250110: Factory – Kunsthalle Krems: Leopold Kessler

Factory – Kunsthalle Krems: Leopold Kessler Big Brother, where art thou? The official patron saint of art theory was most probably never so brutally employed as by Leopold Kessler: for the project “Hofgang mit Foucault” (yard exercise with Foucault), installed at the Factory, the artist mounted a 5m portrait photo of the French philosopher on the Kremser Kreuzberg, which can be seen from the Stein prison yard. But only after Kessler befogs it with smoke does it catch the inmates’ attention. The artist constructs new axes of vision – and simultaneously points to the permanent surveillance of the prisoners. At the Krems exhibition, surveillance seems to be Kessler’s number one topic: e.g. he (secretly) filmed the entrances of former worker’s apartments in Krakow, where guided tours take place to offer an insight into the days of everyday communist life – in a time in which one of the main elements was: permanent surveillance. As charming as the idea of this duplication at first seemed, the outcome was actually minimal. All one sees are men and women walking up a staircase, waiting for their guide, and then entering the apartments. Much more exciting is Kessler’s work in which he quickly sways from the atmosphere depicting Slovakian industrial urbanity to that of Austrians dancing a Waltz. A camera installed at the border shows images of the city of Devinska, then sways across streets and some pastures - always from the same position - to the other side of the border and ends up on the terrace of Schloss Hof, where couples are shown waltzing. The smoothness with which these two stereotype and completely contrasting images are conveyed, makes them even more cliché-laden and contradictory – simple production, great effect. By Nina Schedlmayer Factory – Kunsthalle Krems 3504 Krems, Steiner Landstrasse , until 14.02.2010 http://www.kunsthalle.at

Factory - Kunsthalle Krems
3504 Krems, Steiner Landstraße 3
Tel: +43-2732 908010-40, Fax: +43-2732 908010-41
Email: factory@kunsthalle.at
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 12-16 Uhr

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