Katarina Šević & Tehnica Schweiz: Alfred Palestra

Venue: acb Gallery
Date: Apr 24 – Jun 04, 2015
The project entitled Alfred Palestra was first realized at the 2014 Rennes Biennale, with the participation of students from a local secondary school. At the end of the 19th century, the school (today Lycée Émile Zola) was the site of two important events in cultural history: the second Dreyfus trial was held in the gymnasium of the school Alfred Jarry was attending. The possible meeting of Alfred Jarry and Alfred Dreyfus in this space symbolises the coincidence of the crises of the republic with the birth of the avant-garde, and it is this concomitance that the project of Katarina Šević and Tehnica Schweiz reflects on.

The process was realised with the participation of the schools’ student drama circle, who used the gym, which once served as the location of the trial, for their weekly rehearsals. The aim of the work conducted with the students was to confront participants – through the persons of the two Alberts – with the ghosts of the place and the meaningful heritage of the school. At the workshop, the artists and the students partook in an exercise of interpreting excerpts from texts of two parallel literary canons: the books of Alfred Dreyfus, which he read between 1895 and 1898, during his imprisonment on Devil’s Island, and Jarry’s library – a collection of the 27 books that appear in one of his most important works, the Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician. This collective reading exercise became an alternative method of interpreting the era. The costumes and symbolic, moving wooden objects, which had been created for the performance and the workshop, are displayed at the acb Gallery.

The detailed English language documentation of the Rennes project can be found here:


Katarina Šević bases her creative methods on a wide range of themes and various work strategies.The themes she engages hinge on the points of connection between art, design, and society, questioning prevalent historical narratives. Her work is often articulated in the form of object assemblages, as well as related performative situations and events, which are regularly accompanied by text and narration. www.katarinasevic.com

Tehnica Schweiz is an artist collective founded in 2004 by Gergely László and Péter Rákosi. The majority of their projects centre on the themes of community and collaboration, and are often realised with the participation of numerous volunteers. All Tehnica Schweiz works are built on comprehensive research, with the occasional use of archived documents. www.tehnicaschweiz.com

The program was supported by Igor Metropol: http://igormetropol.org/hu/

In parallel with this exhibition, Mladen Miljanović's latest project realized in the frame of OFF-Biennale Budapest will be presented in acb Attachment. For further details, please visit the website of OFF-Biennale Budapest next week: offbiennale.hu/en 

Both exhibitions are on view between 24 April and 4 June 2015.
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