English summaries December 15 - January 11

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Manfred Pernice – Tins, Cassettes, Stuff 19.11.2014 – 22.01.2015 Staged fuzziness By Daniela Gregori Beyond a commercial success, is there any better feedback illustrating the success of a gallery exhibition than the fact that the people immediately retuned again on the day following the opening? Today, one is the fifth or sixth visitor who returned after yesterday's opening to view the exhibition in peace and quiet, said the gallery's employees with a chuckle. Apparently you aren't the only one thinking you want to be alone in Manfred Pernice's wonderful exhibition "Tins, Cassettes, Stuff". Where possible, and unobserved, one wants to lift the lid on the one or other tin and check the contents in which little booklets by Joyce Carol Oates are tumbling around, whose descriptions are occasionally comparable to the succinctly effective arrangements. Deep in thought, one observes the cassettes, interlinks the loose paraphernalia or diverse printed forms into narratives. The artist, born in 1963 in Hildesheim, explains that his works are somewhat borderline. They don't adhere to a particular barrier; they lack exact contour. For the exhibition in the Galerie nächst St. Stephan , he said, "this organization and the relationship between the exhibited objects are optional systems which suggest open dialogue for the observer as a (brief) activation." After a predominant amount of "tins" in the first room of the gallery, "cassettes" in the second, one is delighted to thoroughly take "activation" at its word in the third room and to try the bicycle or other "stuff", everything consolidated under the title Bismarck. That may seem to range from playful to arbitrary, but it's by no means so. Manfred Pernice is an artist who wholeheartedly comes to grips seriously with central questions pertaining to sculpture. It's all about presentation and production, also about forms of dealing with things from the side of the recipient who then wants to peep under the lid of the tin. And finally, it's about positioning in the room and – through colourful geometric forms painted on the wall - its definite limitations. Yet, in spite of the most diverse associations and possibilities of the variation of the individual groupings, the whole presentation experiences its limiting cohesion through these almost parenthetical markings. Good that one came again…. Galerie nächst St. Stephan 1010 Vienna, Grünangergasse 1/2 Tel: +43 1 5121266 Fax: +43 1 5134307 email: galerie@schwarzwaelder.at www.schwarzwaelder.at Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11 – 18, Sat 11 - 16 Secession Chto Delat - Time capsule. Artistic reports about catastrophe and utopia 21.11.2014 – 25.01.2015 Back to the future or: The set theory of the community By Maren Richter The Russian collective, Chto Delat, is known for its involvement in complex community constituent themes to solicit emancipatory fields of action, political as well as artistic, local as well as global. To which extent this presents a tool for changes, respectively which aesthetic channels this demands, has been repeated over the course of eleven years, : interventionalistic, actionistic, participative, performative, theatrically, theoretically, cinematically or sculpturally. The centre of the Secession's exhibition "Time Capsule. Artistic reports about catastrophe and utopia" is presented in a closely spaced staging of new works. This is flanked by a comprehensive documentation of its effect. Video clips, posters, newspapers all come together in a sort of staged re-production in miniature form. However, this part should not necessarily be read retrospectively. The actualization of the individual work belongs far more to the self-conception of the artistic practice - in the conviction that the altercation with archive and historisation are fundaments of political and artistic life. Already in the summer of 2014, the group lead a debate on ideologised memory based on the Russian Memorial on the Schwarzenbergplatz, which is now experiencing a continuation with associative strands and cross references in the main room. Accordingly, Chto Delat has positioned themselves there as chroniclers in the sense of Walter Benjamin's critique of historic materialism which is directed against history as a static administrative picture and directs itself towards an 'historic truth' apparently contained in it – whereby "catastrophe", as well as "utopia" in the title can be understood in several dialectic variations. The code for this is the "Time capsule" standing on the podium with secret messages to the future. It denotes the counter model to the linear time space axis and thus the utopian moment which is surrounded by a landscape constructed out of over-dimensional cardboard tableaus of current media pictures of Ebola victims, IS fighters, activists on the Kiev Maidan square and an overwhelming, zombie-like torso. The four-channel video installation, The Excluded. In a Moment of Danger, opens up in the entrance area behind the theatrical presentation; no definite, positive picture, however, but one which offers here as well as there - from the point of view of the repressive, nationalistic Putin administration – incipient stages in the burgeoning atmosphere of the Cold War, and demonstrates the helplessness or powerlessness of the individual to counteract it. In 12 episodes, together with students from their "School for Dedicated Art, founded in St. Petersburg in 2013, Chto Delat spans a bridge which gets by with few simple, yet highly symbolic moveable pieces of scenery which impressively presents an oppressive history about Russian past and present. Secession 1010 