Press article

November 12, 2009

Daily Newspaper “Gazeta Shqiptare” 30.10.2009
An interview with Peggy Meinfelder

2-gazeta shqiptare 30.10.2009

Daily Newspaper “Panorama” 30.10.2009
An interview with Petrit Kumi

3-panorama 30.10.2009

Daily Newspaper “Gazeta Shqiptare” 29.10.2009

1-gazeta shqiptare 29.10.2009

Daily Newspaper “Shekulli” 29.10.2009

4-shekulli 29.10.09

Daily Newspaper “Gazeta Shqip” 29.10.2009
An interview with Roland Albrecht

5-gazeta shqip 29.10.09

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Discussion

November 2, 2009

European Cartographies – Politics and Culture 20 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Discussion during the Exhibition feedback ‹‹‹1989 at Hotel Dajti Saturday 31.10. 2009 at 4 pm with:
Ardian Klosi (Albania)
Borka Pavicevic (Serbia)
Albrecht von Lucke (Germania)
Moderation: Benet Koleka

20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe’s face has changed enormously. Some borders have been removed completely, while at the same time others have become more visible and burly than before. The cultural map of Europe has become more colourful and its diversity is more visible than ever before. On one hand, culture plays a leading role in international understanding, which is among other things enabled also by the participation of East European artists in different exhibition projects, thus overcoming the exotic status of »Eastern European art«, while on the other hand, complaints on the globalisation of culture are present (exchange projects, theme’s overlapping, lack of cultural identity etc). The following questions will trigger an interesting and lively discussion, where different points of view and perspectives from the participants will be heard about past, present and future developments of Europe, especially in regard to its (South) Eastern countries.
• Which political events and streams have influenced the shape of Europe of today?
• The idea that Europe is more than EU – What are the reasons (except the economical one) that both of them are not congruent with each other?
• Can we debate on a non-synchronism in the political and cultural developments of Europe in the last 20 years?
• How can the changes of political situation and the discontinuation of totalitarian system, serve as a stimulus
for culture?
• To what extent the democratization has influenced the cultural field?
• Are art and culture for younger generations in democratic societies a luxury or a necessity?
• How can a cultural support system look like, beside the system in the »old« European countries?

This event takes place in the frame of the exhibition project »feedback 1989«, curated by Adela Demetja and Julie August.
It is organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Tirana and part of the »German october« Thanks for support to: German Embassy Tirana, Goethe Institut, Ministery of Exterior Albania and to all the sponsors that made possible the »German October«

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Borka Pavicevic
Born 1947 in Kotor, Montenegro, Yugoslavia.
Lives and works in Belgrade, mother of a son
1971 graduated at the Academy for Theater, Film, Radio and
Television, Belgrade
1976 obtained master’s degree at the same Academy.
Worked as Dramaturgist at the Theater »Atelier 212«, Belgrade
(10 years) and BITEF, Belgrade’s annual international festival of
avant-garde theater (20 years).
1978-91 Dramaturgist in various theaters in Zenica, Split,
Skopje, Ljubljana, Subotica and Belgrade
1981 Founder of the »New Sensibility« theater at the
old Belgrade brewery.
1984–91 Participated in artistic movement »KPGT«, acronym for
the word »theater« in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro,
Slovenia and Macedonia.
1993 Artistic director, Belgrade Drama Theater,
removed after public and political statements.
Co-president and founder of the »Belgrade Circle«,
an Organization of independent intellectuals.
1994-present Founder and director of »Center for Cultural
Decontamination«, Veljkovic´ Pavilion, Belgrade.
Regular columnist in Susret, in Vreme weekly since
its inception and, currently, in Danas.
2003 Candidate for Serbian Parliament on slate of the
»Tolerance« coalition of civic and national minority
parties which won 4.2 percent, what was not sufficient
to meet the 5 percent ceiling and to enter the Serbian
Parliament.
2000 Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater, New York
2001 »Legion d’Honneur« from the Government
of the Republic of France
2004 Hiroshima Foundation Prize for Peace and Culture
2005 Osvajanje slobode (»Winning Freedom«) prize,
awarded by the Maja Marši c´evi c´ Tasi c´ Foundation
to a woman »whose acts affirm the principles of human
rights, rule of law, democracy and tolerance«
Publications
1998 At X: Post-Dayton Fashion (Novi Pazar)
1994 Fashion (Belgrade)
1992 »Do you remember?« in The Other Serbia (Belgrade)
Many articles in newspapers, magazines and journals.
Translated works include, as co-author, Belgrad, mein Belgrad,
edited by Ursula Rutten, Hamburg: Rotbuch Verlag, 1998.

