English summaries March 9 - 22

OK offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich Ryan Gander - Make Every Show Like it`s Your Last 13.02.2015 - 28.04.2015 Moments of exaltation By Walter Seidl Ryan Gander's first comprehensive show in Austria in the OK Linz is surprises with its specific works as artistic interventions which generate moments of alienation and exaltation and through this, emphasize the unpredictability, respectively, not being able to classify each of Gander's works. Gander's art is never absolutely be nailed down because its character is manifested in different media and materials, like for example, the breath of wind in the Fridericianum on the documenta 13, a moment which causes consternation – something that is now also proven in Linz. To start with, visitors are confronted with an advertising spot, which appeals to the childish, and subsequently psychoanalytically latent perceptions of hoping for a better future. In the next room there's an indefinable chair/stool/table installation shrouded in white sheets, whose casualness does not attract attention until it becomes clear that this is a marble sculpture. Likewise a paper on the floor which has seemingly been thrown casually away reveals itself as his own work from the year 2013, and defines itself as a drawing of the seating plan at a gallery dinner at which ex-documenta curator, Jan Hoet, was still on the guest list. Also to be found incidentally in a darkened room with the "Useless Machine with Blowing Curtain" as a marginal note, is a photo that shows Pierre Huyghe from the back during the construction of one of his works in the Museo Tamaya in Mexico City in 2012. In another room, there's a photo of Gander's family before he was born and then again a poster series as a view of Gander's atelier with textual annotations as part of this working method. Workroom as art and discourse room, that which is personal becomes public or artistic, art mutates into advertising – with Gander, transversal reprimands are to be found in all functions of life and occupations. A room with hundreds of black arrows (2010) can be viewed as the precursor to a documenta work in which the absence of the subject and, at the same time, the presence of visitors moves into the foreground, whilst during the most recent video BBC documentation offers an insight into the artist's method of working, whereby everything appears open, remains open and renews the suspense between subject and object . OK offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich 4020 Linz, OK Platz 1 Tel: + 43 732 78 41 78 Fax: + 43 732 77 56 84 email: office@ok-centrum.at www.ok-centrum.at Opening times: Mon - Fri 15:30-21 hours, Sat - Sun 14-21 hours MAK The paths of Modernity- Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos and the consequences 17.12.2014 - 19.04.2015 Something impractical can never really be beautiful By Susanne Rohringer The Exhibition "The Paths of Modernity Hoffmann, Loos and the Consequences" is about two former school friends who left Moravia and came to Vienna to study architecture in that residential capital city. The exhibition debates the artistic and architectural questions which were posed by Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos, and, in a plethora of works, presents their solutions. Both architects developed their answers alongside the needs of the people in the moderne era around 1900. The offshoots and reverberations of the works by Loos and Hoffmann extend from Josef Frank and Oskar Strnad over the municipal settlement office in the red Vienna and Margarete Schütte Lihotzky – apartment for a single, working woman in Frankfurt of the 1920's. The exhibition concludes with works by Hans Hollein and Hermann Czech. The rivalry between Loos and Hoffmann began during the course of the 1890's. Loos, who also pointedly edited his published ideas, developed his aesthetic, almost priest-like life aspiration in a measure that left little room for common threads between the two of them. Nevertheless, both architects surprisingly came to similar solutions at more or less the same time as can be seen by the facade of Hoffmann's Sanatorium Purkersdorf 1904 and in the Loos on the Michaelerplatz 1911. At the beginning of the "disputations" stood a series of articles which Adolf Loos published as of 1897 in the Neuen Freien Presse on the occasion of the anniversary exhibition (Jubiläumsausstellung) and where he gave his views on contemporary clothing and furnishings ranging from household appliances to architecture, and topography. When the Wiener Secession was founded, Loos turned vehemently against their ambition of wanting to embrace the entire everyday life artistically. Beginning with the Arts and Crafts movement in Great Britain and similar efforts in Belgium and France, the Secessionists had the aspiration not to differentiate between rich and poor. In truth, the group surrounding Hoffmann – Koloman Moser, Josef Olbrich, Gustav Klimt et al. – were extremely elite and worked mostly for the well-to-do middle-class. Loos actuated that in the sharp satire "From the Poor Rich Man" / ("Vom armen reichen Manne") in 1900. It came to a still greater, if not actually final, break between the two when Hoffmann, who had been a professor at the Arts School since 1899 and had already been well established at the age of 29, categorically rejected involvement by Loos in the interior decoration of the Secession. In 1903, Hoffmann, together with Koloman Moser and Fritz Waerndorfer, founded the Wiener Werkstätte whose purpose was completely rejected by Loos. Whilst Hoffmann and his colleagues sought for and realised aestheticisation right up to designing cushions, Loos dreamt of a new culture for the people. In the exhibition hall of the MAK, the contrasts of the two protagonists are clearly seen in the two individually created bedrooms which are situated opposite one another: in 1903, Adolf Loos created a bedroom for his wife, Lina Loos, and reconstructed here by the architect team of Hubmann and Vass on the basis of contemporary photographs. This is contrasted by the bedroom created by Hoffman for Johanna and Johann Salzer in 1902, which is still