2014 Kunsthalle wien Exhibition
Genzken is considered to be one of the most important artists of our time. Although her multifaceted work in essence entails a surprising wealth of ideas, it nevertheless provides for a clear anchorage in the sculptural field. At the centre of the large-scale exhibition in Kunsthalle Wien, is Genzken’s fascination with the urban – that is explored by means of steady recurring themes in her work, such as the mirror motif, and an analysis of architecture as well as the exploration of space as a social sphere. A further focus of the exhibition is Genzken’s artist friends, whose positions she particularly appreciates – a whole lot thereof will hereby be contrasted with Genzken’s own work.
In her work Isa Genzken casts a critical look at the present, and takes this as the starting point for a radical reinvention of reality. Formal rigor is confronted with a playful combination of materials, and the homogeneous with the disparate. However, the diversity of expression is never arbitrary, but corresponds to the dynamics of the city, which on account of its ambivalence still serves as the main source of inspiration for Genzken. The classical rigor of modern architecture, the post-modern fascination with the trivial and the motley combination of vastly different styles in the real urban space, constitutes the raw material of her sculptures and assemblages, collages and films. Her exploration of architecture is always accompanied by reflections on the social as lived space. Genzken’s Social Facades (2002) with her reflective surfaces, are reminiscent of the reflective surfaces of corporate buildings, however they also distort our own image, which is thereby reflected in the shimmering and reflective sheets from the DIY store that are pasted with image objects. Isa Genzken’s New Buildings for Berlin (2014) are euphoric, utopian designs that challenge the real erected conformity tristesse, with regard to how great contemporary building could look. The Beach Huts, ten objects from the year 2000, in which the boundaries between public and private spheres seem to blur, celebrate the improvised temporary dwelling, as another place of longing. Science Fiction/Hier und jetzt zufrieden sein (2001), which was jointly designed with Wolfgang Tillmans, forms with its large reflective cubes, a resonator that duplicates the environment and suggestively draws the viewer in the abstract space of pictorial illusion.
The American author Joshua Decter wrote in his contribution to the catalogue, which is published under the title Cities Run Through Her Veins: “She seems to have an intuitive grasp of cities as territories of wonder, complexity, fear and hope ... For decades, Genzken has conveyed a fascination with the urban – embracing the events, velocities, identities, structures, beings, temporalities, violence, beauty, ugliness, strife, serenity, melancholia, fugitive subjectivities, psychologies and places that surface and recede within city-space.”
Isa Genzken shares this exploration of contradictions of urban life and the inherent potential for social change with artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark and Dan Graham. In I’m Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool, selected works of both artists will for the first time be showcased in a dialogue, which is intended to focus on the parallels in their explorations of the urban space as a particular area of economic interests. In addition, works by Gerhard Richter, Carl Andre, Jasper Johns, Wolfgang Tillmans and Lawrence Weiner will be presented. The direct collaboration with Tillmans moreover also led to the series of photographs Atelier (1993), portraits of Genzken in the Cologne Cathedral – a further ambivalently thematised architecture.
The presentation at Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier, entangles these different perspectives, and thereby enables them to enter into a dialogue. This new œuvre on Genzken that is as diverse and consistent as her past work, moreover arises out of and in confrontation, with heterogeneous as well as harmonizing works, on material and thematization.
I’m Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool also interconnects the two sites of Kunsthalle Wien: Haare wachsen wie sie wollen comprises a collection of bamboo shoots that widely visible proliferate like hair from the rooftop of the Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz. Genzken sees sculptures as objects that are charged with content and through their placement in indoor and outdoor spaces establish a constant relationship with these spaces, thus providing a dialogue with the respective architecture and its social as well as ideological charge. The unruly hair becomes a plea for the proliferations of the urbane, which have become a defiant reaction to the universally increasing endeavours of conformity.
Isa Genzken's longtime gallerist Daniel Buchholz and Nicolaus Schafhausen talk about their personal approach to the artist's work and its development over the past decades.
Writer and critic Jennifer Kabat introduces the work of Isa Genzken, particularly with regard to its relation to architecture.
Curator: Nicolaus Schafhausen
Artist: Isa Genzken
(born 1948) lives and works in Berlin. An acclaimed retrospective of her work was exhibited at the MoMA in New York, up to March 2014. In Vienna, Genzken was showcased with solo exhibitions at Generali Foundation, in 1996 and at Secession, in 2006. An exhibition of her work, curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen was showcased in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, in 2007.
The publication accompanies the exhibition including a foreword by Nicolaus Schafhausen, essays by Joshua Decter and Tom McDonough, and installation views of the exhibition.
Edited by Kunsthalle Wien and published by Sternberg Press.
