press release

On May 13th, in the historic Danube port of Rousse, Bulgaria, Francesca von Habsburg and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary will launch the project “Küba: Journey Against the Current.” Central to the project is the acclaimed 40-channel installation Küba by Turkish artist Kutlug Ataman, which will travel more than 1,500 kilometers during May and June 2006 aboard the Negrelli, a specially converted 70 meter industrial barge, up the Danube River from Rousse to Vienna, linking all the countries it passes in an exceptional art project which focuses on peoples from the region and their struggle for identity within the enlargement of European Union. At each stop, in each country, a new artwork a national contemporary artist has been specially commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. These will be presented in dialogue with Ataman’s installation at each venue. The artists taking part in this project – Matei Bejenaru (Romania), Nedko Solakov (Bulgaria), Zelimir Zilnik (Serbia), Renata Poljak (Croatia), László Csáki & Szabolcs Pálfi (Hungary), Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáãová (Slovakia), and Emanuel Danesch & David Rych (Austria) – speak in different tongues responding to Kutlug Ataman’s Küba and its concerns. For the project’s inauguration in Rousse, and the evocative setting of the former home of novelist and Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti, internationally renowned Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov has conceived a sculptural installation entitled A BG Bar, a fully functioning bar whose form and physical contours echo those of the Bulgarian state. Metaphorically speaking, A BG Bar is intended to represent the transition that the country has experienced during almost 500 years of historical occupation, as a place through which individuals and nations have passed at will. The Rousse project is curated and coordinated by Iara Boubnova, curator and art critic based in Sofia and founding Director of the city’s Institute of Contemporary Art.

Two additional public art projects will be inaugurated at the project’s starting point. Emanuel Danesch & David Rych will be present in Rousse at the beginning of their own long journey with their project Minority Logbox, a mobile archive of video and film works chosen to reflect the cultural, geographical, political and social situation of the Danube communities. Romanian artist Matei Bejenaru has devised a Travelling Guide for clandestine Romanian immigrant workers, seeking access to the West. This project, presented on billboards in public spaces in Romania, and distributed through travel agencies and cultural institutions will be presented to the public.

The floods and T-B A21’s response: This project is taking place at a time of grave danger for many thousands of people who live close to the Danube. At the time of writing, the river’s lower region is facing the most dramatic period of flooding in its long history. Regretfully because of the floods, T-B A21 has already had to cancel the Constanta venue on the Black sea, which was an integral part of this journey. Note to the editors: For the duration of this project and beyond, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary has committed to work with local authorities and the Red Cross to provide aid to isolated communities in Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania devastated by flood waters, through an established Disaster Relief Fund.


only in german

Eine Reise gegen den Strom / Journey Against the Current
Eine Zusammenarbeit von Künstlern und Kuratoren aus Zentral- und Osteuropa
Ort: Nestroyhof, Nestroyplatz Wien

mit Kutlug Ataman, Matei Bejenaru, Laszlo Csaki & Szabolcs Palfi, Emanuel Danesch, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, Renata Poljak, David Rych, Nedko Solakov, Zelimir Zilnik

Gesamtprojekt 13.05.06 - 09.09.06 :
Matei Bejenaru / Constanta, Rumänien
Nedko Solakov / Rousse, Bulgarien
Zelimir Zilnik / Novi Sad, Serbien
Renata Poljak / Vukovar, Kroatien
Laszlo Csaki & Szabolcz Palfi / Budapest, Ungarn
Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova / Bratislava, Slowakische Republik
Emanuel Danesch & David Rych / alle Ausstellungsorte
Ausstllung Wien
Kutlug Ataman / alle Ausstellungsorte