press release only in german

SCHALL UND RAUCH. Flüchtige Erscheinungen der Gegenwartskunst
Eröffnung: Freitag, 27. Oktober 2017, 18.00 Uhr
Ausstellung bis 16. Dezember 2017

Christian Eisenberger, Marco Evaristti, Valie Export, Ronald Kodritsch, Albert Mayr, Annette Ruenzler, Jongsuk Yoon

Kuratiert von Hendrik Bündge und René Stessl

Call it then what you wish,
Joy! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name
For it! Feeling is all:
Names are sound and smoke,
Veiling Heaven’s bright glow.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (Tragedy, part 1)

The group exhibition “Sound and Smoke. Fleeting phenomena of contemporary art” takes Goethe’s romantic glorification of how the most important human emotions are unable to be represented in art and turns it on its head. When understood as the ultimate metaphor for the ephemeral, sound and smoke is regarded as the ‘signified’ in diverse forms of artistic expression. The ephemeral becomes an actual integral element that questions the fleeting nature of all life determining things.

Valie Export’s (*1940 in Linz, Austria) iconic self portrait from the year 1970 functions as the exhibitions point of departure. In the portrait Export is holding a packet of the Austrian cigarette brand SMART export up to the camera, with her own name VALIE pasted over the original lettering. By turning her own name into a logo she criticised patriarchal and capitalist attribution practices. In 1967 she began using the artist name VALIE EXPORT, which is connected in a very literal sense to the difficulty of attributing names to “things” as Goethe emphasises in Faust.

Further artistic studies into the acoustic and visual phenomena of sound and smoke disclose a reflection space by the means of various media such as, photography, video projection, painting, drawing, sound installation or sculptures of transience. These fleeting characteristics of sound and smoke become symbolic of transience and evident of its complexity. Central aspects of human existence, such as, Joy! Heart! Love! God! are artistically made manifest and remain for the long run as artistic studies and works.

Hendrik Bündge