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Katrin Hornek
testing grounds
In Zusammenarbeit mit Karin Pauer, Sabina Holzer und Zosia Hołubowska
8.3. – 2.6.2024

Katrin Hornek, testing grounds. In Zusammenarbeit mit Karin Pauer, Sabina Holzer und Zosia Hołubowska, Ausstellungsansicht, Secession 2024, Foto: Sophie Pölzl

With her artistic oeuvre and curatorial practice, Katrin Hornek playfully engages with the strange paradoxes of living in the age of the Anthropocene, that is, the new geologic epoch where the effects of capitalism, colonialism, and extractivism are written into the body of the earth. She asserts a more complex understanding of the entwinement of so-called nature and culture that recognizes that our bodies and cultures are substantially and spiritually connected with other creatures and the elements that make up our world. As an artistic strategy, Hornek follows the stories and traces of the material world into their countless networks to create narratives.


testing grounds is a new, immersive live installation conceived by Katrin Hornek and developed in a collaborative process involving artists as well as researchers and scientists from different fields. The collaboration with Karin Pauer, Sabina Holzer, and Zosia Hołubowska lays a foundation for the work, which addresses a sensitive urgent matter: At stake is the measurable evidence of radioactive radiation around the world as a result of the testing and use of nuclear weapons in hundreds of above-ground tests since 1945. A local soil sample at Karlsplatz, in which minimal amounts of plutonium could be detected, as its starting point, testing grounds follows the permanent imprints left by nuclear fallout in our bodies, in plants and earth archives.

Embedded in an installation that evokes images of decaying landscapes, twice a week three dancers perform a score choreographed by Pauer. A recent scan of the “Baker” crater on the seabed of the former US nuclear bomb test site in Bikini Atoll spreads across the ceiling. On handheld devices shaped like turtles and tortoises, so-called "messengers", texts created by Sabina Holzer and Katrin Hornek provide multi-layered narratives on the subject matter, which enter a subtle, intimate dialogue with specially composed soundscapes by Zosia Hołubowska, while with their movements, the dancers delve into the depths of body archives. Together, the elements of the live installation create a sensual, immersive experience, a test set-up of the embodiment of the unspeakable.


The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with an image spread compiled by Katrin Hornek and text contributions by Anne Faucheret and Brian Holmes.

Performances in March

Saturday, 9.3.2024, 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Saturday, 16.3.2024, 2.00 pm -5.00 pm

Tuesday, 19.3.2024, 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Saturday, 23.3.2024, 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Wednesday, 27.3.2024, 11.00 am - 2.00 pm

Saturday, 30.3.2024, 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Performances in April

Wednesday, 3.4.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Tuesday, 9.4.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Sunday, 14.4.2024, 12.00 pm - 3.00 pm

Wednesday, 17.4.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Tuesday, 23.4.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Saturday, 27.4.2024, 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Performances in May

Wednesday, 1.5.2024, 12.00 pm -3.00 pm

Sunday, 5.5.2024, 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Thursday, 9.5.2024, 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Tuesday, 14.5.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Saturday, 18.5.2024, 12.00 pm - 3.00 pm

Friday, 24.5.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Tuesday, 28.5.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Performances in June

Sunday, 2.6.2024, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Exhibition talk & book presentation

Katrin Hornek in conversation with Katrin Klingan

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 6 p.m.

An event by the Friends of the Secession

Exhibition sponsor

The exhibition is sponsored by Arbeiterkammer Wien

Project partners

Co-produced by Secession with Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF)

With thanks to Kunstverein Archipelago - 'Der Betrieb'

Concept, Artistic direction: Katrin Hornek 

Choreography: Karin Pauer 

Sound: Zosia Hołubowska

Text: Sabina Holzer, Katrin Hornek 

Performance: Cat Jimenez, Karin Pauer, Mani Obeya, Martina De Dominicis

Costume: Karin Pauer


/ Text: Sabina Holzer, Katrin Hornek 
/ Editing, translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

/ Voices: Alex Zehetbauer, Arthur Trembanis, Greg Mello, Karin Pauer, Karipbek Kuyukov, 
Martina De Dominicis, Michael Wagreich, Sabina Holzer

/ Objects production: Klemens Waldhuber 

/ Programming: Franz Gasser

Production management performance: mollusca productions

Technical management: Hans Weinberger
Scenographic advice and production: Hektor Peljak (Studio Peljak)
Artistic assistance: Ivana Lazić

Consulting: Anne Faucheret, Julia Hohenwarter, Michael Wagreich


Digital Publication

testing grounds

Karin Pauer

(*1983, AT) ist Performerin und Choreografin. Sie arbeitet mit Begriffen wie Beziehungen und Empathie, indem sie verkörperte choreografische Praktiken mit Sprache, bildender Kunst undMusik kombiniert. Ihre Arbeiten wurden in verschiedenen Wiener Institutionen und bei lokalen wie internationalen Festivals gezeigt.

Sabina Holzer

(*1966, AT) arbeitet als Tänzerin, Choreografin und Autorin im Feld der erweiterten Choreografie. Sie beschäftigt sich mit Praktiken von Gemeinschaft, Ökologie, Philosophie, Materialität / Stofflichkeit, Science-Fiction und Poesie. Ihre kollaborativen Performances, Interventionen und Texte werden lokal und international gezeigt und publiziert.

Zosia Hołubowska

(1988, PL) ist Klangkünstler*in, Forscher*in, Produzent*in und Aktivist*in für queere Musik. Dey arbeiten in Performances, Soundinstallationen, Radioarbeiten und Soundscapes an Themen wie queeren Archiven, Heilungspraktiken und zwischenmenschlicher Intimität.


Martina De Dominicis, Cat Jimenez, Mani Obeya, Karin Pauer

Programmiert vom Vorstand der Secession

Kuratiert von
Jeanette Pacher (Secession)

Vereinigung bildender Künstler*innen Wiener Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Tel. +43-1-587 53 07