English summaries January 26 - February 8

Kunsthaus Bregenz Rosemarie Trockel - Märzôschnee ûnd Wiebôrweh sand am Môargô niana më 24.01.2015 – 06.04. 2015 Precision landing with a Gamsbart by Nina Schedlmayer Rosemarie Trockel's works have seldom been shown in Austria. Thus, the solo show at the Kunsthaus Bregenz is long overdue. Albeit, the Bregenz show doesn't present either the knitted pictures or the hotplates for which the German top artist was once famous. A hotplate merely finds resonance in a digital print. It's in amongst a collection of prints from which Trockel draws on her past from all different types of sources – they form the entrance to the exhibition almost as if the artist were giving insight into her references – some return later in their real form, such as bits of meat, striped pictures or sofas. Everything here appears to be tidy, exactly placed; and it continues further on the other floors: steel sofas with plastic covers are precisely arranged on grey carpets, wool pictures and hanging benches form a meticulous orthogonal composition. However, Trockel also proves that she can still master the sarcastic joke, just as she used to. At the tip of a tube light which is mounted vertically on the wall, sits an over-dimensional contraceptive spiral in between which spirals a cord, a sword, a phallus, a contraceptive, yes one could associate a bishop's crook with this iconic work (descriptive name: "Spiral Betty"). The most complex work is waiting on the top floor: an androgynous figure looks curiously at the public – she wears a tub with Gamsbarts on her head, apparently stolen from huntsmen. Most conspicuous is her outfit – a pleated skirt inspired by the local Bregenzerwälder costumes, over which a bullet-proof weskit has been pulled. Trockel has devised a sort of Amazon here which nurtures a nonchalantly irritating contact with tradition. Trockel's style of uniting complexity with iconicity, and at the same time, to also be absolutely witty, is just as unique as it always was. Kunsthaus Bregenz 6900 Bregenz, Karl Tizian Platz Tel: +43 5574 48 594-0 Fax: +43 5574 48 594-8 email: kub@kunsthaus-bregenz.at www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at Opening hours: Tue - Sat 10-18, Thu 10-21 hours Galerie Nagel Draxler Mark Dion – Vanishing Wonders & New Curiosities 31.01.2015 – 14.03.2015 The nature of culture by Raimar Stange Since the early 1990's, the art of Mark Dion has stood, above all, on two pillars: the life-threatening hazard of "our" environment as well as the representation of nature are the two thematic cornerstones of this, meanwhile comprehensive, oeuvre. In his exhibition "Vanishing Wonders & New Curiosities" in the Galerie Nagel Draxler, the American has succeeded once again in bringing both aspects into a quasi dialogical amalgamation. Mark Dion's sculptures are known in which stuffed animals stand on plinths which are constructed from trash of our consumer society, for example "Polar Bears and Toucans” (From Amazons to Svalbard)", 1991, where a stuffed polar bear with a yellow cassette player in its mouth sits in a metal wash tub. In this exhibition, the artist varies this principle by mainly taking the plinths as well as the pieces positioned on them, from the archives of the Dresden Art College. Among others, the "Alligator Mississippiensis" sculpture, 2014, is to be seen there, a crocodile's skull lying on a chaotic collection of cultural objects like, for example, teapots, coins, pearl necklaces and keys. Last year, works such as these were in Dresden, amongst other in the legendary "Grünen Gewölbe , and presented as cabinets of wonder and stressed, above all, the historic genesis of our perception of nature and with it, the accompanying, more or less scientifically established separation of culture and nature. Now in the sterile white cube of the Galerie Nagel, Mark Dion has succeeded in intensifying a further dimension of his works, namely the sensitive-surreal, occasionally almost demonic-seeming poetry which live inside them. The intelligent exhibition is complemented, amongst others, by drawings, which show the exhibited sculptures as sketches. Definitely go to see this! Galerie Nagel Draxler 10178 Berlin, Weydinger Strasse 2/4 Tel: +49 30 40042641 Fax: +49 30 40042642 email: berlin@nagel-draxler.de nagel-draxler.de Opening hours: Tue - Fri 11- 19, Sar 11-18 hours domMuseum Johanna Kandl – Close to the Text 09.10.2014 – 31.03.2015 At the intersection of cultures by Roland Schöny The printed portrait of Duke Rudolph IV which appears in hundreds of brochures, prospects, books and posters is probably far better known than the location in where it can actually be seen. It is the most prominent exhibit in the domMuseum of the