7th May – 24th July 2011
Opening: Fri, 6 May, 6 p.m.
Guided tours: Tues, 24 May, 6.30 p.m. and Sunday, 3 July, 3 p.m.
Art Lunch: Thurs, 23 June, 12 noon
«Immer noch und noch nicht» is curated by Maren Brauner and Irene Grillo.
Linked by having studied together and especially by intensive stays in Switzerland cleaning screws, Adrien Tirtiaux and Hannes Zebedin are now taking their artistic collaboration as a theme, in terms of space as well as content and form, at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. Their dialogic working method is the thread running through the project, which brings together Tirtiaux’s profound handling of spaces and Zebedin’s subtle analyses of context and system.
Zebedin’s incisive installations and video works create a subtle narrative about historical events and themes such as globalisation and migration. An example is the work Eine Linie Jerichorosen (Wasser und Steine) (A Line Made by Roses of Jericho (Water and Stones)): Zebedin placed a stone in the middle of each of the plants, which originate from Jericho and northern Mexico, thus depriving them of their ability to move freely with the wind. With more than 400 such weighed-down roses of Jericho he then drew a symbolic border through the Kunst Halle’s premises. The work, which is formally rooted in the stringency of 60s and 70s Concept Art but also reminiscent of Arte Povera in the choice of materials, unobtrusively throws up questions on the current migration policy of industrialised countries and the role of national borders.
In parallel Tirtiaux’s works tell a story of our society’s modern and postmodern architectonic legacy. Utopian projects and plans doomed to failure are presented in the studio of the architect – a figure created by the artist. The “architect’s” latest attempt – to create a model of the world on a scale of 1:5000 – can also be seen at the exhibition. However, the exorbitant dimensions of the planned “miniature” can only be guessed at since only the three highest mountain tops float in the Kunst Halle. For «Immer noch und noch nicht» («Still and not yet») Tirtiaux also made a series of spatial interventions which enable a changed perception of the exhibition space and set up a dialectical situation between the two artistic positions.
The implicit hope and simultaneous awareness of hopelessness in the “architect’s” utopian projects and the title of the exhibition are also characteristic of Charleroi, a central location for the artists’ collaboration. For Tirtiaux and Zebedin the city provides a condensed overview of the development of modernity in Europe and the social and economic problems connected with it. Celebrated for its rapid industrial development until the 1960s, the city now has one of the highest rates of unemployment and crime in Belgium. Various works referring to Charleroi can be seen at the Kunst Halle: for example, Zebedin’s readymade with a broken through sunbed similar to a plunging share index entitled Träumerei von der Hoffnung auf Aufschwung (Musing on the Hope of Revival) symbolises the abrupt decline of the city.
Hopes are also frustrated in the video Dialog: the encounter between someone walking in the dark and the headlights of an approaching car is only fleeting. The vehicle does not stop and the viewer finally sees the rear lights disappearing, only to be left in complete darkness once again. Zebedin’s video work is not only central in terms of content but is also spatially at the centre of the exhibition at which visitors can enter into an unusual dialogue with each other.
However, «Immer noch und noch nicht» does not only tell the story of an encounter and conversation between Tirtiaux und Zebedin but also opens a second course which leads from personal space to the social role of the artist: while a reflective self portrait by Zebedin in the form of a video and Tirtiaux’s architect’s studio form the starting point, in the last room the dialogue condenses in the attempt to broach the issue of functions of artistic production in today’s society and within the art system. Two prism advertising panels in the Kunst Halle’s inner courtyard bring these different perspectives together: the huge panels of Trivision interact to provide an extension of the exhibition space, a boundary to the white cube and an “illusory” window to the outside world.
After qualifying as a civil engineer and architect in Belgium Adrien Tirtiaux (*1980, Brussels, lives and works in Antwerp) studied performative art and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Besides solo exhibitions including at Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna (2010), Stadtgalerie Bern (2009) and Demonstrationsraum, Vienna (2008), he has participated in various group exhibitions (selection): Ernst Museum, Budapest; Secession, Vienna; City Museum, Belgrad; L’Amicale, Brussels; Neuer Sächsischer Kunstverein, Dresden (2010); Meet Factory, Prague; Herring factory Djupavik/Sign, Groningen; MAK, Vienna; OK Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz (2009). www.adrientirtiaux.eu
Hannes Zebedin (*1976, Lienz, lives and works in Vienna) studied economics and political science at the University of Vienna followed by performative art and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Solo exhibitions of the artist took place at the following galleries and institutions (selection): Galerie Amer Abbas, Vienna; OKC Abrasevic, Mostar (BiH); El Changarritto, Mexico City (2010); Secession, Vienna (2009). In addition he has carried out interventions in public space including in Tromsö (Norway), Vienna and Belgrade – and participated in various group exhibitions, amongst them at White Space Zurich; Digital Art Lab, Holun (Israel); Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2011); BKS Garage, Copenhagen; Kulturforum Bozen; L‘Amicale, Brussels (2010); Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2009).
In recent years Tirtiaux and Zebedin have realised various projects together: for the intervention «Ein Sonntag im Museum: Einblicke in die Sammlung Weiser» («A Sunday at the Museum: Insights into the Weiser Collection») in 2008 they propagated the closed down meat factory Weiser on the outskirts of Vienna which was due for demolition as a complete readymade. For almost a year they have been organising the research project and residence programme «Hotel Charleroi» in Belgium. http://hotelcharleroi.com
«Immer noch und noch nicht» is supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum.
Special thanks to Tilia Baumpflege AG, Frick; Crystal Display Electronics AG, Altendorf; Messeprisma Heinz Schmidt, Deutschland.