Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH

Performance art against power strategies


From September 21st, the BRUSEUM in the Neue Galerie Graz in its new exhibition titled Alexander Brener and Barbara Schurz. Conspiracy of the Cephalopods shows works by the artists Alexander Brener and Barbara Schurz. Besides their performative works, which casts a critical light on the art market, the couple have also produced many illustrations and writings (also literary) over the years.

Tusche, Buntstift und Wasserfarben auf Papier, 30 x 24 cm, Foto: Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner

Alexander Brener belongs to that generation of Russian performance artists who appeared towards the end of the Soviet Union and who were already active in public space. He achieved international renown in 1997, when he sprayed a green dollar sign on Kazimir Malevich’s picture Suprematism 1920-27 on display in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His protest against the corruption and commercialisation of the art market ended in him receiving a prison sentence, despite his objection that it was in fact an artistic performance. Since the 1990s, together with his Austrian partner Barbara Schurz, he has confronted the power strategies and mechanisms of exclusion in society and the art market, through the medium of interventionist and uncompromising performances. Parallel to this, he has produced drawings which continue their programmatic critique of capitalism and which draw on the tradition of Lubok – Russian popular prints that are satirical, informative, patriotic or socially critical in character – or on Outsider Art. In addition, Brener and Schurz have for years published literarily brilliant and theoretically substantiated, illustrated books through samizdat publishing. For the exhibition Conspiracy of the Cephalopods they illustrated their review.





Further information as well as picture material to download can be found at: Brener and Schurz


Alexander Brener and Barbara Schurz. Conspiracy of the Cephalopods

BRUSEUM, Neue Galerie Graz, Joanneumsviertel, 8010 Graz
Opening: 20.09.2019, 7 pm