Continuing the tradition of recent years, in 2001 the Secession will again focus
on projects with a concrete reference to the contextual and architectonic conditions
of the house and which refer, at the same time, to art-immanent, social and political
circumstances both on site and in international contexts. A multitude of positions
are confronted with the exhibiting artists' common interest in inscribing themselves
with their work into collective mental and emotional processes and linking contemporary
art with other topical discourses. This is also one reason for the great interest
in positions from the field of film - endeavors are undertaken here to do justice
to the theoretical and historical significance of the format of film, which is
naturally not to be taken as autarchic, for contemporary art production.
The artists elected to the board of directors (currently Matthias Herrmann, Anna
Meyer, Heimo Zobernig, Johanna Kandl, Manfred Erjautz, Sandrine von Klot, Dorit
Margreiter, Constanze Ruhm, Martin Walde, Willi Kopf, Hans Kupelwieser), who have
developed the exhibition program together, stand for a broad perspective of complex
works, which regard the viewers as part of the artistic process. All exhibitions
are accompanied by a publication.
THE PRICE OF FREEDOM
On the Political Economy of Censorship
February 23 25, 2001
Starting from the program of the Secession - "To Art its Freedom" - and including
the lawsuit, which a former FPÖ (= Austrian right-wing "Freedom Party") politician
brought against the Secession and won, Helmut Draxler and Hedwig Saxenhuber curate
a symposium at the start of 2001. The discussion revolves around complications
and connections between assertions of freedom and actions of prohibition, regimes
of truth and policies of visibility in the context of the continuous "erosion"
of terms formerly coded left-wing. How are economic deregulation and political
regulation, i.e. leading people on, increasingly linked? What is the general difference
between speaking and acting, between an image and a deed? And what is artistic
freedom still capable of now, after "its" century?
January, 31 February, 25 2001
If the past is composed of what is remembered and what is forgotten, then the
present is its plausible, but not necessarily given result. For this reason, for
Martin Gostner not only the Secession is found at the address Friedrichstrasse
12, but also an imaginary inn, "Gasthaus Kupferpfandl", venue of a possible parallel
history of the Second Republic: this is where people met for a "reflective meeting"
after the Allied Council approved the League of Independents (V.d.U.) in 1949
or raised a toast with "a large glass of wine for Burgenland" during the glycol
scandal (= scandal involving manipulated wine). Gostner's micro-historical fragments
uncover the mixture of indifference and ignorance that enables a consensus between
large politics and small people: grumbling about "the ones at the top" is at once
the price and the reward for comfortable irresponsibility.
Martin Gostner, born 1957, lives and works in Innsbruck.
March 3, 2001 January 31, 2002
Continuing the concept of the exhibition series "Junge Szene", which has been
taking place since the 80's, "The Experiment" presents international artists,
who have as yet had no or very few opportunities to present their positions to
a wider audience. Independent from the schedule of other exhibitions in the house,
seven projects are planned, in which several artists at once will work together
with alternating curators. Leitmotifs of the exhibition series are questions on
the emergence of scenes as working contexts and the specific ideas of young, experimental
art. "The Experiment" is intended to present artistic methods for discussion,
which are not targeted solely to a finished work, but rather also include processual
ways of working.
The concept for the exhibition series "The Experiment" is by Dorit Margreiter.
TRINH T. MINH-HA
March 7 April 22, 2001
The Vietnamese-American filmmaker, musician and feminist theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha
shows a selection of her films and theoretical works at the Secession. This includes
films such as "Surname Viet Given Name Nam" (1989) and "A Tale of Love" (1995)
and books such as "Framer Framed" (1992) or "When the Moon Waxes Red" (1995).
The films and theoretical works by Trinh T. Minh-ha always move along the borderlines
of various shifting categories, in which different forms of writing and narrative
overlap. The mutual challenge of the theoretical and the poetic, discursive and
"non-discursive" language tell of Trinh T. Minh-ha's resistance against the categorizations
and limitations that determine the lives of all of us.
Trinh T. Minh-ha lives and works in San Francisco.
March 7 April 22, 2001
Axel Stockburger's work addresses the relation between image and sound in their
significance for the perception of audiovisual media. In the installation at the
Secession, Stockburger examines the structures, mechanisms and conditions of digital
information. In two monitors facing one another, the video installation "Most
Wanted" shows pictures from the five websites and web portals with the most hits
in the world. The arrangement of an accelerated sequence of downloaded images
- which makes the reception of individual texts or picture elements impossible
- generates a permanent flow of digital data, which relativizes the single units
of information and taxes the attention of the viewers to an extreme degree.
