Dear Art - Curated by WHW

29 September - 8 December 2013

Curated by: What, How and for Whom/WHW

Touring from Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana/Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova

Artists include: Mounira Al Solh & Bassam Ramlawi • Halil Altindere Rossella Biscotti • Chto delat? • Fokus grupa (Iva Kovač & Elvis Krstulović) Siniša Ilić • Sanja Iveković • Janez Janša • Janez Janša • Janez Janša • Lutz Krüger Marina Naprushkina • Hila Peleg in collaboration with Tirdad Zolghadr and Anton Vidokle • Cesare Pietroiusti • Public Library • Gregory Sholette • Mladen Stilinović • Wendelien Van Oldenborgh

‘Dear art, I am writing you a love letter to cheer you up and encourage you to come and visit me some time’. Mladen Stilinović, 1999

Inspired by a letter addressed to art by the Croatian conceptual artist Mladen Stilinović, Zagreb collective What, How and for Whom present an exhibition that questions the standing of art in the contemporary world, its reception, distribution and value.

Through paintings, drawings, video and photography ‘Dear Art’ explores everything from issues of authorship and ownership to concerns with money, poverty, manipulation and political content; the works question the relationship between art and commerce, or as Stilinović puts it ‘quick manipulation, quick money, quick oblivion’.

“Amidst the disillusionment created by the persistent feeling of failure ‘Dear Art ’ insists on the obstinate repetition of what has become the curatorial method. Obsessed with the interconnectedness of art and politics and plagued by the nature of art’s “inefficiency,” it attempts to ask necessary questions: Why do we still need art, and what is it that we expect to get from art today? What is its promise, and what do we promise it in return? And what happens when this promise is broken, betrayed, and just plain exhausted?” WHW

WHW/What, How & for Whom are a critically acclaimed curatorial collective from Zagreb, Croatia, with a decade of international curatorial practice behind them, including the curatorship of the 2009 Istanbul Biennial. ‘Dear Art’ is their first UK exhibition.

This exhibition is a new configuration of Dear Art curated by WHW, which was first organised and produced by Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana/Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (29 November 2012 - 10 February 2013).

For further information please contact:

Penny Sychrava, PR: pennysychrava@hotmail.com — 07967 915 339
Lesya Myata, Calvert 22 Press & Marketing: lesya@calvert22.org — 020 7613 2282

Notes to Editors

About Calvert 22 Gallery 

Calvert 22 Foundation is the UK’s only not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art and culture from Russia, CIS countries and Eastern Europe and presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions, talks and cross- disciplinary events from both emergent and established artists. Founded in May 2009 by Nonna Materkova, a Russian-born, London based economist, Calvert 22’s mission is to create a unique platform, through imaginative and active presentations, for the very best in current art and culture from the former ‘Eastern Bloc’, whilst being a catalyst for new possibilities of cross-cultural understanding and exchange. The strategic partner of Calvert 22 is VTB Capital.

About the curators

What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb, Croatia. Its members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić, and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. WHW organizes a range of production, exhibition, and publishing projects and since 2003 has been directing city-owned Gallery Nova in Zagreb. ‘What?,’ ‘How?,’ and ‘For whom?’ are the three basic questions of every economic organization, and are fundamental to the planning, conception, and realization of exhibitions and the production and distribution of artworks and the artist’s position in the labour market. These questions formed the title of WHW’s first project, in 2000 in Zagreb, dedicated to the 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, and became the motto of WHW’s work and the name of their collective. Other exhibitions they have curated include Broadcasting Project, dedicated to Nikola Tesla at the Technical Museum, Zagreb (2002), Looking Awry at Apexart, New York (2003), Side-effects at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade (2004), Normalization at Gallery Nova, Zagreb (2004), Collective Creativity at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2005), Art Always Has Its Consequences, former building of MOCA Zagreb, 2010; One Needs to Live Self-Confidently...Watching, Croatian pavilion at 54th Venice Biennial, 2011; Details, Bergen Kunsthall, 2011; Second World, steirischer herbst, Graz, 2011; How Much Fascism? BAK, Utrecht and Extra City, Antwerp, 2012, Dear Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana. http://www.whw.hr/

Strategic Partner

VTB Capital, the Investment Business of VTB Group, is one of the three strategic business arms of VTB Group, along with the corporate and retail businesses. Since its foundation in 2008, VTB Capital has taken part in more than 420 ECM and DCM deals, which were instrumental in attracting more than USD 179.8bn worth of investments to Russia and CIS.

VTB Capital offers a full range of investment banking products and services to Russian and international clients, focusing on arranging operations in the debt, equity, global commodities markets, developing investment and asset management, advising clients on M&A and ECM deals in Russia and abroad.

In March 2011 the London arts foundation Calvert 22 and the Russian investment company VTB Capital announced a strategic partnership designed to showcase cutting-edge Russian artists in London and widen the exposure of the British public to creative Russian culture as part of a wider artistic programme that presents culture from Russia, Central and Eastern Europe.

VTB Capital is positioned as Calvert 22’s primary strategic partner, providing support for the artistic vision and core activities of the organization. Calvert 22 and VTB Capital are committed to promoting global co-operation through cultural understanding.

VTB Capital is the recognized leader in Russian investment banking, and one of the company’s key objectives is to promote Russian culture throughout the world. VTB Capital’s partnership with Calvert 22 provides a unique opportunity to engage an open dialogue with the British audience.

Working together, VTB Capital and Calvert 22 are committed to promoting and developing new possibilities for global cooperation through cross-cultural understanding and exchange by implementing an ambitious artistic programme that is part of the company’s approach to attracting investments into Russia.

Education Partner

Calvert 22 Foundation’s chief education partner is Smolny College, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St Petersburg University. Founded in partnership with Bard College (USA), Smolny is Russia’s first higher education institution to be based on the principles of a liberal arts education.