Judith Fegerl in conversation with Nina Tabassomi
“The word ‘Leitung’* that appears in black letters on the surface of the white wall that has been painted around it several times identifies the office of the Director. On the occasion of my first meeting with Nina Tabassomi, who had just assumed her position at the Taxispalais, I took a photograph of this lettering. Its meaning however—as it later turned out—manifested within the title of the exhibition and the substance of the museum.” (Judith Fegerl)
(*The German word “Leitung” has two meanings. One is “head of” or being in charge of an institution; and the other is line, as in electrical wiring, a water pipe, etc.)
“Judith Fegerl’s works act as transformers towards the exhibition space. Her sculptures, architectural operations and spatial drawings cut themselves into the substance of the exhibition space. Rather than treating the exhibition space as habitat and platform for her own works, her works shape that space. Some works are site-specific, while others are already present (in a conceptual sense). Yet they both agitate and integrate the settings in which they are presented. Objects that lie beyond the reach of our material concepts and cognitive matrix assume form in provocative, beautiful and brutal ways.” (Nina Tabassomi)
This catalogue succeeds the solo show Judith Fegerl in charge at the Taxispalais Kunsthalle Tirol. The publication witnesses and discusses interventions both sustainable and ephemeral performed at the core of the museum.
Judith Fegerl in charge, July 1—August 27, 2017, curated by Nina Tabassomi, director, Taxispalais Kunsthalle Tirol
Starting in the 1970s, Marcia Hafif (1929–2018) probed the impact of pure color in paintings that eschewed figuration and composition to represent nothing but themselves. This reduction let Hafif undertake an analytical examination of fundamental components of painting such as material, brushwork, surface, and format. Among the works from the KiCo Collection on permanent loan to the Lenbachhaus are more than twenty paintings and drawings from all periods of Hafif’s oeuvre. They have been on view in presentations of art from the collections on several occasions since 2003.
Marcia Hafif: Films (1970–1999) turns the spotlight on a lesser-known aspect of her oeuvre: film and language. After living and working in Rome for several years in the 1960s, the painter returned to her native California, where she made friends in Los Angeles’s experimental arts scene. Exchanging ideas with artists including Robert Irwin, Nancy Buchanan, Chris Burden, and Barbara T. Smith, she branched out into new formats and media: she created sound installations, continued the exploration of photography she had begun in Rome, and shot short sequences on film. Inspired by directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Jean-Luc Godard, Hafif then increasingly devoted herself to moving images and produced her two longest works on film: Notes on Bob and Nancy (1970–1977) and India Time (1978).
Throughout her career as an artist, Hafif also worked on her creative writing. The medium of film allowed her to intertwine her writing and her visual art in an innovative way: many of her films are accompanied by her own texts, which, read by an offscreen voice, form a kind of commentary. This device turns the films into audiovisual essays in which Hafif addresses themes such as escapism and female self-determination—issues that have lost none of their relevance today.
With Marcia Hafif: Films (1970–1999), the Lenbachhaus screens an extensive selection of films the artist created in California, India, and New York, often working on a project for several years. The first dedicated presentation of Hafif’s work on film in Germany offers an important correction to the general perception of the artist as a painter of monochromes, a categorization she repeatedly objected to. Far from being a contradiction, it turns out, the coexistence of filmic narration and painterly minimalism in her oeuvre speaks to an open-minded creative approach that is characteristic of the American art of the 1970s with its scrutinizing reflection on its media.
Marcia Hafif was taking an active and enthusiastic interest from her home in California in the preparations for our presentation of scarcely known works from her oeuvre. Her long-standing gallerist, Fergus McCaffrey, announced the news that she had passed away suddenly in Laguna Beach, California.
Curated by Sebastian Schneider
Birgit Jürgenssen (1949-2003) was among Austria’s avantgarde in the 1970s, alongside Valie Export and Maria Lassnig. While alluding to art-historical traditions like Surrealism, she unobtrusively developed an independent oeuvre that included not only a large stock of drawings, but also sculptures, experimental objects, videos and, above all, photographs. The Kunsthalle Tübingen is showing the first comprehensive presentation of this artist’s work in Germany under the heading “I am.”.
