of contemporary individual. The selection of subjects and the modes of representation makes his works disquieting inviting, at the same time, the spectator to feel the agony and evil Helnwein points at, and to condemn them as the artist himself did.
The exhibition Gottfried Helnwein―Between Innocence and Evil showcases 33 artworks
from different phases of the artist’s work. The exhibition is set in two
spaces: the Gallery-Legacy of Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković, with 17 paintings (oil
and acrilic on canvas) from different series (Epiphany, The Murmur of the Innocents, Disasters of War…), whereas
in the other space, The Salon of the Museum, the audience is presented with 16
photos, chiefly self-portraits, but also the photos from the series created in
collaboration with Merilyn Menson.
Gottfried Helnwein (1948, Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian-Irish painter
producing photos, instalations and performances. Since he provokes visceral
reactions on the part of the spectator, the fact that his exhibitions are among
the most attended exhibitions of a contemorary artist comes as no surprise: his
retrospective show in the Viennese Albertina museum organised at the end of
2013 had 250 000 visitors, which makes it the most succesfull exhibition in the
entire history of this museum. Except in Albertina, he had one-man exhibitions
in Museum of Modern Art in Strasbourg, Musée de
l'Elysée in Lausanne, Russian State Museum in Sankt-Petersburg, California
palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn, as well is many other globally
renowned galleries and museums, and
participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world. Also, Helnwein is
appreciated for his stage designs, and theatre, ballet and opera costumes.
Using his photo lens, he immortalised famous
people from the world of show-business, art, film and music in his series of
photos Faces: Muhammad Ali, Charles
Bukowski, William Burroughs, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, Norman
Mailer, Arno Breker, Leni Riefenstahl, and yet others, as well as the members
of the bands Rammstein, The Rollingstones, etc. Currently, he resides and works
in Ireland and Los Angeles.
The curator of
the exhibition is a curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Mišela Blanuša
(MA). The exhibition is opened every day from 12:00 to 20:00, except Tuesdays.
The exhibition is organised with the support of the
Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Embassy of
Austria in Serbia, the Austrian Culture Forum, and Uniqa insurance company.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade thanks the
private colectors for loans they kindly made.