Dr. Ardian Klosi
Born 1957 in Tirana, where he lives and works
Married to Jutta Benzenberg-Klosi, father of two daughters.
1981 Diploma in Albanian Language and Literature
at the Tirana University
1986–90 Postgraduate studies at the University of Innsbruck
in Austria (German Language, Comparative Literature,
Translators Qualification.
1990 Doctorate at the Institute for Comparative Literature,
Dissertation on mythology and modern literature
of the Balkans.
1981–86 Lecturer and translator at the »Naim Frasheri«
Publishing House. Translated a number of works
from well-known writers of the German and English
language literature as Zweig, Böll, Twain and others
1990–93 Free writer, journalist and publisher in Albania.
engaged in the students movement and the first
democratic press of the country.
1993–98 Translator and writer in Munich Germany.
Lector of Albanology at the University of Munich.
1998–99 General director of the Albanian State Radio
and Television (RTSH)
1999 until today Free-lance writer, translator and journalist
(for »Shekulli«). A number of articles and studies
on Albanian history and culture, published also in other
magazines in Albania and abroad.
Since 2004 Executive director of the German-Albanian cultural
organization »Robert Schwartz«
Publications / Original works
1991 Refleksione (with Edi Rama), Tirana; Albania – Painful
Awakening, Tirana; Mythologie am Werk, Munich
1993 Quo vadis, Shqipëri?, Tirana
Albanisches Überleben, Salzburg
1997 Shqipëria ç’mund të jetë, Tirana
2005 Netët Pellazgjike të Karl Reinholdit, Tirana
2007 Robert Schwartz
2009 Katastrofa e Gërdecit
Publications / Translations – a small selection:
Heinrich Böll – Me syrin e një klouni ; Friedrich Dürrenmatt –
Vizita e zonjës plakë; Gjykatësi dhe xhelati i tij; Premtimi; Max
Frisch – Bidermani dhe zjarrvënësit; Mark Twain – Aventurat
e Tom Sojerit ;- Georg Büchner – Vdekja e Dantonit; – August
Strindberg – Vallja e vdekjes; Ernest Gellner – Plugu, shpata, libri;
Theodor Ippen – Shqipëria e vjetër; Carlos Ruiz Zafón – Hija e erës
and non-fiction as well

Albrecht von Lucke
Born 1967 in Ingelheim/Rhein, Germany
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany
1986 University-entrance diploma, Ingelheim
1986/87 military service at the marine (minesweeper)
1987 Study of law at the University Würzburg, Germany
1989 Study of law at the Free University, Berlin
1993 First state examination in law
Start of study of political science
at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of the Free University, Berlin
1994 legal clerkship
1996 Second state examination in law
1999 Diploma in political science
1999–present: free publicist, above all about german
internal policy, party policy and historical policy for
the most important german radio and TV, for
newspapers like taz and Freitag (leftist newspapers)
and for publications like »Frankfurter Hefte« and
»Kommune«.
2004 Editorial Journalist at the Journal
»Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik«
(sheets for german and international policy) in Berlin
Publications
2008 Publication of the book
68 oder neues Biedermeier.
Der Kampf um die Deutungsmacht
(68 or new Biedermeier [bourgeois period].
The Battle about the interpretative Authority)
2009 Publication of the book
Die gefährdete Republik. Von Bonn nach Berlin:
1949–1989–2009
(The vulnerable Republic. From Bonn to Berlin:
1949–1989–2009)

The opening 29.11.2009

November 2, 2009

Photos from the opening

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The main area

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History books intallation

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The opening speach

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The opening speach

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Zuzanna Skiba`s room installation

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Roland Albrecht`s room installation

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Ledias Kostandini`s room installation

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Beatrice Minda`s room

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Gabriela Volanti`s room installation

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Albrecht Schäfer`s room installation

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Jin Lie´s room installation

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Nikolin Bujari´s installation at first and second floor

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History books installation

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Jakup Ferri´s video work

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Petrit Kumi´s rooms

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Peggy Meinfelder´s installation

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Kamen Stoyanov Photos

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Istvan Laszlo´s Video Installation

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Armando Lulaj´s video

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Video interviews with the artists

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Peggy Meinfelder´s drawings at the bar of the Hotel

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Live by Top Channel Albania

Adela Demetja & Julie August

November 2, 2009

The two curators at the opening

curators

Invitation

October 18, 2009

„feedback 1989“
29.10.2009-15.11.2009
Opening: 29.10.2009 6 p.m.
Open daily 10–12 a.m. and 3–7 p.m
Hotel Dajti, Tirana Albania