The female body is the lynchpin of Birgit Jürgenssen’s work. Not only is the body the subject of the realistic-style drawings with which she portrayed her lifeworld with considerable self-irony, it is also the agency of first experiences which she explores as a psychological-mental and emotional resonance chamber. In more than 1000 drawings she captured with seismographic sensitivity what occurs before our conceptual and thus conscious grasp.
She reflected on and deconstructed human relationships, sexuality, socially-determined notions of beauty and gender relations with a subversive humour as if they were deeper layers of her own identity.
In keeping with the social turmoil in the 1970s she responded perceptively and critically to an increasingly industrialised and thus “demystified” environment and, guided by a sensual-instinctive sensitivity, marked out the affinity between man, plant and animal. In the tradition of the Surrealists, she transformed the human body, the animal and plants into hybrids in dream-like scenarios. By equating the human body with the vascular system of leaves, she productively adapted old concepts of the micro-macro-cosmos to the present day. Her drawings, collages and photomontages are characterised by a vigorous fantasy in the face of nature and testify to an integral awareness that we exist in an invisible interaction with the world around us.
The wide-ranging oeuvre of Birgit Jürgenssen is interesting not just as a collective contemporary testimony that reflects the sense of life and the zeitgeist from the 1970s to 1980s and 1990s. Even today, when we are experiencing an increasing levelling of everyday perception due to digitization, her body-related approach takes on a whole new topicality. Her work is rooted in the realm of the intimate and thus stand not least for an authentic self-directed life and, ultimately, also for the self-determined and emancipatory impetus of art.
The retrospective exhibition is being organised in close cooperation with the Estate Birgit Jürgenssen / Vienna:
Dr. Nicole Fritz, Natascha Burger (Estate Birgit Jürgenssen)
Estate Birgit Jürgenssen, Vienna
Sammlung Verbund, Vienna
Umrahmung schräg gekippt. Die Sammlung Liaunig in Bewegung.
curated by Günther Oberhollenzer
artists: Marc Adrian, Bernard Aubertin, Joannis Avramidis, Joachim Bandau, Josef Bauer, Hans Bischoffshausen, Alighiero e Boetti, Hellmut Bruch, Tony Cragg, Gunter Damisch, Inge Dick, Heinrich Dunst, Manfred Erjautz, Johann Feilacher, Karl Anton Fleck, Gerhard Frömel, Heinz Gappmayr, Jakob Gasteiger, Bruno Gironcoli, Roland Goeschl, Dorothee Golz, Franz Grabmayr, Franz Graf, Evelyn Gyrcizka, Alfred Haberpointner, Hans Hartung, Julie Hayward, Rudolf Hoflehner, Giselbert Hoke, Wolfgang Hollegha, H+H Joos, Martha Jungwirth, Franco Kappl, Herwig Kempinger, Gudrun Kleinberger, Michael Kienzer, Imi Knoebel, Kiki Kogelnik, Peter Kogler, Kurt Kocherscheidt, Franz Stefan Kohl, Peter Krawagna, Suse Krawagna, Eric Kressnig, Richard Kriesche, Maria Lassnig, Christoph Luger, Gottfried Mairwöger, Dóra Maurer, János Megyik, Jürgen Messensee, Josef Mikl, Hannes Mlenek, Kurt Moldovan, Walter Moroder, Gerhardt Moswitzer, Robert Motherwell, Matt Mullican, Hermann Nitsch, Ingo Nussbaumer, Franz Xaver Ölzant, Fritz Panzer, Max Peintner, Helga Philipp, Walter Pichler, Josef Pillhofer, Raimund Pleschberger, Rudolf Polanszky, Markus Prachensky, Karl Prantl, Maria Elisabeth Prigge, Arnulf Rainer, Werner Reiterer, Alois Riedl, Franz Rosei, Georg Salner, Fabian Seiz, Roman Scheidl, Meina Schellander, Alfons Schilling, Eva Schlegel, Walter Schmögner, Martin Schnur, Klaus J. Schoen, ManfreDu SCHU, Christian Schwarzwald, Pierre Soulages, Rudi Stanzel, Hans Staudacher, Esther Stocker, Erwin Thorn, Andreas Urteil, Wolfgang Walkensteiner, Franz Erhard Walther, Markus Wilfling, Max Weiler, Fritz Wotruba, Franz Zadrazil und Heimo Zobernig.
