English summary April 26 - May 2

Freilichtmuseum Ensemble Gerersdorf Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern 10.04.10 – 30.05.10 King Biskorabhör I Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern was among the most colourful and most famous German Art-Brut artists. And there is probably no one who is interested in Art Brut who is not familiar with his figures. But not only his figures are worth admiring, his equally bizarre and fantastic texts are also worth being read. They open a different world of poetry; they are less of an accompaniment and more of an independent statement, and often have nothing to do with the painting under which they are written, they stand for themselves, but are also part of the whole. But at times they offer information, like the lines under the painting of King Biskarabhör I, which state that he is “the lord of the world of all frogs. Triple world champion of all free and applied croak- and wiggle hops and air-snapshots of only their own very amusing motives and common methods (Sonnenstern’s beings)” – and whoever then understands what and who King Biskorabhör I is, must be a Schröder-Sonnenstern specialist. Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, born in East Prussia in 1892 as Friedrich Schröder, and who died in Berlin in 1982, had many different professions: gardener, circus boy, smuggler, groom, quack, farm worker, but he was also the founder of a sect and itinerant preacher. He spent many years in correctional institutions and mental asylums, until, at the age of 57, he began to paint. During the Nazi era he was ostracized and imprisoned, and in the prude 1950’s and 60’s he provoked scandals with his “sexist paintings”, which he unemotionally commented as being “right as well as inane for life”. The originally incapable, poor, and excluded Friedrich Schröder turned into “Sonnenstern”. He considered himself as the “best” and described himself as the “three times world champion of arts”. This is how the art world became acquainted with him. He worked with Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his drawings were presented by renowned galleries, including Springer in Berlin, Brockstedt in Hamburg, the Kestner Society in Hannover and numerous museums. He was even awarded a renowned prize for his oeuvre. A magnificent overview of his work is currently exhibited at the Freilichtmuseum Gerersdorf, and except for a few pictures, which were donated by the Gallery Brockstedt, 50 others are part of the collection of the Peter Infeld’s (Thomastik-Infeld). private foundation. The Haus der Kultur in Halbturn is currently also displaying Art-Brut and Outsider Art from Peter Infeld’s collection, including Austrian and international artists such as Madge Gill, Ida Buchmann, Martha Grünenwaldt, as well as Jean Dubuffet (the founder and initiator of Art Brut), Gaston Chaissac, André Robillard, Francoise Burland, Adolf Wölfli, Oswald Tschirtner and August Walla. The solo exhibition “Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern” is shown at the Freilichtmuseum Gerersdorf in Southern Burgenland from April 10 to May 30, 2010, and the exhibition “Art Brut / Outsider Art” is displayed at the Infeld-Haus der Kultur in Halbturn from April 17 to June 13, 2010. By Angelica Bäumer Freilichtmuseum Ensemble Gerersdorf 7542 Gerersdorf www.freilichtmuseum-gerersdorf.at Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9.00 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat, Sun, and holidays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. MUSA – Museum auf Abruf Christoph Meier – The Painting Room 09.04.10 – 12.05.10 Think-Art Christoph Meier’s exhibition “The Painting Room” presents art for artists, or even more so - for people who constantly and theoretically attempt to grapple with art’s contemporary developments. The exhibition doesn’t offer much more than a huge partition wall, covered with residues of art and other traces of art production; an object made of colour, tubes, which appear as if they were accidentally bespattered and a heap of luminescent yellow text folders. The latter being the most essential part of the entire show, because the actual art, or that what this exhibition centres on, is not visible, but only described in Christoph Meier’s text. Thus, the procedural, the action, and foremost the object’s story of bearing witness to this action, is Meier’s actual art. And the heap of flyers, which is constantly dwindling and is thereby subject to continuous change, coherently matches the concept of performative art, which does not present the onlooker with a finalized object, but lets him/her be part of the artwork. It only seems logical that Richard Serra or Robert Morris are quoted in the text and thereby position Meier’s oeuvre in context with these essential representatives of Minimalism