South likes: Markus Proschek at Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg

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Markus Proschek, The Kurgan-Complex, 2014, installation view, Salzburger Kunstverein. Courtesy of Salzburger Kunstverein. Photo: Andrew Phelps

South likes: Markus Proschek at Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg
The Kurgan-Complex
Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria
1 May – 13 July, 2014

In the spaces of the Kabinett of Salzburger Kunstverein Markus Proschek creates an elegant installation, addressing archaeology, its methodologies and its scopes, especially with regard to how we represent our mysterious origins. The title The Kurgan-Complex, is a reference to the Kurgan hypothesis, a theory about early Indo-European origins first proposed in the 1950s as a pioneering interdisciplinary synthesis of archaeology and linguistics. In approaching this complex subject, Proschek deals with archeological objects as much as he’s interested in the representation of their interpretation. Central to the exhibit, a careful arrangement of Neolithic axes follows archaeological taxonomies that reproduce the structure of Darwinian family trees. Did also objects and technologies evolve according to a merciless competition for survival, as our ancestors among other animals did? The artist seems to stress the vulnerabilities of dominant patterns of thought, especially when they rather portray our own stereotypes and ideas. A small object in the shape of a Minoan coffin bear images of double-axes, blending references to scientific investigations and popular culture. By means of visual association, Proschek manages to connect the representation of Kurgan nomads with an outdated pop imagery, as as shown by the fictional character Kurgan, the antagonist in the fantasy film Highlander. A reconstruction of a Minoan fresco found in Knossos, as imagined by the Swiss painter Emile Gilliéron (1851-1925), shed light on scientific research, showing how the recreation of a small fragment is achieved through a creative process where scientific methodologies go hand in hand with aesthetic production. Researching into issues of representation of a distant past and of the common origins of indo-european culture, Proschek creates a discourse that challenges scientific conceptions and an aesthetic imageries, which seem to unfold before our eyes as a self-portrait of the understanding of our culture.

Michelangelo Corsaro

http://www.salzburger-kunstverein.at/en/exhibitions/current/2014-05-01/markus-proschek

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Markus Proschek, The Kurgan-Complex, 2014, installation view, Salzburger Kunstverein. Courtesy of Salzburger Kunstverein. Photo: Andrew Phelps

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Markus Proschek, The Kurgan-Complex, 2014, installation view, Salzburger Kunstverein. Courtesy of Salzburger Kunstverein. Photo: Andrew Phelps

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Markus Proschek, The Kurgan-Complex, 2014, installation view, Salzburger Kunstverein. Courtesy of Salzburger Kunstverein. Photo: Andrew Phelps

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Markus Proschek, The Kurgan-Complex, 2014, installation view, Salzburger Kunstverein. Courtesy of Salzburger Kunstverein. Photo: Andrew Phelps

 

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