Helena Almeida, Nazgol Ansarinia, Monica Bonvicini, Louise Bourgeois, Heidi Bucher, Claude Cahun, Pia Camil, Judy Chicago, Johanna Demetrakas, Lili Dujourie, Valie Export, Lucy Gunning, Mona Hatoum, BIRGIT JÜRGENSSEN, Kirsten Justesen, Karin Mack, Isa Melsheimer, Zanele Muholi, Lucy Orta, Leticia Parente, Sheila Pepe, Martha Rosler, Elsa Sahal, Niki de Saint Phalle, Miriam Schapiro, Anne-Marie Schneider, Lydia Schouten, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Penny Slinger, Laure Tixier, Ana Vieira, Rachel Whiteread, Sue Williamson, FRANCESCA WOODMAN, NIL YALTER
Nil Yalter (b. 1938) has received the outstanding merit award for artists along with the Vera Molnar (b. 1924) at this year's Prix AWARE.
This jury panel is composed of Alfred Pacquement (honorary general heritage conservation officer, former director of the musée national d’Art moderne – Centre Pompidou), president of the panel, Alexia Fabre (director and head curator of the MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine), Stijn Huijts (director of the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht), Dominique Guyot (collector), Camille Morineau (director of exhibitions and collections of the Monnaie de Paris, co-founder and chairwoman of AWARE), Frances Morris (director of Tate Modern, London) and Floriane de Saint Pierre (collector).
The Shape of Time is an exhibition of remarkable artworks dating from 1800 to the present day. Borrowed from some of the most important museums and private collections across the world, they have been placed within the rooms of our Picture Gallery in dialogue with our own historical objects and artists, as stepping stones to lead us from the point at which our own collections end to the point at which we stand today.
Visitors are invited to look simultaneously backwards and forwards between objects made many centuries years apart, either of which has the potential to alter our experience of the other. (...)
The artists and pairings in the exhibition are as follows:
Tizian – J.M.W. Turner
Tizian – Pablo Picasso
Tintoretto – Kerry James Marshall
Correggio – Birgit Jürgenssen
Giorgione – Nusra Latif Qureshi
Sofonisba Anguissola – Claude Cahun
Tullio Lombardo – Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Velázquez – Edouard Manet
Caravaggio – Franz West
Bronzino – Lucian Freud
Römische Antike – Paul Cézanne
Römische Antike – Eleanor Antin
Rembrandt – Fiona Tan
Jan Brueghel d.Ä. – Steve McQueen
Peter Paul Rubens – Maria Lassnig
Rogier van der Weyden – Ron Mueck
Rembrandt – Mark Rothko
Dirck Dircksz van Santvoort – Catherine Opie
Pieter Bruegel d.Ä. – Peter Doig
Corridor brown, booth nr. 5
Women House is the meeting of two notions: a gender - the female - and a space - the domestic one.
Galerie Hubert Winter lädt zu einem Abend mit Michael Bracewell, der nicht nur durch seine Romane und Kunstkritiken bekannt ist, sondern viel beachtete Sachbücher zum Thema Popkultur schrieb. Als Ausgangspunkte dienen „England is Mine: Pop Life in Albion from Wilde to Goldie“ (1997), „Roxy Music: Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Art, Ideas and Fashion“ (2005) oder „Roxy: The Band That Invented an Era“ (2008).
Michael Bracewell ist ein in London lebender Autor, der bereits mehrere Romane und Sachbücher publiziert hat und überwiegend über zeitgenössische Kunst und Kultur schreibt. Bracewell kuratierte ‘The Secret Public: The Last Days of The British Underground 1977 – 1988’ (Kunstverein München/ ICA, London 2007), ‘The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art’ (Tate St Ives, 2009) sowie im letzten Jahr '….hounded by external events…' (Maureen Paley, London, 2016). Seine ausgewählten Schriften über Bildende Kunst erschienen 2012 unter dem Titel 'The Space Between'.
Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna is pleased to be invited by Alison M. Gingeras to take part in her curated section Sex Work at Frieze London 2017 with a selection of works from the 1970s by the Austrian artist Birgit Jürgenssen (1949 - 2003, Vienna/Austria).
Birgit Jürgenssen was an extremely gifted and virtuous draftswoman. She deconstructed female stereotypes frequently integrating allusions to surrealist themes into her masterful drawings. The female body and its metamorphosis constitute a central aspect of her work and lead to questions within the socio-critical discourse. Based on the emancipatory potential of Surrealism and on the context of feminism of the 1970s, her practice synthesises a wide range of impulses and generates a multi-layered and manifold body of work from the late 1960s on. The staging of the female body in the light of transformation (recurrent themes are: masquerades, fragmentations, fetish and fusions with animal beings) runs as leitmotif through the artist’s oeuvre. Her work has been lately described as “brilliantly disturbing” by The Guardian, exactly how the art of Birgit Jürgenssen presents itself.
ARCHITECTURAL MEMORY PIERCED BY ART
A line. One extended thing in the fog.
A physical mass moving, a spatial intrusion pointing, an almost pure presence lurking, connecting and anchoring. —A line; hard, heavy and slow. An apparition, and, somehow, an extremely complex intrusion into art-history.
For the strange chapel of Santa Maria della Spina has already marked and held me, as it has marked and held others in the past; held us by its actual evasiveness, marked us with its uncanny beauty, its aggressive disconnection to any available context. —Marked me, I mean, as a sculptor in the same way that only the abandoned hamlet of Viere in the French Alps has; held me by both its historical complexity and its absence of emotional solidity —marked and moved me, that is to say, by its own invasive unreality, its insistent non-corporal presence, and by my own desperate need to come to terms with that.
A fog not just of climate but of spatial strangeness; a fog of temporal dissociation, of five hundred years of slow, blurred settling into a kind of ghostly abstraction of exquisite separation, a self-sustaining, ahistorical apparition of pure presence itself.
It is that presence I mean to mark; that singular presence on the Arno's edge —the unconnected wholeness of it, as full and as empty as the river below it.
But I mean to mark it; not add to it or change it. I mean to cut another shadowy wholeness into that ambiguous and foggy wholeness; I mean to lay one shadow onto another, to cut one apparition into another.
Richard Nonas (2017)
Richard Nonas, Installation view of “…as light through fog…” ARCHITECTURAL MEMORY PIERCED BY ART, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa, 2017.
© Richard Nonas
Judith Fegerl contests the given. Remodeling the materials’ structures and textures, her sculptures often take the shape of spatial interventions. The artist is not looking for easy solutions, but forges complications instead.
With great sensibility for the undercurrents of tension in supposedly simple unities – such as metal rods, the exhibition space, the institutional body – the artist lets these tensions take the lead. However, the cracks and fissures caused in the process are just occasions for new configurations: glimmering prostheses and spatial drawings – vulnerable, graceful and brutal at the same time.
A catalog will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.
Fenster sind Öffnungen, die von innen den Blick auf das Außen einrahmen, während wir uns von draußen in ihnen spiegeln. Dieser Sicht auf das Innere, das Äußere und deren Wechselwirkungen geht die Ausstellung nach. Spiegelnde Fenster zeigt rund sechzig zeitgenössische Werke und einzelne historische Exponate aus der Sammlung des Belvedere,
die allesamt um Erfahrungen von Selbst und Welt kreisen. Die Arbeiten handeln von Utopien und Krisen, dem Grauen des Alltäglichen, Phänomenen des Spirituellen, der Politisierung des Körpers ebenso wie von Soziophysik und Psychonautik, von surrealen Welten und individuellen Mythologien. Im Sinne der Bedeutung von Kunst als Fenster zur Welt wirft die Ausstellung einen Blick auf das Spannungsfeld zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft und reflektiert zugleich Auswirkungen auf Körper und Geist.
