Istvan Kantor Monty Cantsin Amen!

Istvan Kantor Monty Cantsin? Amen! The Insurgent Neoist



Exhibition opening June 16 at 8 pm
“Neoist Disaster Night” June 16 at 9 pm

Istvan Kantor aka Monty Cantsin Amen’s “THE INSURGENT NEOIST” is the first exhibition project in Estonia to introduce the international art movement called NEOISM and its founder, Istvan Kantor. The exhibition and its side events give an overview of the creative work of the legendary hero of anti-art and introduces you to neoist philosophy. Kantor is evidently the most known living classics of contemporary art ever to have worked with a local curator, a museum and the art scene in Estonia. The exhibition introducing neoism as a creative philosophy and a social network, largely missed by the local art consciousness, is produced specially for the EKKM spaces and considering the local context.

His main interest lies in creating work that establishes a discussion within and around the conflicting territories of institutional authority and cultural gentrification. Despite his controversial art practice, he was awarded with the highest award in Canada in 2004 – Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts. He has also been given the Telefilm Canada Award for Best Canadian Video (1998) and Transmediale festival award (2001). Kantor is also active in many other fields from performance art to robotics via installation, sound, music and new media.  He is best known for creating the open pop-star Monty Cantsin and founding the widest international artist network, Neoism. The collective pseudonym Monty Cantsin, created together with the legendary pop artist David Zack, was the first identity political name projects for open use that later became famous.

Istvan Kantor is the Honorary Member of the avant-garde collective Laibach, he has worked with Andy Warhol, Joseph BeuysKeith Haring and Stelarc; the originators of performance art Carolee Schneemanni, Ray Johnsoni and Jack Smithiga; the members of FluxusJohn CageRobert Filliou and Dick Higgins; the godfather of street art, Richard Humbleton; musicians like The PeachesLydia Lunch and Steve Reich; the best known fans of his performances are David BowieMadonna and Annie Sprinkle.

Kantor’s work investigates the revolutionary and scientific aspects of artistic practices that attempt to surpass the conventional models of creative experience. His main subjects are the decay of technology and the struggle of the individual in technological society. His works are  intellectually rebellious, anti-authoritarian, as well as technically innovative and highly experimental. Kantor’s performance based work explores the body as well as technology, from blood to video to physical gestures via digital sampling. He loves to shout slogans and use the symbolically destructive gestures of revolution and rock’n’roll. He uses conflict and crisis to present his cause, often placing himself in the center of danger and uncertainty, relating to his living environment and social situation.

The name Neoism refers to the sub-cultural network of performance artists and media experimentators as well as the practical underground philosophy that operates with collective pseudonyms and identities and with paradox and plagiarism. The strategies of Neoism were developed during the apartment festivals in the 1980’s in North-America, Australia and Europe and were displayed on printed works. The Neoists practice the experimental exploration of the categories of identity and individuality, originality and property that have matured in the Western philosophy and society. The intrinsic property of Neoism is the controversial definition of itself to prevent categorization and becoming a part of history. Therefore, the exhibition project at EKKM tests the possibility of mounting a practical underground philosophy into a museum that negates historization and categorization, associating them with the concepts of ownership and commodities.

Exhibition curator KIWA, who has worked with experimental art for twenty years, met and worked with Kantor in Indonesia in 2011 where the idea of this project was developed.

SMILE, the traditional print of Neoists is sold at the exhibition for the price of the paper and is available for free download at  Support the free spread of information!

Eesti Kultuurkapital, OÜ Kesto, SAS Loft OÜ, SA Jaam, ©skaala, Print Grupp, Õ, Mööbeldaja, Pakendiringlus, Robodada, Paavli Kaltsukas, AS Seeneprintsess, Piret Karro, Aare Pilv, Tuuli Aule, Mihkel Kleis, Kai ja Richard Kaljo

KIWA +372 53 994 864