We are pleased to invite you to the exhibition »feedback 1989« which takes the 20th year after the Fall of the Berlin Wall as an occasion to show 21 artists from Germany, Albania, but also Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Kosovo in an exhibition at Hotel Dajti in Tirana. It is not a documentary about the tender revolutions – even if memory is used as a topic sometimes, butabove all the exhibition presents a diversity of the artistic positions, a new artistic freedom that has been made possible by the transitions starting form 1989.
A catalogue in three languages is available.

invitation_feedback1989_mail-1-1

feedback1989

October 18, 2009

An exhibtion with: Roland Albrecht, Stephan Balkenhol, Nikolin Bujari, Uroš Djuric, Jakup Ferri, Driton Hajredini, Julia Kissina, Ledia Kostandini, Petrit Kumi, Armando Lulaj, Istvan Laszlo, Jin Lie, Peggy Meinfelder, Anke Mila Menck, Beatrice Minda, Juli Ndoci, Alketa Ramaj, Albrecht Schäfer, Zuzanna Skiba, Kamen Stoyanov, Gabriela Volanti
Curated by Adela Demetja and Julie August

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was not only an important historical event for the Germans in East and West leading to reunification and changing Germany’s position in Europe. At the same time it was a signal for the start of political transitions in other socialistic countries that caused new formations even in the cultural field.
Taking the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin wall as a cause, the exhibition »feedback 1989« thematizes the transformation while asking for the different reception of the historical event in those countries whose political and economical situation has changed seriously. Today, the meaning of the word »feedback« is used mostly to express »reaction to something« – we use it in the meaning, that is has in acoustics: »unwanted, perturbing feedback (back coupling) in an acoustic system, where microphone and loudspeaker (e.g. sender and receiver) are located in the same sound area«. Pertubing noises, screaming tones – the opposite of »harmony«.
The maybe naive vision of a unified Europe with equal conditions for all european residents is far from reality 20 years after the End of the Cold War. Most notably in the balcan regions and the former Soviet »brotherlands« there were years of gory conflicts and civil wars that led to a fragmentation of the European map. Today, many of the former »East-Block-States« are members of the European Union meanwhile, but the living conditions in Germany and Bulgaria, in France and Romania are more than unequal. It is no coincidence that this exhibition takes place in Albania despite a political opening and democratisation you could still talk about a wall that still exists: it is no longer a »antifascist protective barrier« (the official terminology of the GDR leadership for the Berlin Wall), but the restrictive visa-politics of the majority of EU-Countries, that refuses to the inhabitants of this country to benefit from the most wanted achievement of the Fall of the Wall and the change of the political systems: the freedom oftravel without any restrictions. The location of the exhibition is calculated: It is in a Hotel, that the artists show their works dealing with the last 20 years. Structurally, Hotels and Museums are not so different: Both locations offer space which is only available for a delimited period they are empty spaces, whose »inhabitants« (travellers or artwork) change currently.During the communist regime under Enver Hoxha, Hotel Dajti was exclusivly open for members of the communist party or for state guests and powerful foreigners. Today it is owned by the Ministery of Exterior of Albania, who will use the building after renovation both for administration and representation. It can be seen as a perspective on the building’s future function that with this exhibition (and others, e.g. the Tirana Biennal) it offers a forum for international artists. So to say, Art and Culture act out as »embassadors«, demonstrating a cooperation, that cannot be achieved as easy in the political area.
The exhibition is divided into three parts:

1 Reflections – The Fall of the Berlin Wall in European School Books
What historical events that took place 1989 were formative in Germany, in Albania, in other countries? Can a european history be »objective« at all? By confronting extracts from european schoolbooks a unidirectional interpretation is avoided, offering a »multi-sided« ramble trough the years of the mostly peaceful revolutions.
2 European artists about memory and history
In the representative spaces of the hotel in the ground floor, artists from Romania, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Germany show works that deal with the theme »memory«. Some refer directly to the incidents of 1989, some deal more generally with the changes since that time. Nearly uninvolved, Balkenhols oversized »woman« seems to be a silent observer.
3 »Artists in residence«
The rooms in the first floor of Hotel Dajti are given to artists from Berlin and Tirana, who present their work / their way to work, often with site-specific installations. The diversity of work and space-treatment is hereby reflecting the main points that were made possible by the Fall of the Wall: pluralism, multiplicity, heterogeneity. A short film with artist’s interviews tries to answer the question, if the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the cultural transitions that took place since then play a role for the artistic work.

Adela Demetja and Julie August

Partner / Sponsors

October 18, 2009

This project would not have been possible without the support of many individuals, institutions and sponsors. Our special thanks go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making available the space of Hotel Dajti.

sponsoren

Special thanks to: Jeff Balmert, Artan Begolli, Siarhei Bohdan, Nikolin Bujari, Aida Cama, Florian Canga, Darsel Demetja, Tanja Dramac, Irene Eidemüller, Beatrice Faßbender, Galerie Löhrl – Mönchengladbach, Galerie Plan B – Berlin, Andreas Gebhardt, Ilka Heerwig, Radmila Joksimovic , Julia Kissina, Valentina Koçi, Milan Kondic, Kumifoto , Shioban O’Leary, Christine Lindemann-Proetel, Ermal Merdani, Caroline Marburger, Katrin Nahidi, Stefan Neugebauer, Slávka Porubská, Eriola Pira, Desislava Tsoneva, Gisela Schmidinger, Katrin Silberzahn, Zuzanna Skiba, Sophia Strähhuber, Anett Stuth, Enkeleda Suti, TICA, Marion Thielebein, Gazmend Turdiu, Gabriela Volanti, Michael Weichert

European artists reflecting history

October 18, 2009

20 years is a long time, but also not very long at all

Museums, Galleries and state-run institutions are normally the only locations used for cultural events in Albania. The exhibition »feedback 1989« takes place in the space of the former Hotel Dajti. This cult-like building, positioned at one of the most strategic places of the capital, has witnessed many eras, regimes, political systems and transformations that have transgressed in Albania and that have changed its utilization over time. The transitions that Albania has experienced in the past 20 years could not but impact in a drastic way this prestigious hotel, property of the state and in service of the regime; with the future change of the owners it seems as if even its function will change, but in fact this building will after a renovation welcome foreign delegations visiting Albania and will be in its future »reincarnation« the Ministery of Foreign Affairs: the place where foreign policy will be made. When I reentered this building in the beginning of 2009 I was surprised that this place (which until 2005 had still functioned as a hotel) was destroyed and deformed in such a short time. Nevertheless, the ballroom in the first floor of the hotel has kept its grandeur and magical quality – despite the destruction. In this hall eight artists from Eastern Europe and Germany present their work. Since 1989 the process of systematic change from communism to democracy brought along social and economic change. Phenomena such as privatisation, freedom of travel and emigration, construction boom and free market capitalism appeared immediately, creating thus a great contrast to life before the 1990’s. It is particularly these developments of the last 20 years the participating artists make visible. Employing memory, they recreate, revisit, and reproduce different moments and phenomena of history. Some of the works refer directly to historical events, some are connected to personal experiences and histories. Memory plays an important role in the perception of various historical events. In a person’s memory, information is not saved automatically, but it is always connected to situations, feelings, people and places. Whenever we try to remember a fact, an event or a person, all experiences and sensations that are related to it come up to our mind. The artists include those sensations and personal colorings in their creations. Thus, the artwork can transmit historical facts and various phenomena from a personal level and experience, making these issues and facts acceptable for the public. In this manner, a human and personal exchange is opened instead of an institutional or official one, what makes it is easier to identify with the contextual work. Many of the artists who live and work in the countries of Eastern Europe have a strong interest for the themes that deal with their recent past and the phenomena that are still present as a result of history and change. This strong link to the national context can be seen as an obstacle in the inclusion in today’s kind of global art. But if we try to see it from the perspective of a general history and specifically of art history, it is a kind of documentation of the time in which these artists live. These art works will serve as examples from which to write our common history. This project is an opportunity for the albanian public in Albania to see a broad spectrum of works these artistic works which are not part of a collection or a museum that they could visit easily. We tried to respond to the demands of the local context by bringing as well artists from the region as internationally recognized artists in order to present some few positions of European contemporary art. With this catalogue, a blog and press releases the project is as well visible for the interested public who is not able to come to see the exhibition. Today we find ourselves about 20 years after the big wave of change that started in 1989. 20 years are very few seen from the perspective of human history, but 20 years are quite a lot from the perspective of a person’s lifetime. This exhibition can only show a very small part of the artistic production of this period, but the exhibited works do at least reflect important streamings from the last two decades.
Adela Demetja

Istvan Laszlo / Untitled (R89)

October 18, 2009

Istvan Laszlo
Untitled (R89), Video loop 3’00”, 2007–2009

istvan laszlo
Romanian artist Istvan Laszlo’s video not only deals with the revolution of 1989, but at the same time it’s about the functionality of human memorisation. Based on a single image he creates a film: a photograph from December 1989, meanwhile an icon, is dissolving more and more. If it is because of dispersed dust or because of a clouded mode of memory stays open. The photo shows a military vehicle, occupied by civilists who are swaying flags and gesturing wildly. They are crowded together, highly agitated, involuntary the painting Medusa’s raft from Gericault comes up to mind (the ikon of the French revolution) and you can hardly hear them scream. Istvan Laszlo’s video analyses the way we relate to history through photo video remakes/documentation and the way that history can be distorted and reinterpreted, understood and misunderstood through photo video documentation. It also comments on the Romanian revolution and the media‘s power to manipulate the masses.

Istvan Laszlo
Born in 1981 in Tirgu Mures, Romania. Lives and works
in Dublin, Ireland and Tirgu Mures, Romania.
Education:
2004–06 New Media Technology College, Dublin,
Ireland 1999–03 University of Art & Design, Cluj, Romania
Solo exhibition:
2002 Grandma in the city, Atash Gallery, Cluj, Romania
Selected group exhibitions:
2009 Preset Adjustments, Plan B Gallery, Berlin ››› Track
Changes, Wilkinson Gallery, London, Great Britain ›››
Portraits of the Artists as Young Artists, andreianamihailgallery,
Bucharest, Romania 2008 Show 1, Plan-B
Gallery, Berlin, Germany ››› On The Spot, Anaid Gallery,
Bucharest, Romania 2006 Darklight, VU Space,
Melbourne, Australia ››› Darklight, Dublin
2004 Art for the masses, Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu,
Romania ››› Art for the masses, Protokoll, Cluj, Romania
››› Biennale de Paris 2003 Docu-Fiction, University of
Architecture, Bucharest, Romania ››› Re:location 4,
Casino Luxembourg ››› Re: location 2, Cluj / Linz,
Austria ››› Inflexible Clash, Institute of Contemporary
Art, Dunaujvaros, Hungary 2002 Coleurs Locale,
Fortress Gallery, Targu Mures, Romania ››› Super Us /
Supernova, Casa Matei, Cluj, Romania ››› Supernova,
Sindan Cultural Center, Cluj, Romania ››› Supernova,
Atash Gallery, Cluj, Romania ››› A.E., Casa Tranzit, Cluj,
Romania

Stephan Balkenhol / Frau (woman)

October 18, 2009

Stephan Balkenhol
Frau (woman), relief, cottonwood, 240 × 102 × 14 cm, 2000

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Stephan Balkenhol is not only present at numerous international exhibitions with his sculptures, but many of his works are displayed in the public space all over the world. They always bear relation to the place where they are located, often with a subtle humour. Contrary to the common trend of abstraction in Western art since the 70’s, the sculptor concentrated from the outset on figurative works which he mostly covers with color. Despite their monumental size, they are by no means like the monumental memorial art that was still common in socialist countries at that time. The characters the artist portrays are no celebrities, not even beauties. They are people like you and me, just normal, »carved from simple wood«. At Enver Hoxha’s time they surely wouldn’t have had access to Hotel Dajti … In this exhibition, the relief »woman« (which has a counterpart, »man«), represents the observer, the contemporary witness. She looks at all events with a certain imperturbability, knowing that she won’t change the course of the world.

Stephan Balkenhol

Born in 1957 in Fritzlar, West-Germany. Lives and works
in Meisenthal, France, Karlsruhe and Berlin, Germany
Education: 1976–82 Academy of Arts, Hamburg
(Prof. Rückriem)
Teaching experience:
1988–89 Academy of Arts, Hamburg 1990–91
Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main since 1992
Professor for sculpture, Academy of Arts, Karlsruhe
Selected solo exhibitions:
2007 Museum der Moderne, Salzburg ››› Kabinett für
Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven ››› PAC, Milano ››› Gallery
Forsblom, Helsinki ››› Gallery Tomio Koyama, Tokio
2006 Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden ››› Regen
Projects. Los Angeles ››› Galleri Bo Bjerggaard,
Kopenhagen ››› MKM Duisburg 2005 The National
Museum of Art, Osaka ››› Galería Pepe Cobo, Madrid
2004 Galería OMR, Mexiko-City 2003 Le rectangle.
Lyon ››› Sprengel Museum, Hannover 2002 Galerie
Pepe Cobo, Sevilla (regularly since 2002) 2001
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de
Compostela Galería ››› OMR, Mexiko-City ››› Fries
Museum, Leeuwarden ››› Museum der Bildenden
Künste, Leipzig ››› Dogenhaus Galerie, Leipzig
2000 The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Recent group exhibitions:
2007 works on paper, Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich ›››
Sculpture Grande Prague 07 ››› 10. Triennale Kleinplastik,
Fellbach 2006 La Force de l’art, Grand Palais, Paris
2005 Karlsruher Figuration, Würth collection, Arlesheim