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Dive and Run

MuseumsQuartier 21, Wien

The curator of the exhibition brings the contradictory image of diving and running to Vienna. The thought conjured up by this image creates a sensation of physical impossibility, a notion of limitations. Works by 11 international artists take a close look at these limitations, both figuratively and literally.

comunicato stampa

Curator Matthias Deumlich
Assistant Taja Toplak

Artists: Ingeborg Lüscher, Alexandra Ranner, Costantino Ciervo, Edgar Leciejewski, Ingolf Keiner, Robert Jacobsen, Timm Ulrichs, Vassiliea Stylianidou, Una Szeemann and Bohdan Stehlik, Robert Jacobsen

Internationalism is a key characteristic of our exhibition series freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL. Participants in the interdisciplinary group exhibitions staged in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs include artists and curators who are invited through the Artist-in-Residence program of quartier21. As a consequence, the exhibitions, which are offered free of charge, represent an important addition to the already widely varied program at our cultural complex.

In “Dive and Run,” curator Matthias Deumlich brings the contradictory image of diving and running to Vienna. The thought conjured up by this image creates a sensation of physical impossibility, a notion of limitations. In times of “higher, better, faster,” it’s a welcome feeling – or at least it’s something you want to explore in more depth. Works by eleven international artists take a close look at these limitations, both figuratively and literally.

A richly varied accompanying program is already a tradition for our exhibitions. The children’s workshops are especially popular, not least because of the unusual themes and approaches they introduce. Thanks to the Young European Federalists, this exhibition will be accompanied by a children’s workshop titled “Towers in the Wind.” And don’t miss the literary reading with Lore Stefanek!

"Dive and Run” is the first of three major projects taking place at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL in 2013. The show will examine the necessity to slow down and step back in the face of worldwide acceleration. So step back, dive in.

Christian Strasser
Director, MuseumsQuartier Wien

I would like to thank Ambassador Martin Eichtinger (Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs) Minister-Counsellor Stefan Krawielicki (German Embassy Vienna) Daniel Gerer (Union of European Youth/ Young European Federalists) Curator Matthias Deumlich Actress and director Lore Stefanek Cultural journalist Matthias Reichelt Our partners and sponsors All of the participating artists.

The elephant swimming under water embodies the contradiction between colossal heaviness and buoyant lightness, and as such echoes the paradox defining the theme of the exhibition: “Dive and Run”. This paradox was chosen as the starting point for the exhibition because beyond being a metaphor, it is also easy to imagine physically what it would be like to have to run underwater and against the resistance of the material. The image of resisting forces compels us to slow down, to stop and reflect, while the image of the elephant as a swimming colossus conveys a sense of exquisite beauty and poetry.

The act of slowing down in a reality that is accelerating all around us as a result of global communications technology – as part of the development of productive forces – is reminiscent of the cultural theories of Paul Virilio. As early as the 1980s, Virilio noted a striking contrast between the human capacity to perceive and process information and the speed of development of processes in the world, which ultimately – as yet another paradox – is driven by humans themselves. Paul Virilio’s call to slow down may well illusionary, but it can at least be simulated in art as a means to gain a sense of affirmation of our existence and initiate a process of reflection.

“Dive and Run” is meant to be understood as an image and a challenge to really think about the fundamental values, functions, and goals of humanity and society – beyond the approach of everyday politics to the current social and global crisis. “Dive and Run” attempts to open a space in the transitory and philosophical sense and concretely create it within an exhibition context. In this mental sphere, or rather in this condition, things appear possible that in the rhythm of everyday life are not viable. Suddenly new questions arise, new possibilities open up, and habitual thought processes reveal the patina of erosion and antiquation. This is the productive place where we have a chance to explore new opportunities and possibilities. Absolved from the principle of higher, faster, farther, art can show us something different and give us playful indications of unconventional approaches. “Dive and Run” presents examples of this creative and playful form of conscious thought.

Matthias Deumlich

The “freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL” series is organized in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and other partners from Austria and abroad.

March 17, 2013 3pm
Reading “Der schwimmende Österreicher” with Lore Stefanek.

Press Contact quartier21
Mag. Julia Aßl Phone: +43/1/523 5881-1738 email:

Press conference March 6, 2013, 10am
Exhibition Opening March 6, 2013, 7pm

MuseumsQuartier 21
freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL Museumsplatz 1 - Wien
Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday 1 to 7pm
Free admission


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