Branko Andric | Within the framework of art. On the fringe of politics.
Opening Hours: daily from 11.00 am to 6 pm, free admission
Welcome address and introduction | Thursday, 18.10.2007, 7 pm
Andreas Spiegl, Vice-Rector for Teaching and Research, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Concert | Tribute to Imperivm of Jazz
Panel discussion (in English) | Tuesday, 20.11.2007, 7 p.m., Aula
Branko Andric | Artist, son of Branko Andric
Marina Grzinic | Professor for conceptual art, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Vladimir Kopicl | Author and art critic, Novi Sad
Andj e lija T e rzic | Artist and art historian, wife of Branko Andric
Andr e as Spi e gl | Vice-Rector for Teaching and Research, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
The work of an artist committed to the sociopolitical everyday routine tends to focus on the contradictory perspectives and conditions in an accordingly multi-dimensional manner. Branko Andrić, who was born in Novi Sad in 1942, not only studied fine arts to become a teacher but also political sciences in Belgrade. The combination of art, politics, and an interest in conveying the results of his endeavors resulted in an artistic practice within which writing was as important as painting, drawing, film, performance, and music. This integration of various art genres and media was informed by Andrić's early confrontation with conceptual art, i.e. an attempt to counter the cultural and political (dis)order with an alternative structure, with an order of deviancy, as it were. Apart from his exhibitions and readings, Andrić was actively involved in the foundation of the Vienna Arena and its transformation into a center of subcultural interests. In 1980, he set up the band "Imperivm of Jazz," which, by analogy with his work, fused different musical genres. Andrić always developed his artistic and political projects on the way between Vienna and Novi Sad, between a city at least geographically devoted to the ambivalence of East and West and (the former) Yugoslavia, a region in upheaval and war. And it was on one of the commuter's trips between Vienna and Novi Sad that death caught up with Branco Andrić on 20 October 2005 in a traffic accident.
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna dedicates this exhibition to an artist who exemplarily positioned himself with his work between subculture and institutionalized art, politics, everyday routine, and rebellion. The show presents a selection of his works from various genres and different periods. A central motif of the exhibition is the frame used by Andrić as a continuous basic form on which he relied to develop spaces, architectures, symbolic formations, and landscapes. The frame represents a world of prerequisites and environs which become part of the framing themselves. In Andrić's works, frames are something that frame general conditions. The blanks framed or evoked by the frames again provide new insights into the next dimension of frames and conditions. The final result the viewer is confronted with resembles an obsessive attempt at filling the blanks, an attempt bound to open still more new frames though. This horror vacui has a symptomatic core which encompasses political and cultural aspects as well as subjective states of mind between fear, conspiracy theory, and flight. The continuity of the frame motif follows the principle of repetition: what looks like repetition is nothing but an expression of the insistence on an apparently endless return. It is the same repetition which we come upon in Andrić's literary works, which oscillate between concrete poetry and tragicomic variations of constructions of meaning.
What distinguishes the artistic practice from everyday cultural reality here is the possibility to expose oneself as a subject in art, i.e. to take certain liberties - to raise one's voice for the difference between subjective and political claims. Branko Andrić has raised his voice several times in the context of his band "Imperivm of Jazz." The exhibition highlights this concertante approach as a form of cultural protest. The presented examples of this practice are accompanied by documents which not only illustrate the reception of Andrić's works but also demonstrate the possibility of intervening in the public discourse on politics from its fringes, as it were. At the opening, "Imperivm of Jazz" will give a concert which is dedicated to the band's founder and friend and will raise "his voice" once again in memory of him.
Text: Andreas Spiegl
Curator: Andreas Spiegl, Vice-Rector for Teaching and Research, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna