Roman Ondák, Freed Doorway, 1998, door with glass window, 76 3/4 x 30 3/4 x 2 3/4". Photo: Jens Ziehe.


“Rearview Mirror”

Art Gallery of Alberta
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
January 27–April 29

The Power Plant
231 Queens Quay West
June 30–September 5

Curated by Christopher Eamon

The title for this show of nearly two dozen artists from across the former Soviet bloc—though none from Russia proper—communicates a processing of past events that may be closer than they appear. Exhibitions on Eastern European art are nothing new, but this show’s updated, post-Conceptual roster is particularly strong. Despite a curatorial focus on “divergence” of cultural experience across the region, the works will reveal commonalities, such as the heritage of mass housing (exploited by Paweł Althamer, Ján Mančuška, and Roman Ondák and discussed brilliantly in the exhibition catalogue by Andrzej Szczerski) and a welcome inclination toward dialogue with local figures of international significance, among them sociologist Zygmunt Bauman and Nobel Prize–winning poet Wisława Szymborska (addressed in projects by Anna Ostoya and Anna Molska, respectively)_.