Vienna

Thomas Locher

Galerie Metropol

Last December and January, pedestrians wandering through Vienna’s antiques district might have been surprised by the endless series of words (in German) that were cut out of opaque black plastic sheeting and hung in the gallery’s windows. Were these typography samples, a store’s inventory, or a new kind of linguistic peepshow? Thomas Locher promised “Keine Rede ohne Antwort” (No talking without an answer) in the title of his installation. Inside, in the seemingly dematerialized cell, the viewer found a set of objects: an aluminum table and two chairs meaningfully facing one another in a conversational arrangement. Here too, normal use was disrupted by a series of words notched into their surfaces. There was a set of demonstrative and personal pronouns (“I, you, that one, this one,” etc.) on the seat of each chair, and on the tabletop there were two identical pairings of sentences that

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