The Amber Road Show: a contemporary artistic journey along an ancient trading route
The newly renovated Castle of Wolkersdorf – the domicile of FLUSS – hosted a part of the “Exhibition of Lower Austria 2013”. The first “Exhibition of Lower Austria” took place in 1951 and was put on a regular annual base in 1973 – presenting various topics and themes in different locations throughout the state. The 2013 issue in Wolkersdorf was entitled “Straßengeschichte(n) – Handelswege quer durch Europe” [Street (hi)stories – routes of trade throughout Europe], and had the historical, social and economical aspects of traffic, trade and commerce at its heart. In a parallel exhibition FLUSS presented a contemporary contribution to these topics. The historical Amber Road, which led exactly through the area, served as point of departure and connecting motif.
Outside of the Roman Empire a few trade routes existed, which served as transportation routes for amber to the Alps and Italy since ancient times. Through the expansion of the Roman Empire to the Danube at the beginning of the 1st Century AD such trade routes were expanded to State Streets (Roman roads) on the territory of the Roman Empire, probably already under Augustus and Tiberius. The winter-proof connection between Carnuntum on the Danube and Aquileia in Italy is called Roman Amber Road and is associated with the Roman road network. The course of this Roman Amber Road is listed in the Tabula Peutingeriana. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) reports that amber from the Baltic sea coast had been transported on this road to Aquileia. Him it owes its name.
The shortest (and possibly oldest) road led from the Baltic coastline – now Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania – to Poland, passed the Moravian Gate, followed the river Morava through what now are Czech Republic and Austria, crossed the Danube near Carnuntum, headed southwest through the countries Hungary, Slovenia and Italy, and finally reached Aquileia at the Adriatic coast.
In co-operation with institutions and curators of all these “Amber Road”-countries FLUSS invited one photo/media artist from each country to realise a work about the contemporary issues and problems of trade, traffic and transport in a globalized world. These ten pieces were presented in a separate gallery in the castle of Wolkersdorf parallel to the Exhibition of Lower Austria; they were connected by a system of “links” with the historical exhibits. Thus “The Amber Road Show” was an independent, self-contained exhibition of contemporary art, which externally referred to historical contexts.
Now the exhibition, consisting of individual contributions of ten international artists/groups “along the Amber Road” is ready to go “on tour” to as many co-operating institutions as possible.
Exhibition curator, Martin Breindl, Oct 2013
The Amber Road Show produced by FLUSS society for the promotion of photo- and media art. For over twenty years FLUSS has been presenting, researching and scrutinising the multifaceted meanings and relations of photography as an artistic medium, in recent years also increasingly incorporating the new media. Through exhibitions, lectures, workshops and not least the annual summer school “Weinviertler Fotowochen” in the castle of Wolkersdorf in the Weinviertel, through numerous cooperation projects with European partner organisations and with presentations at international festivals, FLUSS has made a name for itself that extends far beyond the boundaries of the province, and in 2008 was awarded the Prize of Recognition of Lower Austria – for presentation and promotion of contemporary fine art (non-profit galleries).
FLUSS was founded in 1989 by Heinz Cibulka and Helmut Kandl (formerly Schäffer) as a non-profit association; by now FLUSS has almost sixty members, mostly photo- and media artists, photographers and cultural faciliators, whose objective is to encounter photography (including the new media) in a socially and artistically meaningful way. Whereas the activities of FLUSS mainly were shaped by Heinz Cibulka during the first dozen of years, the artistic programme since 2001 has been curated by the alien productions team.
The Amber Road Show
|Alexey Tikhonov||Nadya Sheremetova||FotoDepartament Foundation, St Peterburg, RUS|
|Brigit Püve||Harry Liivrand||Independend curator, Tallinn, EST|
|Harijs Daina Liepiniš||Maira Dudareva||Latvijas Fotogrāfijas muzeja vadītāja, Riga LV|
|Mindaugas Kavaliauskas||Ieva Meilute-Svinkunienė||Kaunas Photography Gallery, Kaunas, LT|
|Anna Orlowska||Krzyztof Candrowicz||Łódź Art Center, Fotofestiwal, Łódź, PL|
|Aleksandra Vajd and Hynek Alt||Pavel Vančát||Independend curator, Praha, CZ|
|Ernest Pointner||–||„Alien productions“ FLUSS, Wolkersdorf‘as, Austria|
|Gábor Arion Kudász||Anna Fabricius||Independend curator, Budapest, Hungary|
|Kaja Brezočnik||Jernej Kožar Koroška||Galerija likovnih umetnosti, Slovenj Gradec, SLO|
|Viola Pinzi||Martino Marangoni Fondazione||Studio Marangoni, Firenze, Italy|
Raudondvaris castle, museum of Kaunas district
Address: Pilies takas 1, Raudondvaris
Time: September 5 – October 20
Exhibition opening on September 5, 2015 16:00 p.m.