Sabine B. Vogel

  • Christoph Schäfer & Cathy Skene

    Arcadia is a never-never land that transcends reality and into which values and notions of happiness have been projected. The only possible realization of this world is esthetic; its model goes back to Virgil and Theocritus, but its conception is flexible enough to adjust to the social and esthetic conditions of any period. Here Christoph Schäfer & Cathy Skene make use of arcadia as a malleable topos. It is both the title of the exhibition and an associative signpost. Schäfer & Skene combine the vita activa of urban hustle and bustle with the vita contemplativa of a natural idyll in their own

  • Ludger Gerdes

    Art is autonomous. This statement is a cardinal definition of Modern art, and as theorem and challenge it dictates the discourse of the fine arts. The discussion of art’s autonomy excludes functionality. Ludger Gerdes, in his artistic and theoretical work, focuses on the widely diverging concepts of autonomy. In his text “Autonomie, Formalismus und moderne Kunst” (Autonomy, formalism, and Modern art) published in 1990, Gerdes asks what the “specific characteristic” of art might be: “. . .the strict, radically autonomous artwork is aloof from content. . . .A rigorously autonomous art concentrates

  • Peter Weibel

    The annual Vienna festival is regularly accompanied by large-scale exhibitions; this year’s is entitled “Bildlicht: Malerei zwischen Material und Immaterialität” (Picture-light: painting between materiality and immateriality), and curated by Peter Weibel together with Wolfgang Drechsler. Concurrently, Weibel and Kasper König organized a group show. “Das Bild nach dem letzten Bild” (The picture after the last picture), which attempts to locate the meaning of easel painting today. Parallel to these two efforts as curator and theoretician, Weibel showed his own works. His artistic and theoretical

  • Bethan Huws

    In Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall, 1990, it is not material products that are sold, but immaterial values. The memories of a vacation rather than the vacation itself are peddled; instead of an empty frame—the location of the experiences—the seller offers a holiday image that is constructed from a catalogue and then transmitted by computer. Remembering supplants the danger or insecurity of experiencing. Naturally, one then asks how concepts such as individuality, experience, and, above all, memory can still be applied in such a—disembodied—situation. These reflections, sparked by the movie, quite

  • Carl Emanuel Wolff

    The idea of the object derives from both the symbolic and the individual realms. The symbolic elements uncover a collective knowledge and understanding of reality, which can lead to the misinterpretation of individual elements, for example, the differentiation between fact and fiction, original and fake. Carl Emanuel Wolff employs animal models and furniture in his works in order to play upon these two realms. The forms of the objects are well-known and can be easily subordinated to the specific sculpture, but the levels of differentiation, for example, between fake and original are not upheld



    SINCE THE BEGINNING of our century, music and its reproductive medium, the record, have constantly challenged artists to create new forms. László Moholy-Nagy saw the potential of scratching the wax plate to produce new sounds and sound relationships,1 and Piet Mondrian called for the creation of a new system of “tones and anti-tones” in order to achieve a “universal form.”2 When, in 1913, the Futurist Luigi Russolo issued his manifesto L’arte dei rumori (The art of noises), he set up one of the most crucial guideposts for avant-garde music.3 The inclusion of real noises—“the voices of animals

  • Hirsch Perlman

    Hirsch Perlman’s previous work addressed the relationship between language and image within the history of architecture, specifically with regard to the way in which our perceptions of the International Style have been determined by documentary images. As our knowledge and understanding of this architecture is almost exclusively based on reproductions, questions concerning variations in meaning through slight differences in presentation assume enormous significance.

    In his recent installation, Perlman asks “another question . . . within the same frame of reference” about the “similar nature for

  • Felice Varini

    In the early ’20s, Marcel Duchamp developed his rotation machines to call attention to the dependence of artistic meaning on fixed vantage points. Based on phenomena of visual physiology, these objects assign the observer a precise “viewpoint.” Similarly, Felice Varini designates a specific vantage point for viewing. In his recent installation entitled Six Carrés Libres Noirs (Six free black squares, 1990)—a series of perspectively distorted squares applied to the walls and the ceiling—it is only by approaching a mirror leaning against a column in the center of the exhibition space that the

  • Wolfgang Bethke

    “(2) The purchaser shall ensure that the work will retain its current market value in any currency. (3) If in breach of clause 2 hereof the purchaser shall fail to ensure that the work retains its current market value, then the vendor shall be entitled to demand back the work and to receive from the purchaser the full amount of the work’s current market value.” These are two of six points in a contract, which together with a safe, constitute Wolfgang Bethke’s work, entitled Its Current Market Value, 1990. The theme is the distribution of art, and the conditions and systems that control the

  • Michael Dörner

    The curse of literacy is that everything that is written demands to be read. The compulsion to meet this requirement is not alleviated by the transformations Michael Dörner subjects the text to in his work; rather, by employing mirror writing and obscuring letters or words, he further complicates the process. In Dörner’s work reading becomes an act of perception.

    The texts communicate logical propositions taken from mathematics textbooks: “The placement of an affine plane can unequivocally be continued into the placement of its projective extension.” Disconnected, without any context to situate

  • Reinhard Mucha

    The first few grades at school constitute the phase when the child’s development is most determined by conditioning. The process of becoming an integrated member of society is the result of multiple determinants, and during these early school years the internalization of mindless “punishments” plays a constituent role. “Dos” and “don’ts” such as “I must keep quiet,” or “I must not talk in class” fill whole notebook pages of those pupils who fail to quietly knuckle under.

    During the early ’80s, when most artists were painting loudly and vehemently, Reinhard Mucha exhibited his framed punishments

  • Maurizio Nannucci

    So far, Maurizio Nannucci has completed only 42 neon pieces, yet everyone associates this loud-colored penmanship with his name: terse, calligraphic sentences that Nannucci installs horizontally or vertically in the corners of the room, consistent with the spatial parallels. His playful use of words negates the intentions of many of his colleagues, who deploy language for purposes of investigation. While Conceptualism employs language to elucidate the linguistic, ethical, legal, and ritual conventions on which communication depends, Nannucci does not aim at declarations of principles, definitions,