NO MATCHING PROJECTS
Tell me about yesterday tomorrow. A Book about the Future of the Past 2021 PUBLICATION
Curating contemporary art against the backdrop of a local context 2019 TEACHING
Heinz Frank. The Angle of the End Always Comes from Behind 2019 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2018: Ting-Jung Chen & Hui Ye. Keep Me Close To You 2018–2019 EXHIBITION
Olaf Nicolai. There Is No Place Before Arrival 2018 EXHIBITION
Ieva Epnere. On water, wind and faces of stone 2018 EXHIBITION
Guy Mees. The Weather is Quiet, Cool, and Soft 2018 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2017: Marlene Maier & Olena Newkryta: Everything a Hand Can't Take 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Florian Hecker. Hallucination, Perspective, Synthesis 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989-2017 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Marlene Creates. To the Blast Hole Pond River 2017 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing 2017 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing 2018 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Margit Busch, Andrej Polukord 2016–2017 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Margit Busch. IF—THEN—ELSE. Welcome to Transciency 2016 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Andrej Polukord. The Sarcophagus 2016 PUBLICATION
Nathalie Du Pasquier. BIG OBJECTS NOT ALWAYS SILENT 2016 EXHIBITION
Wilfrid Almendra. Light Boiled Like Liquid Soap 2016 EXHIBITION
Wilfrid Almendra. Light Boiled like Liquid Soap 2019 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Karina Mendreczky, Anastasiya Yarovenko 2015–2016 Exhibition
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Karina Mendreczky 2016 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Anastasiya Yarovenko 2016 PUBLICATION
Charlemagne Palestine. GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandtttt 2015 Exhibition
Charlemagne Palestine. GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandttttt 2016 PUBLICATION
Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology 2015 Exhibition
Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology 2016 PUBLICATION
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz. Future Light 2015 Exhibition
Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality 2015 Exhibition
Flaka Haliti. Kosovo Pavilion for the 58th Biennial 2015 EXHIBITION
Pierre Bismuth. The Curator, the Lawyer and the Psychoanalyst 2015 Exhibition
Pierre Bismuth. Things I Remember I Have Done, But Don’t Remember Why I Did Them 2017 PUBLICATION
Tony Conrad. Two Degrees of Separation / Über zwei Ecken 2015 PUBLICATION
Gareth Long & Melton Barker. Kidnappers Foil 2014–2015 Exhibition
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2014: Leander Schönweger. The Fog Disperses 2014 Exhibition
Leander Schönweger. Die Nebel lichten sich 2014 PUBLICATION
Hannah Rickards. Grey light. Left and right back, high up, two small windows 2014–2015 EXHIBITION
Isa Genzken. I’m Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool 2014 Exhibition
Isa Genzken. I’m Isa Genzken, the Only Female Fool 2014 PUBLICATION
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys. Das Wunder des Lebens (The Miracle of Life) 2014 Exhibition
Zin Taylor. The Story of Stripes and Dots 2013–2014 EXHIBITION
Zin Taylor. Lichen Voices/Stripes and Dots 2013 PUBLICATION
WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do Festival 2013 EVENT
Act I: Beautiful from Every Point of View 2009–2010 EXHIBITION
John Kormeling. Dutch Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 2010 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. German Pavilion 53. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte La Biennale di Venezia 2009 2009 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. How are you going to behave? A kitchen cat speaks 2009 PUBLICATION
William Hunt. Tempting Fate, Swimming Alone 2008 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. Three perspectives and a short scenario 2008 EXHIBITION
Isa Genzken. Deutscher Pavillon 52. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte La Biennale di Venezia 2009 2007 EXHIBITION
Die Frage des Tages / The Question of the Day 2007 PUBLICATION
Michael Beutler. nicht innen sondern außen – nicht drinnen, sondern draußen 2004–2005 EXHIBITION
Ars Viva 03/04. Film: Jeanne Faust and Omar Fast 2004 EXHIBITION
Adorno: The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. II) 2003 PUBLICATION
Adorno: The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. I) 2003 PUBLICATION
Gerard Byrne. Books, Magazines, and Newspapers 2003 PUBLICATION
Alex Morrison. Giving the Story a Treatment 2005 PUBLICATION
Stephen Prina: An Evening of 19th- and 20th- Century 2003 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Even If The Driver May Be Different, The Truck Still Remains The Same 2002 EXHIBITION
Husain / Richter / Jensen. Lavawoche – Krustenwoche 2001 EXHIBITION
Christa Näher. Das Malwerk und das Schöne 2000–2001 EXHIBITION
Tulipomania Dotcom: A Critique of the New Economy 2000 EVENT
Stephen Prina. To the People of the City of Frankfurt 2000 EXHIBITION
Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij. After the Hunt 2000 PUBLICATION
Man muss ganz schön viel lernen um hier zu funktionieren 2000 EXHIBITION
Dorothea von Hantelmann. Der andere Schauplatz 1999 EVENT
Benutzeroberfläche Stadt. Performanzen für den Frankfurter Kunstverein 1999 EVENT