English summaries July 1 - 13

Albertina Blow-Up 30.04.2014 – 17.08.2014 Misunderstood decadence By Patrick Schabus "The photographer in Blow Up, who is not a philosopher, wants to see things closer up. But it so happens that, by enlarging too far, the object itself decomposes and disappears." Antonioni "Blow Up", like many of Antonioni's films, is amongst the most important works in film history. But the exhibition in the Albertina sticks to his work rather than highlighting it, it resembles a cluster of things brought together, which in some way are related to his films. The murder in the film Blow Up is only the "red herring" because actually the film is about a man whose life does not end in a morass of boredom and kitsch when he is working on his photos. This is no celebration of glamour and the swinging sixties but the deconstruction of a dehumanised society and the commodities culture. Through its characters, Blow Up shows the social vacuum between people. Because celebrations, conversations and sex in Blow Up are always only failed efforts to escape from this condition. In the same way as the film's protagonist, who continuously enlarges the photos in order to find the truth in the photo kernel (which is not there), the exhibition thus dissects the film. The remains of the dissecting is presented to the visitor. Photos, which were made by Antonioni for his films, marketing material and some art works associated with Antonioni's films, are shown. The photos by Donald McCullin appear as if they had been wrenched out of the film for which they were produced. The attempt to bring the art works and objects together fails through the arbitrariness of choice. It's as if the objects, which had been tied together by Blow Up, were distributed in a free fall over a landscape. Without the film compilation, they remain uncommented and fashion photography is not recognizable any more as an example of the decadence of the sixties but becomes an approbation of the same. Where Antonioni compiles all elements of a situation in order to create a larger whole from it, this selection of works is rather more reminiscent of a compilation of things that don't communicate with each other any more. It's as if the objects here, like the building of the Tower of Babel, are all saying something different - and this in different languages. The exhibition is less like the deconstruction of the beautiful sham of the 60's but rather a vivisection to extract the glamour from the film. An empty husk remains, which only resembles the being of the main character in Blow Up. Albertina 1010 Vienna, Albertinaplatz 1 Tel: +43 1 534 83 -0 Fax: +43 1 533 76 97 E-mail: info@albertina.at www.albertina.at Opening hours: daily 10 - 18 hours, Wed. 10 - 21 hours Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier I’m Isa Genzken – The only Female Fool 28.05.2014 – 07.09.2014 Solo exhibition plus By Nina Schedlmayer Until now, Nicolaus Schaffhauser’s projects in the Kunsthalle Wien left one rather helpless. However, with the current solo exhibition by Isa Genzken he achieved a great success. This is not the first solo exhibit of Isa Genzken’s works in Vienna, but they were not as extensive as the one in the Kunsthalle. It is obvious that she is one of the great stars. Upon entering the hall, visitors will find of Genzken’s steles with colourful adhesive film and photos showing urban spaces. The urban topic is omnipresent throughout the exhibition. Immediately next to the entrance, there are models of homeless people in their mingy sleeping bags on the floor, and a little further back the underground station in Duisburg is documented, which Genzken designed together with Gerhard Richter. But this exhibition is not just an arrangement of diverse works by Genzken, they are supplemented with works by other artists. While this type of a concept could easily come across as rather trivial, this is definitely not the case here. Not with a painting by Wolfgang Tillmans depicting the leftovers of an obviously boozy party – in front of which two mirrored blocks created by Genzken show seemingly endless reflections of a visitor; and also not in Dan Graham and Robin Hirst’s installation on “Private ‘Public’ Space”, hung next to Genzken’s “Strandhäuser zum Umziehen” (Beach house for changing). In Genzken’s works, trash and elegance, as well as incidental and meaningful incidents create a rarely achieved impressive symbiosis. Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier 1070 Vienna, Museumsplatz 1 Tel: +43(0)/ 1/ 521 89-0 Fax: +43(0)/ 1/ 521 89-0 E-mail: office@kunsthallewien.at www.kunsthallewien.at Opening hours: daily 10 - 19 hours Royal Academy of Arts – Piccadilly site Summer Exhibition 2014 09.06.2014 – 17.08. 2014 On a Voyage of Discovery By Wolfgang Pichler That it's even possible to hold one's ground on the presently most sought-after international art market, namely that in London, with a very low profile and anything but an elite exhibition, is a small wonder in itself. That a then really exciting exhibition with over 1,200 works emerges can only succeed when an institution like the Royal Academy of Arts is behind the project. And thus, this year's Summer Exhibition is not only impressively colourful and diverse, but is also the latest link in a history spanning a century. Because what began under the leadership of Joshua Reynolds is a permanent institution today and every year, over 10,000 artists apply to take part in the most anonymised synopsis of British art. What comes out of that is an unbelievable concentration of works in Petersburg hanging distributed amongst the large and small rooms of Burlington House, home of the Royal Academy. A Sean Scully hangs beside a completely unknown amateur painter. As always, Zaha Hadid shows wonderfully swung structures in the form of perfectly calculated models. They easily compete with the also very impressive sculpture created by David Nash from a charred sequoia. But without a doubt, this year's best object comes from Charles Hewlings. He has created a wonderful structure from an iron bar bent at a right angle, wood and glass which seems to incorporate the entire room in a congenial manner. An almost white-in-white India ink and pencil drawing by Tao DuFour is also amongst the outstanding pictures in the show, such as a series called Smiley Faces by Tracey Emin. Also impressive and a wonderful gouache called Tide by Christopher Sawtell, which is to be found in the Small Weston Room amongst small works hung extremely closely together. And so one could – as intended by the "curators" – go on a voyage of discovery and buy the one or other work, because great art is up for sale here from 200 (limited prints) to £370,000 (Baselitz "In London Step by Step"). Royal Academy of Arts - Piccadilly site W1J 0BD London, Burlington House, Piccadilly www.royalacademy.org.uk Deutschvilla / Society for the Sponsorship of Modern Art Writing in Pictures 21.06.2014 – 20.07.2014 She writes... By Rosa von Suess After only 20 years' usage as a summer residence, the villa built in Strobl in 1896 by George Schinteffe-Blacky, and acquired by the Deutsch family, was appropriated by the Nazis, was restituted, became a casino for the clientele of the American occupying forces and then a summer school for the University of Vienna. Finally, the distinctive building came into the possession of the Municipality of Strobl and, since the end of the 1990's, has been an important site for contemporary art in the Salzkammergut. The group surrounding the "Deutschvilla – Society for the Sponshrship of Modern Art" is responsible for the exhibitions in the house which mostly take place during the summer months. Until 20 July, works by the artists Astrid Esslinger, Ursula Hentschläger and Petra Kodym are to be seen, amongst others. Together, they produce text in pictures which, first through critical new configuration succeeds in becoming an established order and is written through the authorship of the artists: pictographs and logos of the global market economy (Esslinger), verbs and differentiating prefixes of lexical variance (Hentschläger) as well as sayings and titles from the promises of the health and advertising industries (Kodym). "Writing in Pictures" also shows works by Peter Assmann, Charles Kaltenbacher, Josef Ramaseder and Werner Schimpfl. Deutschvilla / Verein zur Förderung aktueller Kunst 5350 Strobl am Wolfgangsee Haus Nr. 84 E-mail: kontakt@deutschvilla.at deutschvilla.at Opening hours: Fri - Sun 15 - 18 hours

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