Istvan Kantor

Biographical note:
Istvan Kantor (also known as Monty Cantsin, and Amen!) was born in Hungary, but his art was shaped in Toronto. In his artistic practice, he uses various means of expression, such as video, performance, multimedia installations, painting, sound, sculpture. He also initiates social movements, such as the open artistic movement Monty Cantsin (co-authored with David Zack in 1978), or the global underground movement Neoism. He is also known as a noise musician, electro-instrumentalist, and vocalist of the Red Armband group from Toronto. Since the 1980s, he has recorded and released over a dozen albums. His interests focus on creating works that raise the debate on the broadly understood institutionalism of art and its authorities. He investigates the revolutionary and scientific aspects of artistic practice, which in effect allows him to cross the conventional model of experiencing art. In addition, he focuses on the decline of technology as well as the struggle for individuality in the technological society. His work, often referred to as an intellectual rebellion, often takes on the form of an innovative technological experiment. Kantor destroys and sets things on fire, sometimes exposes himself to danger by using objects such as steam iron, clothes hangers, watches, or flags. His radically changing artistic interests always relate to the social situation and the environment in which he lives. Over the past three decades, he has been arrested and imprisoned several times for his guerrilla-like interventions in museums, one of which involved using his own blood. He has won many prestigious awards, including: Telefilm (Canadian Best Film and Video Award in 1998), Transmediale Berlin Award 2001, and Canadian General Governor’s Award in Visual Media and Art. He has frequently participated in the WRO Biennale, where he has been awarded three times: at WRO 93 and 97, he received second prize (for “Barricades” and “Amen!,” respectively), and at WRO 09, he received an award for “(The Never Ending) Operetta.” In 2014, WRO Art Center, in collaboration with Griffin Art Space, produced a project that has been highly popular and acclaimed by critics — “Media Revolt,” under which RENOMA hosted a monographic exhibition of the artist, accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue in the form of a newspaper and an own publication by Istvan Kantor in the series “VIEW. WRO Media Art Reader.”

Description of work:
The author’s graffiti entitled “Iconic/Neoist Propaganda Graffiti” was created as part of Istvan Kantor’s exhibition called “Media Revolt,” presented in RENOMA from 20th June to 31st July 2014, as a continuation of the RenomaWRO cycle. This work of art can be seen on level +2 of RENOMA, on one of the walls of Lofhome salon, courtesy of Istvan Kantor, WRO Art Center, and Griffin Art Space.

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