used today in its original form and function and was lent for the exhibition. The floor of the Loos room is fitted with blue felt on which white angora pelts snuggle up to the plinth of the bed and only leave out the mattress. The room is surrounded by white, semi-transparent curtains which cover the furniture and let in subdued sunlight – a symphony in white. Definitely less spectacular, and quite in the tradition of bourgeois bedrooms, is the Salzer's room. The bed has raised head and foot bases. The surfaces are divided by a rhythmically quadratic decoration. Following this juxtaposition of the protagonists and the plethora of exhibits, the eye is somewhat jaded by the successors of Hoffmann and Loos. That's a pity and somewhat unfair because one can differentially determine the continuing effect of both characters in the housing activity of socialist Vienna. Whilst Loos, in accordance with his maxims, built a housing estate, a town house, a suburban house and a terrace house, thereby emphasizing the emancipation of the new people and his democratic participation, Hoffmann remained imprisoned in the "world of yesterday" although he also designed two multi-storey houses in the 20's – the Klosehof and Winarskyhof. A world of the (Jewish) upper class that came to an abrupt end in 1938/39. Loos, who died wretchedly in 1933 in Kalksburg, was granted the "grace of early death" and thus escaped the Nazi barbarity. Hoffmann "made an arrangement" and lived as an affluent professor in Vienna until his death in 1956. However, it turned out that the Loos construction was the more sustainable of the two and furnished the people well right through the 20th century and beyond. MAK-Ausstellungshalle 1010 Vienna, Weiskirchnerstraße 3 Tel: +43(1) 711 36-0 Fax: +43 1 713 10 26 email: office@mak.at www.mak.at Opening times: Tue 10-22 hours (18-22hours free entry), Wed - Sun 10-18 hours Kunstverein in Hamburg James Benning 14.02.2015 to 10.05.2015 Outsider By Raimar Stange James Benning is legendary as an experimental film-maker, and that he is no outsider as a visual artist is shown in his exhibition, "Decoding fear", in the Kunstverein in Hamburg - a co-operation with the Kunsthaus Graz, where the convincing show was shown last year. Never before has James Benning's work been displayed to such an encompassing and multifaceted extent in Germany. Moreover, at the centre of the convincingly installed presentation is James Benning's artistic altercation with so-called "outlaws" such as the philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who is known for his work, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" 1849, and the "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski, who spread fear and terror with letter bombs in the USA from 1978 to 1995. What unites the two is a critical attitude towards civilization which, amongst other things, led to both of them living as hermits in small, self-built huts in the middle of nowhere. James Benning then recreated both of these huts in reduced form - all in white. The artist had already previously reconstructed these huts on his own land and then stoically filmed the surrounding countryside from their windows. The two-channel video installation, "Two Cabins“, 2011, shows these extremely long-winding recordings. A reproduction of Kaczynski' typewriter, as well as a precise recreation of Thoreau's writing desk, complement this complex installation. Other works shown in this exhibition also make reference to Thoreau and Kaczynski, namely in three ways: first, the pictures deal with artists who were considered "outsiders" (i.e. B.Henry Drager or Jesse Howard), secondly, these pictures are shown, authentically and inauthentically in parallel, as "faithful" copies – this time, produced by Benning himself; and thirdly, these pictures normally hang in the two replicated huts which Benning recreated on his property. A must-see! Kunstverein in Hamburg 20095 Hamburg, Klosterwall 23 Tel: +49-40 32 21 57 Fax: +49-40 32 21 59 email: hamburg@kunstverein.de www.kunstverein.de Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12-18, Thu 11- 21 hours Startgalerie im MUSA Daniel Ferstl – Ohh Eeh Ooh Ah Ah 27.02.2015 – 02.04.2015 All about the charm of art By Wolfang Pichler In his current show in the Startgalerie, Daniel Ferstl looks at the question of the border between art and kitsch, or perhaps better, between subjective taste and that which persists beyond it. Here, the artist apparently decided to give full scope to his personal preferences and associations right up to the point where outsiders hardly have any more access to the works exhibited. But the fact that this is a very conscious decision and not about simply missing the point, becomes clear through the title of the exhibition. “Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Ah” is not only an onomatopoeic insinuation of the shown oversized duvets and cushions, respectively the, associated sexual phantasies. It is also reminiscent of a Dadaistic sound poem and can be seen as a hint toward the fact that there is nothing here to be understood. Oversized duvets in pale batik design, king-size cigarettes reminding of Oldenburg, indefinable as well as pale heaps of sculptures, besides seemingly unfinished pictures, are the main elements of the installation. Despite the seemingly cuddly duvets and the dominant pastel colour tones in the paintings, the overall impression is all but comfortable. But it's a pity that this Dadaistic attitude was not followed through to the final consequence. The pictures don’t correspond with the conservative bourgeois ideal of art, but, on the other hand, they also do not offer a convincing antithesis. Renouncing a distinguishable communication with the viewers calls the entire idea of an exhibition into question. “Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Ah” is not particularly yielding, but presumably exactly what the 1982-born artist intended. Startgalerie im MUSA 1010 Vienna, Felderstraße 6-8, next to the town hall email: musa@musa.at www.musa.at Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri 11-18, Thu 11-20, Sat 11-16 h

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