archdiocese of Vienna. Not only are every possible historico-culturally relevant treasures portending to Europe's colonization through the power of the Roman Catholic church the to be found there, but also the die Otto Mauer collection with around 3,000 works of the Austrian post-war avant-garde, as well as numerous works of conceptual contemporary art. With outstanding geniality, Johanna Kandl has succeeded in drawing a bridge between the 14th century and the present time with an intervention in the public room. At first glance, the temporarily set-up work appears like unreadable Arabian graffiti to our Latin encoded perception. Then it comes to light that it's a painting directly on a building partition – 2.5 metres high and approximately 20 metres long. Painted wafer board. And for this, Johanna Kandl transferred characters from Rudolph IV's shroud onto the building partition. The circle leading to the present closes as soon as one thinks about what Rudolph – who died an early death in 1365 – stood for. He's also called »the benefactor«: as founder of the Vienna University and as initiator of the building of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Implementing the sciences and setting a landmark. Johanna Kandl could scarcely better establish connections by such means as such a logically effective concept of painting, or by such a plausible and adequate location. First and foremost, it is lines between the origin of our history and the Central European present. After all, pillars of our culture rest on scientific knowledge and handed down myths from the Arabian region. Added to that is the fact that the portrait of the innovative Rudolph, which, when framed, measures just about 45 x 30 cm, has almost a pop-like character. It is deemed to be the first portrait painted in the occident. Charisma upon charisma and meaning upon meaning! But what should one do?! That's the way it is. From this point, it's understandable why such a shroud with such enigmatic Arabian characters can appear so lucent. But let's talk, instead, about the present. Nothing shimmers here. Instead, it is as it is so often with Johanna Kandl: as soon as something has been realised it appears exactly as if this is the only plausible possibility. What particularly distinguishes Johanna Kandl; however, is that she sticks consistently to the path towards implementation. A work has been created that is equally effective in its unpretentious magnitude as if it had always belonged exactly here. domMuseum 1010 Vienna, Stephansplatz 6 Tel: +43 1 515 52 3689 Fax: +43 1 515 52 3599 email: dommuseum@edw.or.at www.dommuseum.at Opening hours: Tue 10.00 - 20.00, Wed-Sat 10.00 - 18.00 h Startgalerie im MUSA Deniz “Vienna” Sözen – Trans Angeles 23.01.2015 – 19.02.2015 A normal life on the edge of society by Wolfang Pichler Especially in times of a new flare-up of racist and identitarian tendencies, it's important - not only in art - to provide an ear to those that come from other cultures, and lead a completely normal and more or less integrated life. In many short interviews, which are endlessly played through headphones hanging on the wall, the artist, born in 1981 in Vienna, introduces just such people with her quite mundane everyday experience. That it is centered around life in the pertinent communities in Los Angeles states yet again how "globalized" the world in which we live is. So it appears completely convincing and normal that a Viennese publishes a documentation about non-Austrian minorities in the USA. Identities are mixed, swapped and often set together in absurd contexts here, not by the artist herself but by the people present. A sign with the inscription "Little Vienna" in an anything else but Vienna-like, typical American suburbian street, stands for the dubiousness just as much as for the charming naivety of such a trial as establishing an imported identity into the new homeland. LA will never be like Vienna, just as little as Vienna will ever be like Istanbul or Chicago, in spite of all the gloomy prophecies. Because there is such a thing as a character for a given location and that this undoubtedly affects its inhabitants is ultimately the best proof that "integration" is something that man can put off but not prevent. With her works that deal with the Armenian- and Thai-born populations in Los Angeles, Deniz Vienna Sözen shows that art also has a social task even if it only – as in this case- to facilitate listening. Startgalerie im MUSA 1010 Vienna, Felderstraße 6-8, neben dem Rathaus Tel: +43 (0)1 4000 8400 email: musa@musa.at www.musa.at Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri: 11:00 - 18:00; Thu 11:00 - 20:00; Sat 11:00 - 16:00 hours

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