140610: BAWAG Contemporary Mike Bouchet – Retreat

BAWAG Contemporary Mike Bouchet – Retreat 07.05.10 – 30.06.10 Battered world of goods Aggression is clearly evident here. But who is being attacked? Based on the chaos one is confronted with, the artist Mike Bouchet plays the role of the destroyer. But it could just as well be self-defence. Against an economy, which usually heads towards destruction. But the fractures that Bouchet leaves behind in his – visual – language only have a semantic nature. For example when he transforms an indoor golf course into a battlefield of broken golf clubs and scattered balls in the new Kunstraum of the BAWAG Contemporary. Partly driven by irony, partly by Cynic aggression he unveils the policies underlying the world of goods. He devotes himself to the texture of life-style and consumer culture. Homemade hamburgers mould away in seductively lustrous CANBURGER cans. The Californian born artist, who lives and works in Frankfurt, questions the structure of value-creation processes. Generally they are based on the density of symbolic semblances. The era of practical value is long gone. Bouchet caricatures diverse gimmickries of the so-called wellness society; such as one of their class symbols: the Jacuzzi. This was already the central theme of his exhibition at the Kunstraum Innsbruck in 2005. Jacuzzis, made of carton and polyester fibreglass, twisted, wrinkled and practically useless, named after superfluous characters such as Berlusconi or Lionel Ritchie, must be interpreted as deconstructions. Bouchet is in perfect command of the ars combinatorial of contemporary art, but exhibits all of this with almost too much routine. The BAWAG Contemporary presents his sketches and construction drawings as well as his paintings, which remind of advertisement messages. And the Jacuzzis – the most interesting works. And the golf chaos. As a room installation. Ironically sponsored by Nike. On the sideline - a battered nude made of oak whose wooden surface was badly beaten by golf clubs. With Bouchet’s solo exhibit the BAWAG Contemporary also presents its new exhibition space, which is currently one of the most impressive locations for mid-format exhibits in Vienna. The venue consists of two different room formations spanned between Wiesingerstrasse and the Franz Josefs Kai, connected by a glass-roofed courtyard. A bridge provides the passage from the exhibition area to the office and ancillary rooms. Wide open and intimate situations - with open space facing the street as well as protected areas in the cellar being available for presenting large, established, relevant positions in unexpected, special solo exhibits as well as offering emerging artists opportunities to show their work before they attain international stardom. One may look forward to the next program, as well as to Mike Bouchet’s solo exhibit in the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, starting July 1, where he will focus on the myth of the one-family home in line with his floating one-family-house presented at the last Venice Biennial. By Roland Schöny Bawag Contemporary 1010 Vienna, Franz Josefs Kai 3 http://www.bawagcontemporary.at Opening hours: Daily from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

BAWAG P.S.K. Contemporary
1010 Wien, Franz Josefs Kai 3
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 14-20h

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