Sabine Vogel

  • picks October 27, 2005

    International Istanbul Biennial

    The last two Istanbul Biennials lost touch with the city’s roots. This year’s curators, Charles Esche (Director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven) and Vasif Kortun (Director of the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul) are determined to correct this. To that end, more than half of the approximately fifty participating artists were invited to take part in temporary residencies to develop projects specific to the city. Rather than being exhibited at historical sites, as has been the case, these projects are shown instead in seven apartment buildings and warehouses. Dan Perjovschi,

  • Isabell Heimerdinger

    A man stands in an empty white room, by turns bored and annoyed, then intent, thoughtfully staring into space. What we are seeing is a close-up of Wolfram Berger, a famous Austrian movie actor, for a full seventeen minutes. Isabell Heimerdinger titled her 16 mm film, which came out of her residency at the Atelier Augarten in Vienna, Waiting, Acting Waiting, 2003. She hired Berger to play a man waiting but instructed him first to wait before being filmed. In fact, the camera was already running, giving rise to two portraits.

    The viewer quickly begins to search for the line between the acted and

  • Dorothee Golz

    A selection of sculptures and drawings from the last six years, Dorothee Golz’s second gallery exhibition in Vienna resembled a small-scale retrospective. The works on view seemed typical of Golz: humorous, sometimes sardonic images from the world of the everyday. Her Kommunikationsmodell (Communication model), 2000, consists of fused plaster cups (the remains of coffee are painted in)—a wonderful reference to people coming together. Golz placed the cups on a little table surrounded by her 4 Stapelstühle (4 stacking chairs), which could also be a kind of “communication model.” Each of this

  • Linda Bilda for Ernst Schmidt Jr.

    Ernst Schmidt Jr. (1938–88) was one of Vienna's most important avant-garde filmmakers and theoreticians. So how can his work be shown other than in a movie theater or in print? Both forms of presentation were employed in a recent survey of his work, a posthumous “collaboration” with Linda Bilda, yet most of the exhibition took place in the gallery spaces of the Wiener Secession.

    An artist living in Vienna, Bilda has been working with Schmidt Jr.'s estate for several years now. There are several salient points of intersection between her work and Schmidt Jr.'s. Both artists proceed by taking visual

  • “Demokratie®”

    THE WORDDemokratie” (Democracy), printed in white, gleams on a black background on as many as 800 billboard-size posters throughout Vienna. One of the great totemic ideals of the twentieth century is thus emblazoned, without further comment, across the city. Democracy is a notion through which everything from the social to the economic order legitimizes itself. It is at once a situation, a process, and a challenge. In 1971, Joseph Beuys renamed his Organization of Non-Voters as the Organization for Direct Democracy and demanded that the people's self-determination replace “party dictatorship.”

  • Gelatin

    Four Austrians have been making appearances under the label “Gelatin” for the past five years. They have been engaged by music clubs and invited to participate in theater festivals; they have made commissioned “percent for art” pieces and staged their multiworks in art exhibitions. Depending on the occasion, this group of artists offers everything from short, spectacular appearances (like the nightclub performance in which they hung from the ceiling and whipped each other with leeks) to complex installations such as Operation Lila, 1999, a miniature operating room with stuffed animals as patients,

  • Annelies Štrba

    The Swiss artist Annelies Štrba gained recognition in the early ’90s, when her family photographs were exhibited in Zurich for the first time. These are curious snapshots showing her children and grandchildren in often intimate domestic situations: in the chaos of untidy rooms, sitting at the dining room table, grooming their hair, or—again and again—sleeping. These images were clearly not produced for exhibition purposes but pursue a private obsession born of the joy that this (trained) photographer takes in her family.

    It would be difficult to say precisely why Štrba has chosen the

  • Olivier Mosset/Cady Noland

    There has been little new to see in Europe from Cady Noland since her remarkable contribution to Documenta IX in 1992. For that event, she produced Towards a Metalanguage of Evil, a collage-based installation around the topic of psychopaths, in which she included the text of the eponymous essay she wrote in 1987 and work by colleagues from Sherrie Levine to Steven Parrino. In the essay, Noland elaborates at great length on the strategies of the psychopath. These include the “information hunt,” a tactic that allows the psychopath to better manipulate his prey; “the mirror device,” in which he “

  • Andreas Siekmann

    For his project, Wir fahren für Bakunin (We’re traveling for Bakunin), Andreas Siekmann plans to travel to a total of 250 cities. The first stop was Frankfurt, the second Hamburg, and recently he came to Vienna. The cities were selected in order toretrace Mikhail Bakunin’s travels (read flight). The Russian revolutionary, one of the most important theoreticians of Anarchism, was banished to Siberia in 1857. Four years later he fled across Japan and the USA to London. According to the project proposal, the cities-tour will go as far as Yokohama and San Francisco.

    The project is not just a series

  • Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell

    All architecture reflects hierarchies and social structures. Prisons, theaters, hospitals, museums, or convention centers—their façades and layouts indicate political, social, and cultural positions. Chairs are the lowest common denominator in all buildings. Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell, two young British artists, employ a vocabulary of chairs, whose seats reveal architectural models between two glass plates. Passed in the Present, 1987, consists of six chairs, five of them dazzling white and one black. The precise execution of their design wipes out any hint of the construction process. The