Vienna, Friedrichstrasse 12 Tel: +43 1 587 53 07 Fax: +43 1 587 53 07-34 email: office@secession.at www.secession.at Opening hours: Tue - Sat 10-18, Sun 10-16 Leopold Museum Alberto Giacometti – Pioneer of the Moderne 17.10.2014 – 26.01.2015 In the flow By Nina Schedlmayer Seldom has one seen this room so empty: for its Giacometti exhibition, the Leopold Museum thoroughly cleared out the first room of its underground exhibition rooms – to fill it with only five sculptures and some photographs by the Swiss sculptor. The towering, stylized figures, here partially in well-nigh monumental versions, the trademark of Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), were developed late in his career as shown in the outstandingly curated exhibition by Franz Smola and Philippe Büttner – which one could also have called "Giacometti and his contemporaries", as it is full of cross-references to them. For instance, his early cubistic sculptures in which geometric forms permeate one another – and which are complemented here by other artists' works, such as Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Laurens, Pablo Picasso, which were created at the same time. Surrealism also left its mark in Giacometti’s works: his abstract reliefs are very similar to Max Ernst's plastics. The emergence of his elongated figures, which he developed out of an artistic crisis, comes to the fore further on in the exhibition. Giacometti once explained that he sculpts women exclusively standing still, men, on the other hand, only in movement – a philosophy which doesn't exactly designate him as being enlightened regarding gender issues on the other hand, his many male "pacers" don't have really much leeway as they do appear firmly anchored on the plinth. The penultimate room in the exhibition does not turn out to be so instructive; proof of Giacometti's influence on the ensuing generations should be demonstrated – however, the examples are not so directly chosen that the references would be comprehensible. Nevertheless: the break with the normally monolithic presentation of artists in their individual exhibitions is proven to be exceedingly productive: the result is a more multifaceted view of the oeuvre of an artist who is still truly perceived as one-dimensional. Furthermore, some knowledge about the historic avantgarde – or at least a few of its relevant streams – is also mediated. Leopold Museum 1070 Vienna, Museumsquartier Tel: +43 1 525 70-0 Fax: +43 1 525 70-1500 email: leopoldmuseum@leopoldmuseum.org www.leopoldmuseum.org Opening hours: Wed - Mo 11 - 19, Fri 11 - 21 Kunsthaus Graz, Neue Galerie Graz Art and Destruction Since 1950 / Damage Control. Body Art and Destruction 1968-1972 14.11.2014 – 15.02.2015 In the wake of devastation By Roland Schöny Naturally, this widely composed double exhibition on the concept of destruction, devastation and self-injury is not as spectacular as "out of action" in 1998. Whilst here the motif of destruction in contemporary art is generally dealt with, at that time it concerned establishing the assertion, with enormous abundance of materials, of the radical forms of performance and action art simultaneously in several places in the world. Meanwhile, much of this is canonised knowledge or the content of collections. The Friedrichshof collection is represented in the Mumok in Vienna, and since 2008, Graz has its Bruseum. There, emanating from the Œuvres of Günter Brus, making different connections in the direction of destruction and body art, would impose itself. However, this aspect rather forms an additional chapter to the exhibition in the Kunsthaus Graz. It was organised by the Hirschhorn Museum Washington and curated by Kerry Brougher and Russell Ferguson. To begin with, the film by Harold Edgerton (1950) showing the explosion of an atomic bomb can be seen as a symbol of mass destruction which stands for the cynical demonstration of power by the USA at the end of World War II and which was one of the historic paradigms of the post-war era. But very soon, it becomes evident how quickly the exhibition develops into highly interesting single works which are, however, hardly held together by plainly delineated chapters or themes because they deal with concepts of ritualized devastation in almost all branches of art. The diversity of the approaches shows, for example, the spectrum ranging from Ai Weiwei's famous photo series in which he lets a Ming Vase fall to the ground, Gordon Matta Clark's "Humphry Street Splitting" of a no longer occupied house (1974) and Pipilotti Rist's video, in which a girl wanders through a street anarchically playfully hitting the windscreens of parked cars (1997). Not least, one is met by the impressive revision of Goya's "Desastres de la Guerra" by the Chapman Brothers ("Injury to insult injury", 2004). Them completely differently and very pragmatic and relevant to present times, Luc Delahayes' wide screen photo work "Jenin Refugee Camp" (2001), which focuses on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This alone illustrates the enormous variety. Even politically charged works can be poles apart from each other thematically and formally. A concentrated synopsis which, in ome of its moments, can make one cringe and shows what the great Hirschhorn Museum has omitted. Kunsthaus Graz 8020 Graz, Lendkai 1 Tel: +43/316/8017-9200 Fax: +43/316/8017-9800 email: info@kunsthausgraz.at www.kunsthausgraz.at Opening hours: Thu - Sun 10-18, Thu 10-20 Uhr Neue Galerie Graz 8010 Graz, Joanneumsviertel Tel: +43 316 8017-0 Fax: +43/316/8017-9800 email: joanneumsviertel@museum-joanneum.at www.neuegalerie.at Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10.00 – 18.00

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