Blood & Honey – Future is at Balkan
Sammlung Essl (Vienna, Austria)
May 16 – September 28, 2003
“Blood & Honey – Future’s in the Balkans” is the result of the meeting between an opportunity – the intention of collector Karlheinz Essl to organize a show in his hall of Klosterneuburg, Vienna, having Harald Szeemann as curator – and an initiative – the invitation that the Balkan Art Network made to the same Harald Szeemann to present a selection of Balkan artists.
“The conceptual focus of the exhibition […] refers to the term Balkan. We can extend “Balkans” by looking at its etymology as well as morphology. Dividing the term itself, we see a discourse, a play of opposites. The Turkish syllables BAL (Honey) and KAN (Blood) open spaces of reflection. In the Golden Age honey was flowing like water out of oaks: the godfather Kronos drank this nectar and fell asleep when his son Zeus enchained him and banished him to the blessed island. Zeus took over power and expelled the God of Time (and with him the Golden Age) to the edge of the world. The Ius Sanguis – justice of Blood – is not an empty word of ancient times in our contemporary society but still brings about geopolitical conflicts, wars, and ghosts which were said to be death. But the dead is not death in history (Heiner Müller), such as the Golden Age of mythology is still inscribed in our memory.
The term Balkans with its heterogeneous, non-uniform definition crosses the border to impossibility and the Nietzschean “maybe.”“ (Nicole Haitzinger)
Starting off with a title that can be the translation in Turkish of BAL-KAN: Blood – Honey, Harald Szeemann’s exhibition gathers the works of 74 artists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia-Montenegro.