Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
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10.3.- 7.5.2016
Opening: Thursday 10th March 2016, 6 pm
Lecture: Sandro Đukić on his work, Friday, May 6, 6 pm
WHERE: NEXT DOOR galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna

The two week Performance programm under the title APPROPRIATION | PERFORMANCE was initiated in the Gallery Michaela Stock in May 2015. The history of art is always a history of mediation and appropriation, of models and patterns. But it was not solely about detecting models, but also about finding a certain cultural implication or institutionalization of art, the system, after all, that the model is part of. It was up to the individual artists how they will later choose to document their performance at the gallery.

For this reason the performance King's Gambit by the Croatian New Media artist Sandro Đukić was held in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. In the middle of the room (Saal XII, Dutch and Flemish painting 17th century) two people are sitting at the table - the black wooden table and two black chairs designed by the modernist architect Bernardo Bernardi - and playing the chess in silence. Upon the end of the game both man stand up and go out of the room. Performance aim to raise question of personal dialog, started between friends, artist Sandro Đukić and Slaven Tolj long time ago, brought to the especial contextualization in the middle of the place/palace as is Kunsthistorisches Museum with all cultural meanings and symbolism. Playing chess, meditating in the Saal XII bring also questions about art and knowledge in relation of today media and predominant role of documentation.

King's Gambit will now be shown in the gallery. It is a combination of performance art and a documentary diary.

(...) Fascinated by classical art Đukić had often visited the Kunsthistorisches Museum during his stay in Vienna where he especially enjoyed the hall featuring Dutch Baroque paintings. It is in this hall, whose present paintings are symbols of the beginning of civil society, where he had decided to carry out a performance in which he would play a round of chess with artist Slaven Tolj. The image of these contemporary artists playing chess in a historical, and from today's point of view, somewhat anachronistic space, seems surreal – but the synergy accumulated and evolved from this surprising clash of asceticism and opulence, of the spiritual and the materialistic, was undeniable.

A game of chess demands concentration and sharpness of thought, and still, at the same time allows a certain state of meditative thought which enables us to transcend from the time we live in. Relationships between the past and present, arts and science, the contemporary and the classical, the center and the province are the subject of the silent dialogue translated between the artists through this game of chess.
The sight a chess game taking place in the middle of a hall full to the brim of Baroque-era paintings with appropriate gilded frames is simultaneously surreal and symbolic, and with its iconological signal and juxta positioning it intensifies the force of individual intellectual and transcendent thought which does not view life as tragedy – rather, it inclines to spiritual instead of material values. (...)1
1Mladen Lučić, Excerpt from Outworn Structures, MSUI/ MACI, Pula, 2015

Sandro Đukić: The Croatian Media artist studied with the video art pioneers Nam June Paik and Nan Hoover. Being a Media artist, he not only deals with the changing relationships of media such as photography and video, but also with computer-controlled mechanisms like saving, documenting and data storage of reality, which are subject to the process of photography and disclosure by the media. He swiftly changes between the aforementioned media and, at the same time, creates several levels of meaning as concerns space. Consequently, he sees himself as a virtual-visual artist, tending to a critical interpretation of space and the beginning of creating a work of art.

Title: King's Gambit
Production: Sandro Đukić & Galerie Michaela Stock
Participants: Sandro Đukić & Slaven Tolj
Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien / Saal XII
Date: 29.05.2015
Collaborators: Michaela Stock, Branka Cvjeticanin, Nikša Brajdic Šlujo, Davorka Perić

A special thank you goes to:
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sabine Haag, Stefan Weppelmann, Ilse Jung, Anne Campman

press photo 1 | Sandro Đukić, King's Gambit (arch_022_242_1430), 2015, pigment print, Photo Rag; Edition: 3+1AP, 90 x 160 cm, performance documentation, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien May, 2015
press photo 2 | Sandro Đukić, King's Gambit (arch_022_245_1567), 2015, pigment print + acrylic, 48 x 120 cm

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