310809: MAK-Applied Arts/Contemporary Art: Artists in Focus #6: Franz Graf – Final Song First

MAK-Applied Arts/Contemporary Art: Artists in Focus #6: Franz Graf – Final Song First On the drawing floor of the MAK The way in which Franz Graf stages his works here is almost logical and nearly compulsory. The audience is confronted with the dynamics of the hanging. Some paintings seem to ascend or to have come to a halt right beneath the ceiling. Even the motives seem to have risen from the centre to the upper edge of the paintings. Or are they floating back down? Even the motion of slipping, of gliding away from the wall is implied. One of the pictures created in honeycombed minimalism seems to have come to a halt in an oblique position. Or was the intention to present it as if it was positioned on a stand? In any case, it is not at eye level. Lower edge at knee height. Upper border more or less at breast height. But it allows for the luxury of a comfortable aerial view by only tilting one’s had slightly. Nevertheless: nothing has come apart at the seams. It becomes clear that Franz Graf succeeded to locate the inner film of an explosive dynamic of ideas at the exact right moment. To position the presentation and representation in a museums context as the main subject of attention he does not need art history’s wagging finger nor does he need to strike up ironic undertones. That is the main reason why only three large format paintings are conventionally hung on the wall. These works are owned by the MAK and have therefore been placed in a position, which befits an exhibition house. All in all, Franz Graf’s typical black-gray-white exhibition correlates perfectly with Peter Noever’s exhibition space design and with that of presenting the collection of contemporary art on the attic of the MAK. The vertical steel poles running into the open space beneath initiate connotations with an essential part of a theater: the drawing floor. This enforces Franz Graf’s intentions of regarding the diverse presentation forms in art spaces. He interprets the space and points to the MAK collection in footnotes, by integrating some of Herman Czech’s chairs into the entire environment, which he designed for the MAK Café. Franz Graf seems like the ideal artist for this space with its formative historic narratives, which match the artist’s interest in technically reproducible forms and link his reflections on ornaments as a kind of interface between applied and contemporary art at the MAK. His work, which goes beyond all limits, is also reflected in the title of his intervention “Final Song First.” As a supplement to the first, visual act of the contemporary art show collection he is planning a sound performance for the finalization. By Roland Schöny MAK-Applied Arts / Contemporary Art 1010 Vienna, Stubenring 5, until 20.09.09 www.mak.at

MAK - Museum für angewandte Kunst
1010 Wien, Stubenring 5
Tel: +43 1 711 36-0, Fax: +43 1 713 10 26
Email: office@mak.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di 10-21, Mi-So 10-18 h

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