Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber, Judith Fegerl,
Rainer Ganahl, Matthias Herrmann, Johanna Kandl, Mathias Kessler, Fabian
Patzak, Rainer Prohaska, Time's Up, WochenKlausur
Amanda McDonald Crowley
The Austrian Cultural Forum New
York (ACFNY) is proud to present Our Haus, an exhibition in
celebration of its ten year anniversary. Curated by Amanda McDonald
Crowley, Our Haus forgoes a typical survey, instead examining
the many facets of the Forum's mission as a place for the presentation of
contemporary culture, as a center for the discussion of ideas and
establishing cross-cultural relationships. These aspects are presented
through recent and newly-commissioned works by ten artists with ties to
Austria and New York, who employ the landmark architecture of the Forum to
explore themes that celebrate the history and mission of the ACFNY and its
role within the city.
Central to the exhibition is Rainer
Prohaska's Cuisine à tous les étages ("Kitchen
on every floor") (2012), an interactive installation that invites visitors
to visit kitchen stations extending throughout the narrow verticality of
the building's gallery space. Each station will provide one item to create
a meal, fostering an exploration of the space and conversation among
guests. New bonds and repurposing of the building are also reflected in the
work of the collective WochenKlausur, who have created an office and
meeting room within the gallery, inviting a variety of local non-profit
organizations to both network and operate in the space for the run of the
Judith Fegerl—known for her sculptural
work that combines intangible elements with the constructed and using
electricity as a medium in her work—will intervene within the
architecture of the building itself, creating drawings via controlled
electrical fires in the walls. Conversely, Sabine Bitter and
Helmut Weber have created an architectural intervention upon the
walls themselves through a specially commissioned wallpaper designed for
New York City.
Rainer Ganahl, a veteran New Yorker, has
produced a video that traces the route up Third Avenue, contrasting the
open architecture and bustling neighborhood surrounding the ACFNY with his
adopted home of Spanish Harlem and its boarded-up residential spaces.
Architectural disparity is also present in the paintings of New York-born,
Austrian-raised Fabian Patzak, who creates intimate impressions of
buildings and fixtures found in his travels for what will be his first
exhibition in the city.
Johanna Kandl and
Helmut Kandl channel a personal sense of domesticity through
vintage super-8 films of her childhood home, edited together with
contemporary footage of its now-abandoned state. Johanna Kandl also
welcomes visitors to Our Haus with a second work, a large painting
entitled Wir haben viele Freunde ("We Have Many Friends").
Similarly personal is the work of Matthias Herrmann, who presents
still lifes created from his recent New York residency that reflect upon
topics such as sexuality, sexual health, and body image. For the first time
these works are also freely available as postcards, allowing a direct and
personal exchange between artist and audience. The Linz-based collective
TIME'S UP will present Unattended Luggage, an installation
that draws the audience in to the vast history of immigration in New York
by providing items of luggage for them to peruse.
interactivity takes a more lighthearted turn in Mathias Kessler's
Das Eismeer, Die gescheiterte Hoffnung ("The Arctic Sea, The Failed
Hope"). The famous titular landscape by Caspar David Friedrich is recreated
by Kessler as a sculpture inside a mini-refrigerator that visitors are
encouraged to gaze upon as they help themselves to a bottle of beer. A
social sculpture, the intention is that audience members also engage in
conversation while contemplating the view.
The opening reception
for Our Haus will take place on Wednesday, May 16, 2012,
from 7 to 9pm. Claudia Schmied, the Austrian Minister for
Education, Arts and Culture will be present to officially open the show.
The opening will be preceded by an artist talk featuring participating
artists Sabine Bitter, Judith Fegerl, Mathias Kessler, Fabian Patzak,
Rainer Prohaska, and curator Amanda McDonald Crowley. The talk will take
place in the auditorium of the Austrian Cultural Forum from 5 to
6pm. A cooking performance by artist Rainer Prohaska will take
place in the kitchen he has installed throughout the ACFNY's gallery
from 6 to 7pm. Free admission for the artist talk and performance.
Due to limited seating, rsvp is required. Tickets are available by
exhibition page or calling 212 319 5300 x46.
Press images are available here.
About Amanda McDonald Crowley
Crowley is a New York-based Australian curator and facilitator who has
created programs and events of new media art, contemporary art, and
trans-disciplinary work. She was the Executive Director of Eyebeam Art and
Technology Center from late 2005 to 2011. She has curated exhibitions,
screenings and events that have been presented in New York, Australia,
Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Korea. Her contributions to the field of
electronic art also include her work as Executive Producer of the 2004
edition of ISEA, which was held in Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland,
and on a cruiser ferry in the Baltic Sea. She was also Director of the
Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) and later, Associate
Director of the Adelaide Festival 2002 where she was co-curator of the
exhibition conVerge: where art and science meet. She has worked
throughout Europe and Asia, holding residencies in Berlin, Germany
(1994/5), Banff Center for the Arts, Canada (2002) and at The Sarai
Programme at CSDS in Delhi, India (2002/3). Amanda is also a Board member
of NAMAC (National Alliance for Media Art + Culture).
the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
With its architectural
landmark building in Midtown Manhattan the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
is the cultural embassy of Austria in the United States. It hosts more than
200 free events annually and showcases cutting-edge Austrian contemporary
art, music, literature, and academic thought in New York. The Austrian
Cultural Forum houses around 10,000 volumes in its state-of-the-art
library, and enjoys long-standing and flourishing partnerships with many
venerable cultural and academic institutions throughout New York and the
United States. The year 2012 marks the ten-year anniversary of the
building's construction, and features many special programs and events
commemorating this milestone.
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212 319 5300 x78
Austrian Cultural Forum New York, 2011. Courtesy the