or, even more importantly, of Post-minimalism. Truly beautiful elements, which at times remind of Antoni Tàpies works, can be found on the partition wall, even if this was most probably not intended. The objects presented at this exhibition raise intriguing as well as significant theoretical questions. However, the works of the artist, born 1980, will remain incomprehensible to a larger public. By Wolfgang Pichler MUSA- Museum auf Abruf 1010 Vienna, Felderstrasse 6-8, next to the Town Hall www.musa.at Opening hours: Tue – Fri 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thu: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sat: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Time Within Us. Photographers from Turkey, Russia and Greece 27.01.10 – 16.05.10 Ponder, look back, disappear Tolga Özgal’s photos depict what one would consider a real jamboree: a suburban Turkish wedding: all guests having a great time, spurred on by a cheerful solo entertainer, surrounded by an unbelievable number of sugar-coated cakes all waiting to be devoured and, when the party is over, the bride and her groom leave the festivity with money bills attached to their shoulders by their guests. It’s the humbleness of the people shown on Özgal black-and-white photo series that makes these photographs so delightful: it proves that parying and exuberance is not a privilege reserved for the wealthy. The general undertone of the exhibition “Time Within Us” is much quieter than that in Özgal’s lively and cheerful wedding photos. The displayed works show young Muscovite immigrants on balconies or sitting near windows, wrapped in blankets, pondering about the advantages and disadvantages of their new home; or two boys gazing towards the sea in Yusuf Sevincli’s series “Home”; or Christina Dimitriadis posing transparent as a ghost in apartments and houses, in which she or her parents and grandparents live. Reflectiveness is the main theme - even in Deniz Acikalin’s night photos – portraits, immersed in blaring red and green traffic lights. Tim Parshikov staged lonely people in rather squalid rooms, and in Panos Kokkinias’s anonymous public settings, people almost disappear as insignificant extras. Normally, it is advisable to be cautious if an exhibition gathers art from certain regions, without setting an explicit basis. But here the curators (Engin Özendes, Olga Sviblova, Vangelis Ioakimidis) found “dreaming”, “remembering”, and “observing” as meaningful parameters. Thus, the exhibition avoids the danger of being arbitrary; the atmosphere mediated by the show is subdued. In short: a harmonious event. By Nina Schedlmayer Istanbul Museum of Modern Art 34433 Istanbul, Meclic-i Mebusan Ave. Liman Isletmeleri Sahasi Antrepo No: 4 Karaköy istanbulmodern.org MAK – Applied Arts / Contemporary Art Josef Dabernig – Excursus on Fitness 07.04.10 – 12.09.10 “Keep fit” with Dabernig The actors in Dabernig’s film “Excursus on Fitness” present themselves pleasantly un-enthusiastic while doing their workout. The film was produced especially for the same-named exhibition at the MAK. The largely minimalistic exercises are performed by Dabernig’s family members, artist friends as well as Dabernig himself in a bleak gym with a view onto a Viennese block of council flats, constituting the antithesis to the trendy fitness studios and their body-fixated customers. The idealisation of athletic bodies, which is usually accompanied by the denunciation of those who do not meet these standards, is evidently not Dabernig’s topic. Instead he directs the focus on the “geometry and gestures and glances” of those involved, and, together with the spatial givens of the gym, creates an architecture of bodies. Dabernig consciously centres on an ambivalent sentiment: it remains unclear if the actors enjoyed the sportive activities or undertook them unwillingly. The film, positioned in the centre of the exhibition, becomes an “expanded sculpture”, and at the same time it reflects Dabernig’s inclination for “modules, series, as well as formally minimal and precisely arranged structures”. The sparse setting, along a consistent visual axis with five bunk-like areas, also includes black-and-white as well as colour photographs reminding of the 1960’s. All this expands the associations made between body and architecture: e.g. with photographs of abandoned sports stands and barrier tapes marking off a bicycle race. The short film “Parking” (2003), dealing with subordination and humiliation among “consenting adults”, completes Dabernig’s first institutional solo exhibit in Vienna since 1993. By Susanne Jäger MAK-Applied Arts / Contemporary Art 1010 Vienna, Stubenring 5 www.mak.at Opening hours: Tue (MAK Nite): 10 a.m. – Midnight, Wed – Sun 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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