Axel Stockburger, born 1974, lives and works in Vienna and London.
May 4 June 24, 2001
Simon Starling's work revolves around transformation. By transforming the appearance
of culture-historically significant objects or transferring them to other materials,
he raises questions about authorship, originality and the credibility of the object
as a reference of the real. In 1997, for instance, he fabricated a Marin Sausalito
bicycle from the metal of a Charles Eames chair. Starling's production process
is determined by the contrary decisions of the obtainment of materials based on
intensive investigations and purpose-driven productivity. Contextual shifts characterize
his most recent projects: in "Rescued Rhododendrons" he transfers plants that
have survived for over 200 years in the north of Scotland back to their origins
in southern Spain.
Simon Starling, born 1967, lives and works in Glasgow.
July 5 September 2, 2001
Hans Weigand's work in recent years is defined by the attempt to constantly expand
the classical parameters of art. Thus he is particularly interested on the one
hand in processual courses of events, and he examines ways in which exhibitions
can be continuously changed by involving very different techniques - which involve
both the viewer and the institutional environment - that originally had nothing
to do with art. On the other hand, he also expands the autarchic artist-self by
perfomative and also ironic elements through his collaborations with colleagues.
Weigand's preference for utopias of all kinds leads to works that may be read
as a commentary on the general desire for the unknown and the mysterious, yet
at the same time, they also make it clear that utopias can only be developed through
extreme, uncalculated thinking.
Hans Weigand, born 1954, lives and works in Vienna.
July 5 September 2, 2001
Alice Creischer's work cannot be pinned down to conventional role attributions:
since the early 90's she has worked in different group contexts with varying members.
She has been involved, among other things, in various animated film productions.
Together with Andreas Siekmann, she writes for the periodicals: Texte zur Kunst,
ANYP and Springerin. She realizes exhibitions uniting theoretical and performative
moments. Both her work in collective contexts and in individual presentations
are clearly formulated political statements focussing on the attempt to make the
conditions for the exercise of political power visible and thus subject to critique.
Creischer often concentrates on a real (historical) point of reference and provides
it with a new framework narrative, thus staging politcomics, whose fractured reality
enables a critical investigation of political contents in art.
Alice Creischer, born 1960, lives and works in Berlin.
November 11, 2001
One of the greatest challenges of contemporary painting consists in "finding a
way to acknowledge the current cultural situation, a situation characterized by
an oversaturation of photographic representations, and simultaneously discovering
alternative, non-photographic means for raising awareness of the consequences
of this situation." (Jeff Perone) Since the mid-80's, the painter Christopher
Wool has been working consistently on a redefinition of what is represented by
using writing and ornaments. Ornaments or words covering the entire surface, which
may be conjoined into legible structures of meaning, point to the aesthetics of
the decorative and to language as a carrier of meaning at the same time. With
subtle shifts and the elimination of details, Wool opens up a fluctuating space
marked by various allusions, in which painting is left in or returned to its pure
Christopher Wool, born 1955, lives and works in New York.
November 11, 2001
Linda Bilda's exhibition focuses
on the filmmaker and theorist Ernst Schmidt Jr., who died in 1988 and whose work
eludes the categories of commercial film, belonging instead to the sub-history
of the medium. Strongly influenced in her artistic position by Schmidt's uncompromising
personality, Bilda's method is distinguished in general and particularly in this
exhibition by the way that she does not place artistic and scientific procedures
in opposition to one another, but rather links them to form a pool of information.
She takes her materials from research, observations and discussions with contemporary
witnesses and other persons. In this context, Schmidt Jr.'s films are not stylized
into hermetic works, but rather form information that the artist makes accessible.
Linda Bilda, born 1963, lives and works in Vienna.
November 29, 2001 February 2, 2002
An aggressive appeal to imagination currently appears to be a commonplace instrument
for conveying social, economic and political convictions, and it seems to have
repressed all the more differentiated forms of objectively discussing contents.
Complex descriptions of a reality that is perceived as being impenetrable have
been replaced - first of all in political practice - by a striving for oversimplified
images of wishes and anxieties. There is an obvious contradiction between doubt
in the reliability of manifestly manipulable digitized image production on the
one hand and the unbroken power of figurative ideas on the other.
The group exhibition curated by Kathrin Rhomberg addresses established shifts
within the paradigm of imagination and seeks their manifestations in the field
of artistic practice.
Gustav Klimt: THE BEETHOVEN FRIEZE
For further information and photographic material please contact:
Secession, Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-5875307-10, Fax: +43-1-5875307-34