Mit Arbeiten von Marc Adrian, Martin Arnold, Vittorio Brodmann, Georg Chaimowicz, Adriana Czernin, Josef Dabernig, Gunter Damisch, VALIE EXPORT, Judith Fegerl, Michael Franz / Nadim Vardag, Padhi Frieberger, Bernhard Frue, Walter Gamerith, Bruno Gironcoli, Samara Golden, Judith Hopf, Alfred Hrdlicka, Iman Issa, Martha Jungwirth, Jesper Just, Tillman Kaiser, Johanna Kandl, Joseph Kosuth, Susanne Kriemann, Friedl Kubelka/Peter Weibel, Luiza Margan, Till Megerle, Henri Michaux, Muntean Rosenblum, Walter Pichler, Tobias Pils, Arnulf Rainer, Ugo Rondinone, Isa Rosenberger, Gerhard Rühm, Markus Schinwald, Toni Schmale, Anne Schneider, Richard Teschner, Simon Wachsmuth, Rudolf Wacker, Anna Witt
Blueprint for a museum of contemporary art for the capital of Europe
curated by Dirk Snauwaert
The title, The Absent Museum, is a nod to the decisive influence that symbolist, ‘mystical-mysterious’ thinking has had and continues to have on Belgian modernity. WIELS does not have the status of a museum, but is commonly referred to as ‘the WIELS museum’. This is a token not only of recognition, but also of the expectations that the Belgian audience and public opinion have towards WIELS as an institution. WIELS therefore has decided to use this temporary exhibition to set out a substantive framework or blueprint for a possible museum of contemporary art in the capital of Europe.
Francis Alÿs, Archives de l'Ambassade Universelle, Younes Baba-Ali, Jo Baer, Monika Baer, Sammy Baloji, Guillaume Bijl, Dirk Braeckman, Marcel Broodthaers, stanley brouwn, Daniel Dewar & Gregory Gicquel, Marlene Dumas, Jimmie Durham, Jana Euler, Olivier Foulon, Michel François, Ellen Gallagher, Mekhitar Garabedian, Isa Genzken, Jef Geys, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Cameron Jamie, Ann Veronica Janssens, Martin Kippenberger, Goshka Macuga, Mark Manders, Lucy McKenzie, Wesley Meuris, Nastio Mosquito, Jean-Luc Moulène, Le Mur, Oscar Murillo, Otobong Nkanga, Felix Nussbaum, Willem Oorebeek, Marina Pinsky, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Gerhard Richter, Walter Swennen, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rosemarie Trockel, Luc Tuymans, Peter Wächtler, Christopher Williams, Nil Yalter.
Judith Fegerl / Peter Garmusch / Stefanie Pflaum / Samuel Schaab / Anna Witt
in Rahmen der Ausstellung
Als Teil der Ausstellung Künstliche Herzen und im Rahmen der fortlaufenden Reihe Chiasmata werden Interventionen von fünf zeitgenössischen Künstlerinnen und Künstlern präsentiert, deren Arbeiten auf unterschiedliche Weise auf das Herz Bezug nehmen.
Reconstitution is curated by Catherine Taft and Hamza Walker.
Reconstitution is a group exhibition that is an update and recasting of the 1987 exhibition Constitution originally organized by the art collective Group Material. The exhibition will include work by: Kathryn Andrews, Shagha Ariannia, Gretchen Bender, Dawoud Bey, Mary Ellen Carroll, Ching Ho Cheng, Tseng Kwong Chi, Sonya Clark, Joeff Davis, Sid M. Duenas, Melvin Edwards, Ridykeulous (Nicole Eisenman & A.L. Steiner), Rafa Esparza, Lauren Davis Fisher, Arshia Haq, Rachel Harrison, Sharon Hayes, Edgar Heap of Birds, Brendan Fowler/Election Reform, Gronk, Anish Kapoor, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Kang Seung Lee, Zoe Leonard, Steve Locke, M (aka Michael Chow), Van McElwee, Harold Mendez, Mike Mills, Jenny Perlin, Jefferson Pinder, Christina Quarles, Umar Rashid, Marie “Big Mama” Roseman, Peter Saul, Augustus Sherman, Maryam Taghavi, Mark Themann, Danh Vo, Christine Wang, Timothy E. Washington, Lawrence Weiner, and the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
1987 marked the 200th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, and on the occasion, Group Material mounted Constitution at Temple University gallery in Philadelphia. Featuring over 40 artists whose work ran the gamut from folk to conceptual art, the exhibition was nothing if not democratic. In juxtaposing the U.S. Constitution against works of contemporary art, Group Material laid claim to the Constitution not simply as it frames our government, but as a living document, one that harbors ideals against which we monitor our progress as a society.
