curated by Stephan Koal
KVOST is opening an exhibition about the work of the Dresden artist group Auto-Perforations-Artisten for Gallery Weekend Berlin. This is the group’s first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin.
Auto-Perforations-Artistik is a specific form of action art that emerged in the GDR. The name is a term chosen by the artists as a description of their developed genre of performances, installations, music and actions. The group had been active at the HfbK in Dresden since 1982 and consisted of Micha Brendel(1959*), Else Gabriel (1962*), Via Lewandowsky (1963*) and Rainer Görß (1960*). It developed as a demarcation against the prevailing and dogmatically prescribed state culture and the art production of the GDR, which was oriented towards Socialist Realism.
At the heart of the work of Auto-Perforations-Artisten was their own bodies, which were exhausted to the point of self-harm. Due to their performances, which were perceived as disturbing, and their rejection of the established art scene, the group quickly attracted a great deal of attention in the GDR and had an enormous impact on the art scene in Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. Today they are regarded as the most impactful performance group of the 1980s. As an art form, performance was provocative in the GDR because, on the one hand, it offered the advantage of not having to fully disclose content and meaning until the moment of presentation and, on the other hand, it left hardly anything of material form behind. This was one of the methods with which the Auto-Perforations-Artisten were able to push through performances and exhibitions within the repressive structures of the GDR.