Esteban Alvarez& Tamara Stuby
Andrej Brumen Cop
Hadas Kedar& Alex Schady
Robert W. Novák& Emmanuelle Waeckerle
“Unterwegs nach Timbuktu ” (On the Way to Timbuktu) is an exhibition presented by curator Robert W. Novák from Prague, in which phenomena of ‘postmodern nomadism’ are examined: Timbuktu stands for a place of longing, the mysterious, the legendary and the adventurous, for a place where one will never arrive despite all one’s efforts. Novák bases the concept on his own experiences as a traveling artist; on travels he undertook first as part of his education and that later led to workshops, exhibitions, symposia, study visits and other activities. A continuous self-questioning about cultural identity, about the effects of globalization on individual life planning, on rootedness and uprootedness in the social context arises as if by itself. Novák’s primary interest is in the role of the contemporary artist in this multi-layered process, which is subject to constant change. New structures are formed, networks emerge that enable other forms of communication. Artists are no longer tied to a particular place, but carry their ideas from one place to another and try to implement them, whereby a localization happens – rather accidentally – where the realization of a project is made possible.
“Travel, as an emotional event, nourishes our senses, both in terms of self-awareness and of seeing ourselves reflected in other worlds. Culture and thought need to be fed with nutrients from outside themselves in order to stay alive. “Travel is unity of impulse and action, movement and excitement, impression and expression …” wrote Paolo Bianchi in the introduction to “Aesthetics of Travel”, Kunstforum International, Cologne, Vol.136, 137.
The exhibition “Unterwegs nach Timbuktu ” shows works by artists who got to know and appreciate each other on their travels and during various work and study stays. They come from Argentina, China, Israel, Croatia, Hungary, Russia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Turkey. Robert W. Novák emphasizes in the catalog for this exhibition: “The core of the project is my own journey. All the invited artists are either my friends – artists and writers I met during my travels – or are very closely connected with my history. It’s important that I consider their work powerful in one way or another, of particular value in the general context of the international contemporary art scene, and that it be in some harmony with my own feelings and ideas.” Her means of expression and media range from painting to video installations to a children’s festival that speaks to aspects of “new nomadism” in particular.
“Auf dem Weg nachTimbuktu” fits into the spectrum of exhibitions and the conceptual orientation of the ifa galleries, which seek to network artistic projects internationally and whose tasks include bringing together artists from different cultural backgrounds.