24.05.2012 - 29.07.2012
Heinz Cibulka developed his specific photo-esthetic form of expression in 1974. This was the year he created his first picture poems, from four colour-images placed in a rectangular order, a concept that would shape and influence his whole photographic oeuvre. There were two decisive impulses for this new development in his work: The first was Cibulka's collaboration with Actionist artists Rudolf Schwarzkogler and Hermann Nitsch, as their model in their first performances and as the photographer of later ones; the second impulse was given by the Avantgarde's use of montage in film and literature.
Cibulka works off the beaten track of photo-esthetic strategies: The photographic image is understood as a storage space for immediate experience, the processing of the prints he left (at least during the first years) to industrial photo laboratories. Through the constellation of the images within the picture poem, he creates a »fifth image« that consists of a subtle balance of correspondences and contrasts between the individual images. The observer is challenged to use an associative way of reading the piece, always leaving room for ambiguity.
Especially well-known are his early cycles of picture poems that were united in 1983 under the title Land-Alphabete (Countryside Alphabets). Cibulka focuses on existential themes in these works, such as – »killing, feeding, procreating, giving birth« – in the everyday scenario of agriculture and viticulture. Since the beginning of the 1980s he broadened his spectrum to include cities, capturing metropolises, such as Vienna, Berlin, Rome, Naples, Antwerp, Warsaw, New York and Tokyo.
In the exhibition Stadtquartette (City Quartets) these 13 cycles of picture poems, created in the course of four decades, will be presented together for the first time. Hence this important body of work for the first time is shown as a Leitmotif of Cibulka's oeuvre. Moreover the show will include prints from the WestLicht Collection, works by Schwarzkogler and Nitsch, in whose early performances Cibulka participated as a protagonist.
Vienna born Cibulka and his creative processes since the sixties, provide the subject of the film Heinz Cibulka. TagTraumDeutung by Magdalena Frey, which will premier in this exhibition.
In spite of the many honors and awards he has received, Cibulka is still under-represented in the public eye. The project presents the first opportunity to gain a deeper, extensive insight into his creative oeuvre. Stadtquartette, curated by Marie Röbl and Rebekka Reuter, was developed in cooperation with alien productions as the curators for the Hermann Nitsch Museum, Mistelbach. The Hermann Nitsch Museum is presenting the retrospective Heinz Cibulka: Im Takt von Hell und Dunkel until 30th of November 2012. An extensive catalogue raisonné was published by Bibliothek der Provinz alongside the exhibitions.