English summary March 3 - 9

Musée d`Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris: Gelitin - La Louvre - Paris Amours Toujours These four guys, offering flamboyant insights and perspectives into the world of art, have - not for the first time - arrived in the city of love. The Musée d`Art moderne de la Ville de Paris has offered the Gelitin group 1000 m2 of exhibition space for their mid-career retrospective. They worked on this exhibit for three months - some objects are new and were created in Paris, some already existed before, but had never been displayed. They are now shown for the very first time in conjunction with well-known and successful objects. The exhibit is called "La Louvre - Paris", and for all those who`s French is not perfect, a tricky feint. At first sight there is not much of a difference between "le Louvre" and "la Louvre". The troop "gelatinized" the main pieces of the Museum in their well-known and skilful plush-toy and cheese-like manner. An entire wall is dedicated to variations on Mona Lisa and findings made in early history. Gelitin has gone a long way - including unforgettable B-things, wonders of the world, morasses, bunnies and (other) arches of triumph. Those viewing the group`s artwork for the first time could get a little dizzy. To make things easier, a bookstore has been integrated into the exhibit. Here you can read anything you would like to know about the artists. This time the scandal happened late at night: one of the staff members slapped (!) a guest, was then thrown out, but immediately rehabilitated by the director of the museum - and the Gelitins wrote an angry email. The moral of the story: Gelitin`s LOVE mission is not over yet! Musée d`Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 75116 Paris, 11, avenue du Président Wilson, until 20.04.08 www.mam.paris.fr Kunsthalle Wien project space: Mahrem - Notes regarding the veil Veil fights A journalist working for the Austrian Daily "Die Presse" was irritated that women wearing chadors were overcrowding downtown Vienna last August. They all seemed to him as if "somebody had wrapped them into a bale of cloth with only a slit left open for their eyes". To him this attire looked rather "repulsive, if not obscene". And just a few days ago a witness was barred from court because her chador prevented the jury from seeing her mimicry. There is no comparable piece of clothing that is ideologically and emotionally as charged as the chador. The current exhibit "Mahrem (Turkish for: secret, discrete, confidential) - Notes regarding the veil" is not interested in defending the chador. But by displaying works created mainly by female artists from Islamic countries who now live in the West, the exhibit gives experts the opportunity to have their say in this sensitive and important debate. There are numerous exciting pieces of art to be seen: Nezaket Ekici created a "compulsive veil fight" in which she clears her face of the headscarf and the modified fashion store advertisement by Shahram Entekhabi, shows the transformation of a woman`s scanty clothing into a chador, while a man`s head is completely covered with paint; the latter insinuating how American authorities treat prisoners. Kutlug Ataman`s "Women Who Wear Wigs" is displayed as is Mandana Moghadamm`s sculpture made of 40 braids. But in any case this exhibit definitely contributes substantially more to the "headscarf-debate" than some journalists do. Kunsthalle Wien project space 1040 Vienna, Karlsplatz/Treitlstrasse 1-3, until 16.03.08 www.kunsthallewien.at Secession: Werner Feiersinger (Hauptraum); Philippe Decrauzat (Gallery, Grafisches Kabinett) Interlocking objects The Austrian artist Werner Feiersinger`s current exhibit in the Hauptraum (main room) of the Secession is mainly focused on questioning the dogmatic reception of Modernism as a personification of functionalism and rationalism. Feiersinger concentrates on the ambivalence of secretive breaches and controversies; inherent to Modernism. He considers the Secession`s Hauptraum as an icon of modern architecture and the ideal exhibition space. His most recent work dominates the exhibition: a delicately curved steel structure, 17 m in length, a citation from Le Corbusier`s Villa Savoye. The full-size reconstruction, a detail from the villa`s entrance area, clearly shows the discrepancy between the edifice and its original design. His other objects such as ladders, shovels, or playground installations feign utility, however, at a second glance it is apparent that they are obviously dysfunctional. Feiersinger`s photographs of Le Corbuisier`s buildings include carelessly stored garden tools and thereby undermine the Swiss architects orthodox following of Modernism. The intelligent arrangement of the displayed works significantly adds to the fact that both the art as well as the room it is displayed in, has entered an unusually intensive, respectful-ironic dialog. With his wall paintings, cinematic elements, and sculptures the Swiss artist Phillipe Decrauzat establishes a clear connection with Dada, Russian Constructivism, Op Art, and Minimalism. In the black and white gallery space, questions regarding a shift of perception and motion studies seem superposed to an "agglomeration of modern vision", which for the most part are visually convincing. Secession 1010 Vienna, Friedrichstrasse 12, until 13.04.08 www.secession.at Charim Galerie: Edgar Honetschläger: Bejing Holiday Polemic and fetish When Edgar Honetschläger comments on the relationship between China and the West, he is furious. How could it be that so many European and North American intellectuals and artists are prepared to collaborate with this - as he clearly puts it - dictatorship? And he does have a point: Chinese art has been unreflectively hyped in the last couple of years. In his current exhibit at the Charim Gallery Honetschläger focuses on the Japanese occupation of China. But to be honest - he had fallen in love: with a woman 66 years older than himself. Soong Mei-Ling (1997 - 2003), the wife of Chiang Kai-Shek, who was overthrown by Mao and who was a fervent promoter of China in the USA. Honetschläger had a replica made of Soong - in the form of a puppet. Analogous to William Wyler`s film "Roman Holiday, he takes the Soong-puppet on a motorcycle-ride around the city, he reads to her and dances with her; and says good-bye to her in a grotesquely tragic scene. In a final take, Soon Mei-Ling sits on the Tiananmen Square all by herself and is examined with amazement by passers-by. Honetschläger has a foible for fetish - not only his puppet is one: he encases a piece of her dress in a shrine, displays his own masquerade from the film - a blond wig, his Mao suit, a neckerchief. And of course the Soong-Mei-Ling puppet, whose eeriness reminds of Alma Mahler, currently exhibited at the Kokoschka-exhibit in the Belvedere. Chang Kai Shek and his wife Soong Mei-Ling took 800.000 artefacts with them to Taiwan when they fled from China - even today China considers this collection as part of its own national identity. Honetschlägers breakdown of this complex historic episode by reducing it to Soong Mei-Ling`s figure is unconventional. By leaving quite a few details out, the entire story is not less interesting, but more polemic. But one will search for the admonishing finger in vain. CharimGalerie 1010 Vienna, Dorotheergasse 12, until 15.03.08 www.charimgalerie.at

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