With all wherewithals

26. April 2013. – 31. May
MegnyitóOpening: April 25, 2013, 7:00 pm
The exhibition explores radical artistic expressions in contemporary art. It features artworks from the past decade and the recent past, which react to a social or political situation or phenomenon, but, offering more than mere critique, they also urge us to take a stand for or against the given issue.

These artistic statements, in most cases, do not tread lightly; stretching the limits of conventional tastes and consensual norms, they shock and provoke their audience into assuming a standpoint. Their activism directly or indirectly relates to art and explores the social role of art and the artist, thus touching on the periodically resurfacing problematic of the autonomy of art.

The artists participating in the exhibition focus their creative practice on their relationship to power, be it political and/or economic power, majority opinion, or prejudice. In accordance with this, the displayed artworks also include some that express an opposition to oppressive dictatorial rule, some that take a stand against current political tendencies, and some that raise their voice against attitudes of oppression and exclusion prevalent in mainstream society.

The majority of the radically toned artworks displayed at the exhibition simultaneously draw on the millennia-long traditions of political and religious propaganda and the daily expanding arsenal of marketing strategies within consumer culture. A number of featured works carry a personal quality that points past any personal sense of relating that can be prompted by their manifest-like presentation. In a few cases, the exhibiting artists openly cross the boundaries of the ethical norms – be they spoken or unspoken – of artistic expression.

The title By Any Means Necessary comes from a work of the same title by South-African artist Kendell Geers, which will also be featured at the exhibition, and which was displayed in its original, English language version at the Guggenheim Museum in 1995.

The exhibition, in addition to offering radical artistic positions, also explores the role of the contemporary commercial gallery as an institution: aside from allowing room for free artistic expression, to what extent can a commercial gallery assume a social role? Can the exhibition of a commercial gallery serve as an authentic platform for taking a stand for or against a particular issue? Can a commercial gallery be radical?