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Lisa Holzer
Was trägt Sie?
23.11.2019 – 9.2.2020

Lisa Holzer, Was trägt Sie?, Ausstellungsansicht, Secession 2019, Foto: Peter Mochi

At first something disappears. The exhibition starts in the staircase to the Kabinett with a colour application that will be overlooked. The dark grey mountings of the handrails – now there are two for security purposes – disappear in the colour of the wall. They seem to hang in the air. Almost as if I could throw them towards you.

In the Kabinett the light’s not on. This exhibition needs – no demands grey daylight. On view are radiant pigment prints, very colourful –  I should limit the colours – almost clownish pictures – this would be cooler. They show grapes and grapes in white chocolate. The grapes are huge. I thought wine grapes go well with Austria. It is a daylight, a movement exhibition. Maybe the winter date is not the best for this.

Removing the light is a reverse movement to the addition of colour on the mounting of the rails. And yet, twice, something is being removed.


At the day of the opening, the 22nd of November, the sun will have already set by 4.08 pm. And at this time the pictures prefer not to function. They withdraw, realize themselves badly, or not at all. Anyways they are less able, fail in their being an image or at least their being exhibited, because the day is already missing. As if I could afford that. Or the darkness opens the exhibition towards something else. And you will talk about it.

Dark realities. The reality has no door. Neither does the Kabinett. Sliding doors don’t count. You cannot bang them. And you cannot.., you cannot yank them open. They only save space and slide.

It was weakness that first led me to Photoshop. Absence of ideas. An exhausted leaning-against in Photoshop. Are reworked grape pictures more realistic? Deeply realistic through alienation?

Photography describes a relation between light and delay. Neither make a good or tangible partner. It can be read as a figure of negativity or a medium for Aufhebung. We do not reach the grapes.

Or how passive-aggressive is photography?

The pictures hang too high. It might be that this is not true. The room is too low. An additional wall has interrupted the almost square floor plan and blocked the empty centre. Mirror panels on its back reflect as if drunk.

Parking lots are odd and cost money. Figures of sleep and of a death that is transient. It is a movement exhibition because of the weather etc. etc., the light. And because of the desire, the drive.  I then want to park, pay, and go. I also thought about showing pictures of parking lots. However, the idea of parking lots – also as negatives of cars – is more satisfying than pictures of parking lots. You drive me crazy.


Au, Ä

The objet petit a, after Lacan describes the object cause of desire. I last described my playfully naïve reading of the possible effect of the objet petit a and the difficulties with it relative to the affinity between flush and flash and their phonetical a and ä, or their written u and a. Referring to that grape in English and Traube in German, which both have a little a in the name, would, in writing, evoke desire. What subsequently would make them happy, or to carriers of a cause of desire. Phonetically however not. Here the a of the grape becomes an ä and the a of the Traube becomes an au.


And the grapes (always) hang too high (for almost everyone), remain a promise, are not to reach like the positive magical effects of the trickle-down-effect. They trickle down-stairs and are not to be found anywhere. Never were. It is too dark here anyway.

The direction of white chocolate is also only down. From some of the grapes white chocolate drips down heavily. Downstairs it is dirty whitish or any colour or nothing at all. Except for white chocolate, nothing trickles down upstairs. The streets are not paved with gold.

The grapes must hang. Art does not have to do anything whatsoever. I want to lie down now. Art has in the most positive sense the impossible position of not having to do anything.

The invitation card is a receipt for a clown collar that I bought years ago. The receipt is from winter 2008. The receipt however is funnier than the collar. What happened in 2008?

A fifteen-minute audio guide that is also retrievable as a pdf on the homepage of Secession, tells you everything, when I am not there.

What carries you? The title of the exhibition could be Was trägt Sie?, What carries you?. A question that I modified and borrowed from Heike Geißler’s (!) book Saisonarbeit (Seasonal Associate). Maybe because it arrested me. And I have to add that Geißler used the word tragen, to carry, which is a little odd, but I like it a lot in this case, and it fits also with the grapes etc., but the English translation doesn’t use the word carry, they only go for the figurative meaning of motivation, which to me seems to diminish further possible readings.

I would/wanted to wear Gucci-tears. The ones from the autumn-winter 2019 show. They do not run down. They do not smear my mascara. Neither yours.

What carries you?


(Text by Lisa Holzer)

Lisa Holzer

geboren 1971 in Wien, lebt und arbeitet in Berlin und Wien.

Programmiert vom Vorstand der Secession

Kuratiert von
Annette Südbeck (Secession)

Vereinigung bildender Künstler*innen Wiener Secession
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1010 Vienna
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