As was the case for Group Material in 1987, recourse to the U.S. Constitution comes at a time when the electorate is deeply divided about the role of government and its priorities. But recourse to the U.S. Constitution, just as it serves to unite, also begs the question how and to what extent are the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice for all being met? Reconstitution, over and above responding to a short albeit violent swing of the socio-political pendulum, (from Obama to Trump) is responding to an electorate whose divisiveness has significantly deepened over the past 30 years.
Are we living up to our ideals of liberty, equality, and justice for all? This question cannot fail to solicit a critical posture, one that is part and parcel of art itself. Now more than ever, the so-called identity politics of the 1980s and 1990s (with art work forthrightly addressing issues of race, gender, class, nationality and religion) have become inseparable from national identity. Debates about police brutality, immigration, inequality, religious freedom, healthcare, the environment reflect who we aspire to be as a nation. Reconstitution is one mirror. Reconstitution is curated by Catherine Taft and Hamza Walker.
Emerging from the works by Meret Oppenheim and her fellow artist are the themes that the artistic imaginary of the time especially focused on: dream-like fantasies and erotic aberrations; the woman as an enchanted creature or a sorceress; fetishism and the relationship with nature. In the post-war years Meret’s work was enriched by her research into abstract art, strongly influencing the following generations of artists; parallels can be drawn with the work of Daniel Spoerri and Birgit Jürgenssen, among others, as well as with contemporary artists like Robert Gober and Mona Hatoum.
curated by Vivien Sakura Brandl and Andreas Spiegl
There are so many varieties of Germanic culture here in Bregenz that are not mixable, and I see that as a kind of geyser, like anything that builds up enough pressure, you have to lance it or pop it, that’s a geyser, that’s a pimple, a pimple popper. You know, that’s what it is. That’s what philosophy is. Philosophy is a popped pimple. All of these simultaneous cultures are teutonic (of a sort) and if you read tectonic as teutonic plates, one can understand the allusion to the geyser.
Lawrence Weiner, Bregenz, September 2016
Galerie Hubert Winter is pleased to present a selection of works by the three Austrian artists Tina Lechner, Birgit Jürgenssen and Judith Fegerl at Artissima 2016. As diverse as their approaches initially may seem, all three artistic positions overlap at a certain point: They all work at the intersection of technical precision and competence but also in regards to the creation of narrative and visual elements. Each of them has achieved the ability to go beyond the conventional borders of media while using the precision of technical craftsmanship and expression.
Tina Lechner (born 1981 in St. Pölten, lives and works in Vienna) has been investigating these technical possibilities in analogue photography. While the photos capture a strong surface - gauging the whole range of possibility of black and white photography - the human body is coated in self-produced requisites and therefore radically reduced to a geometrical configuration. In her works humankind has lost control over its own creations, blurring the line between living and inanimate, exploring our current state with a retro-futuristic verve. It is the timeless amalgamation of styles, techniques and cultural references that makes her work so original, so striking.
Birgit Jürgenssen (1949 – 2003, Vienna) is well known for her diverse body of works, ranging from photography, drawing, video to sculpture. For Artissima 2016, we present an impressive series of Rayograms she produced in the mid 70s. Without the use of a camera the images are created in the darkroom. The images do not have any negative or positive and can be produced just once.
