041010: BAWAG Contemporary Phyllida Barlow Street

BAWAG Contemporary Phyllida Barlow Street 09.09.10 - 27.10.10 Helplessly impressive architecture It’s more than 40 years since Phyllida Barlow presented her temporary installation “Tent” in which she covered street rubbish with a roof of painted canvas. In spite of this radical sculptural gesture, Barlow was – until a few years ago - hardly known outside Great Britain where she taught at the Slade School of Arts. Today, “Tent” is extant: Barlow doesn’t trouble herself with what has happened to her works; frequently recycles parts of her objects – a similarly radical attitude. But that has certainly changed since she has been under contract with Hauser & Wirth. Barlow has had two rigs full of art transported to the BAWAG Contemporary. Upon entering the exhibition from the Franz-Josefs-Kai, one first has to fight one’s way through a forest of flags cemented into concrete bases. And if you enter the BAWAG Contemporary from the other side, you find yourself standing before a heap of blackened plywood, pieces of plastic, plaster, pipes and pallets - in other words, objects found in a city which one normally never notices. One is also hardly aware of the types of urban fixtures on which Barlow is also working: Robert Musil already made the observation that there’s nothing quite so invisible as a monument. In Barlow’s interpretation, the monument is both toppled - as in the over-dimensional pillar, which lies in pieces on the floor - or so de-contextualized and displaced that it can no longer be considered as an impressive architectural piece – the appearance of an apparently helpless piece of a tower hanging on the wall and painted red. The rough texture makes Barlow’s objects appear raw, unpretentious and intractable. Nevertheless, her physical impact is asserted in the room, sometimes even besetting you. Barlow stages something like a street riot. It’s hardly surprising that her earlier works were considered vastly younger; she was already many years before her time in the 1960’s. In short: a true discovery. By Nina Schedlmayer BAWAG Contemporary 1010 Vienna, Franz Josefs Kai 3 http://www.bwagcontemporary.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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