Christian Kravagna

  • Andrea Fraser

    In her “Project in Two Phases,” 1995, Andrea Fraser investigated the role of the art foundation of EA-Generali (the cultural arm of a well-known Austrian insurance company), wrote a “report,” and proposed an “intervention.” Informed by the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Fraser is well aware of how self-interest can masquerade as idealism. But what happens if the investigated institutions and their representatives do not construct any false appearances? When they readily admit to using art as a means of promoting themselves and of cloaking themselves in the aura of high culture?

    Commissioned by the

  • Judy Fox

    In her first European solo show, Judy Fox presented six naturalistic, lifesize sculptures of naked children. In no way hyperreal, these sculptures are of mythological or religious characters that range from the Virgin Mary to Mohammed to Jaguar Knight. The figures are drawn from the typologies of various religions or borrow directly from well-known works in the history of art. Saint Theresa, 1993, bent over backwards, eyes half-closed and mouth open, is clearly drawn from Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, 1645–52. The evocation of the ecstatic moment, which in the Bernini is at once mystical

  • Klub Zwei

    In this exhibition, one could choose between a “film program” that included movies by John Cassavetes and Ridley Scott, among others, and a “TV program” that consisted of Klub Zwei’s film Hotel Room Movie, 1995, and reedited material from television. The opening scene of the television program in which a director comes on stage and apologizes for the delay is taken from Opening Night, 1978. This is immediately followed by an excerpt from a recent American advertisement for cheap costume jewelry. While the “golden” earring appears in the image, the “decorative plastic components” are praised in

  • Orshi Drozdik

    Orshi Drozdik’s recent exhibition “Manufacturing the Self/Body Self,” can be seen as the culmination of a project the artist has been working on for a decade. In the series “Love letters to the Medical Venus,” 1984–94, Drozdik describes the intensity of her experience with the Medical Venus in the Josphenium in Vienna. She first encountered this 18th-century anatomical wax model of a naked woman with an open abdominal and chest cavity in 1984, the subject of her series of black and white photographs entitled “My dear Medical Venus,” 1984–94. The perspective of the individual photographs shifts

  • Max Böhme et al.

    Without a title, without an overriding theme, this exhibition—comprised of two videos and a small wall installation—established many connections between artistic intent and modes of presentation. All the artists shown here belong to the generation that emerged at the beginning of the ’90s which viewed artistic practice as directed more toward projects than toward subjective expression. This turn occurred later in Vienna and was less radical than in other cities. Max Böhme, Octavian Trauttmansdorff, and the trio Andrea Clavadetscher, Martin Hodel, and Eric Schuhmacher, who originally came from

  • Suture

    In contrast to most group shows where many of the works seem foreign to the subject or even forced into the theme of the show, “Suture: Phantasmen Der Volkommenheit” (Suture: phantasms of perfection) made it seem as if everything was in its place even though the meaning of the title remained uncertain. To be sure, the works had been precisely selected and displayed, yet it was extremely difficult to ascertain the commonalties among them. If everything seemed to be seamless without being rationally comprehensible, there was, on the other hand, a fissure in this perfection that was unsettling. A

  • Imi Giese

    In all the histories of post-war German art, there is hardly more than a mention of Imi Giese. This exhibition, organized by the Kunstverein in Munich together with the Kunsthalle Zurich and the Neue Galerie, provided an opportunity to look back on this almost-forgotten artist whose death in 1974 tore him away from one of the most productive periods of German sculpture. Rainer Giese and Wolf Knoebel went to the academy in Düsseldorf in 1964; in 1965 Blinky Palermo brought them into Joseph Beuys’ class where they participated in a redefinition of sculpture. Imi (Giese) and Imi (Knoebel)—so named

  • Christine And Irene Hohenbüchler With Elfriede Skramovsky

    The Hohenbüchler twins have chosen to exhibit their own works with those of Elfriede Skramovsky, a retarded woman from the Kunstwerkstatt Lienz. Over the past four years, Christine and Irene Hohenbüchler have worked with the Kunstwerkstatt numerous times and in various ways. This collaboration is the longest among the many working relationships with “nonartists” of differing social origins, physically challenged individuals, prisoners, and psychiatric patients. The change of partners demonstrates that the artists are not working toward developing a team approach or a common, collaborative work.

  • Guillaume Bijl

    There are few exhibitions that can be described as easily as “Der Mensch überwindet Distanzen”(Man overcomes distances). Everyone can imagine a historical exhibition on the subject of transportation and by extension, communication. Structured into individual sections such as paths and streets, shipping, railroads, bicycles, automobiles, air travel, and telecommunication, this subject was treated here with historical objects, accompanying texts, and video documentation. Guillaume Bijl, “curator” of this exhibition, was concerned with all the production details, from the elegant gold letters on

  • Thomas Locher/Hans Weigand

    “I know that what I’m saying is wrong, but still I think it could be right,” reads the inscription on one of Thomas Locher’s chairs. It articulates the fundamental problem of the modern subject: it admits the inadequacy of language to grasp the world, yet sees in language the central mode of the cognitive process. But language is not just inadequate, it also falsifies until it is revealed to be ideological. Paradoxically, the only promising—because analytic—critical tool of such constructions is still language. Locher’s work is concerned with this split subject, who, without being able to discard

  • Karel Malich

    With the democratization of Eastern European countries in the past few years, many Western eyes have looked toward “Ostkunst,” or eastern art. The term, used in a derogatory fashion for years and always connected to a regressive idea, was transformed in the Gorbachev years into its exact opposite: “Ostkunst” was “discovered” and became very hot property (largely because of a rather uncritical attraction to the exotic). That today one can see Karel Malich’s works in a Western gallery testifies to the change in our perceptions about “Ostkunst,” for now we must examine the commonalities and

  • Bertrand Lavier

    Bertrand Lavier’s first one-person exhibition in Austria presented the best installation to date in the Hercules Room of the Palais Lichtenstein. This central space of the baroque palace poses difficulties for the artist because of its marble and plaster decoration, and above all, the ceiling frescoes. These frescoes pull the viewer’s eyes uncontrollably to the ceiling, and the artist must take this propensity into account in constructing his work. Lavier’s success lies in his willingness to work with the space and not against it. He does not try to control the viewer’s gaze but, rather, offers