Birgit Jürgenssen used this effect and enhanced it sometimes with overlays while reducing figures to silhouettes, adding an enigmatic element and ephemeral details - reminiscent of surreal components and dadaist collages at times. Birgit Jürgenssen’s adaption of this camera-less method is just one aspect of her wide-ranging working in different photographical techniques and proves once more her multi-layered and extraordinary multifaceted ability experimental efforts.
Judith Fegerl (born 1977 in Vienna, lives and works in Vienna) works at the intersection of art and architecture, nature and technology, the organic and the mechanic. Fegerl creates complex networks and circuits in her works - circulations of information, energy, materiality, feeding into each other, enhancing and short-circuiting each other.
The works selected for Artissima address an alternate understanding of electric currents; while her series of sculptural paper works Easy Axis (2016) hypothetically creates a continuous flow of energy due to the used material - waxed paper, graphite and copper wire - Fegerl stretches the technical capacities of these to deliver an unique interaction between material and form. With her works, Judith Fegerl articulates a moment before a sensuous experience, an almost vibrating sense of anticipation and an understanding of time as we await the impending crash of metal.
Mary Ellen Carroll
A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH
NEXT TIME WITH JACKY*
curated by Bose Krishnamachari
A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH
In the second stanza of Chapter IX in Jack Spicer's poem from 1961, A Fake Novel about the Life of Arthur Rimbaud, the poet wrote:
Things have passage. Most rivers eventually reach the ocean. Or a lake—an inland sea. This is like Africa in all continents.
Spicer’s language could be misread as a poetic description of a landscape painting, posing as a poem. Had he substituted another continent (in reference to trade) for Africa (in reference to migration)—or more specifically a country, it would be, “This is like China in all continents.” China is in fact, in all continents.
Spicer’s process to take Rimbaud’s actual life as the starting point is similar to how, A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH utilizes the textile, Brocade with Hares, China, Northern, Mongol Period, 13th to mid 14th century, from the permanent collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio as a catalyst for the conceptual underpinnings of the work realized for Yinchuan. The fragment was included in the exhibition “When Silk Was Gold: Central Asian and Chinese Textiles” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in the spring of 1998. It places the work in the region of Yinchuan along the Yellow River, where it may in fact have actually been woven. It is fact that the general weaving technique used in this textile is characteristic of this region in China. There is also an additional warp in the weaving and this pairing of the warp evidences a technique that was introduced from the west—coming from eastern Iran. At some point, an individual made passage on the Silk Trade Route along the Yellow River and this approach was introduced to the area.
The dislocation of the hare to Yinchuan intentionally relocates an image to where it may have been originally constructed. This hare is rendered in glyphs or binary code and references the further development in weaving and the Jaquard loom that eventually became the foundation for computer programming and it functions as its aid memoire—to use a diplomatic term. This application of encryption is also a referent to Carroll’s earlier work, act of god, 1999 wherein she encrypted site photographs of Mie van der Rohe’s Glass House with the text about the building’s design. It also constructs or conflates a historical moment in the present as the future as the actual, which may not necessarily be factual. The mimeograph of the real is woven with the fake, resulting in a collision of fantasy and fact.
A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH expands the pageantry of the biennial into the spectacle of diplomacy, perhaps where it rightfully belongs. This moment begins historically at the invitation that President Chiang Kai-shek extended to President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie to visit China in the early 60s. After hearing about JFK’s plans for an official state visit to Europe it was then proposed to continue the passage to the east in order to solidify diplomatic relations and to discuss trade and foreign policy. The world knows why this meeting never took place. On June 26, 1963—Berlin was the furthest east in Germany that Kennedy would travel. He first appeared in the British Sector in front of the Brandenburg Gate on a provisional platform. It was architected as a modified Bauhaus structure providing a 360-degree view to “look far away” to the east in order to “see and be seen.” The DDR reciprocated and simultaneously staged their own spectacle in parity to “see and be seen” and blocked the view to the east by covering the openings of the Brandenburg Gate. It was impossible to “look far away.” A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH reimagines a to-scale version of those occupied spaces on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan with the hare as the central image. (As an aside, it is worth noting that it was nearly ten years later that Kissinger seeded the ground for Nixon’s state visit to China from February 21 to 28, 1972 and the historical meeting with Mao Tse-tung. It was the first time in over two decades that images of China would be visible in the U.S.)
