With the second opening in the series “Yes, but is it Performable? Investigations of the Performative Paradox,” documentary works of art by the Austrian artist Renate Bertlmann are added to the exhibition. These are preliminary studies, staged photographs, and documentary photographs and videos of the artist’s influential performances in the late 1970s and early 1980s. What all of these performances have in common is that they draw their energy from the ambivalence between “feminine” and “masculine” relations within sexuality and desire, laid bare by the artist in her performances. Here, the artist critically questions and tests society’s clichéd, preconceived expectations of gender roles.
The English artist and sculptor Stuart Brisley also developed a series of works in the 1970s whose theme is the potential for conflict among humans. For “12 Days” (1975) the artist worked in front of an audience in Rottweil, Germany, building a prison out of wooden bars, only to break out of it and free himself in the end. The documentary photographs of this work are now being presented for the first time, along with comments written by students from Rottweil, as part of a school project connected to the 1975 show. These comments comprise unique evidence of great empathy for the artist and his performance, ranging from instinctive rejection to glowing defenses of the artist and his practice.
The performance at this opening is by a duo of performers and artists, Karl Karner and Linda Samaraweerová. In the premiere of “WÜRFELN – FELL MIT BALL” (DICE – FUR WITH BALL) they’ll present a performative setting on both floors of the building. The show’s content revolves around questions of re-orientation and healing, and includes fictitious and biographical elements. While the artists themselves perform various deliberate actions in the main exhibition room, projections in the basement of the Künstlerhaus show the artists in an individual, protracted battle, searching for solutions in patterns of behavior, in order to achieve new, everyday realities. The music for the videos is by the Czech contemporary composer Robert Jíša, and the Viennese photographer and camerawoman Judith Stehlik operated the camera.