What was made, and what became highly visible during JFK’s historic state visit was a truck that corralled the space in front of the entrance to the Brandenburg Gate as viewed from the west that had a placard painted in bright yellow with an English text painted in red affixed to one side that was an enjoiner for the west to fulfill their treaties with the east. The truck encircled the space and then parked directly in front of where JFK stood to face the east. Both the east and the west constructed their image that would be disseminated throughout the world by the media on both sides of the wall. Immense crowds lined the streets and hung from buildings to experience the motorcade. The desire to “see and be seen” was indistinguishable from either side. That desire is no different than it is in the present.
NEXT TIME WITH JACKY* is the adjacent work to A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH and will organize the drivers of the ubiquitous three wheeled motorcycle that hauls and transports goods and services within Yinchuan. The motor transport functions as the last mile in the network of trade routes within the city. The drivers will create an informal performance that will disseminate the work of art throughout the city of Yinchuan, as well as it being the work of art, in and of itself. A sign that reads, Look far Away, will be affixed to the vehicle in a similar technique as the structure that was constructed for the vehicle that encircled the Brandenburg Gate. It is a portable signifier of the biennial and the museum as the site that is dislocated from the city center. The architecting of diplomacy as an extension of culture and the historical symbols are exemplified in A FAKE HARE HAS 24 GOLD TEETH and NEXT TIME WITH JACKY, albeit within the realm of the poetic as a good, as a fake, all of which are reenactments that are performances in a medium that is intertwined within the media.
(Next Time with Jacky* is a sign that a group held up when JFK’s motorcade went by their apartment bloc. Jacky is the the first lady of the United States, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. The sign makers misspelled her name as Jacky, when it is Jackie.)
Reflecting materials. Graphite pigment and aluminium powder, copper wires, steel, and delicate graphite leads. Subtle material aesthetics are key factors for the oeuvre of both Helga Philipp (1939 - 2002) and Judith Fegerl (*1977). Two Austrian artists from different generations, of different anticipation.
Helga Philipp’s paintings from the late 1980s and 1990s, a group of monochrome works with simple geometric compositions, reduced forms and colours, are the main focus for the artists from 1985 onwards. Philipp produced large-scale paintings with light-dark contrasts, which, despite their simplification of form, generate an illusion of space. Her remarkable works on canvas deploy a similar optical effect, which Philipp already established with her kinetic objects. Her impasto application of paint, light reflecting materials such as graphite and aluminium pigment create an extraordinary quality and intensity. Her works on paper, graphite drawings or layered graphics on transparent paper stretch the limits of materiality and surface structure. As a pioneer of Concrete Art and Op Art in Austria after 1945, Helga Philipp has been exploring optical phenomena and their visual effects.
moment (2016) is Judith Fegerl’s latest body of works. She uses electric currents, polished steel rods, plates and electro magnets to combine disparate elements to a unity, free standing or leaned against a wall. Her works are about mobility and stasis, activity and passivity – moment has an almost meditative quality. And yet the contemplative moment can only be perceived while it is being held upright by an external electrical feed.
Fegerl combines materiality and engineering to create aesthetically and technically unprecedented works.
Helga Philipp born 1939 in Vienna; died 2002 in Vienna.
Judith Fegerl born 1977 in Vienna; lives and works in Vienna.
The light is back
We might live in a digitalized world, but our love affair with paper has by no means diminished. Inspired by the drawing cabinets of gentlemen and connoisseurs, Galerie Hubert Winter will create a space where visitors have to get closer to the artworks – all of them related to or made out of paper.
William Anastasi, Mary Ellen Carroll, Judith Fegerl, Michael Höpfner, Birgit Jürgenssen, Louise Lawler, Tina Lechner, Sol Lewitt, Paul Etienne Lincoln, Richard Nonas, David Robbins, Keith Sonnier, Lawrence Weiner, Hannah Wilke, Lei Xue, a.o.