Grazer Kunstverein
Burgergasse 4/II
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Three exhibitions
dal 8/3/2013 al 18/5/2013
wed-sun 11-18

Segnalato da

Tanja Gurke

calendario eventi  :: 


Three exhibitions

Grazer Kunstverein, Graz

In 1969 Mierle Laderman Ukeles wrote 'Manifesto for Maintenance Art' as a challenge to the binary systems of opposition that draw the line between art/life, nature/culture, and public/private. On display the works by Nina Beier, Dexter Sinister, Will Stuart and Robert Wilhite. With 'Dissolution', Raivo Puusemp presents materials and documentation surrounding his remarkable final project Rosendale, A Public Work.

comunicato stampa

Mierle Laderman Ukeles - ‘Maintenance Art Works 1969–1980’

The Grazer Kunstverein is proud to present the very first comprehensive, European solo exhibition of the artist's earlier work. Organized in 1998 by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts gallery in New York, the exhibition presents a body of work spanning over a decade of significant production.

The work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles (born 1939, Denver, CO) concerns the everyday routines of life. In 1969, following the birth of her first child, Ukeles wrote “Manifesto for Maintenance Art” as a challenge to the binary systems of opposition that draw the line between art/life, nature/culture, and public/private.

The manifesto proposed undoing boundaries that separate the maintenance of everyday life from the role of an artist in society. Ukeles was interested in how artists could use the concept of transference to empower people to act as agents of change and stimulate positive community involvement toward ecological sustainability. In the 1960s, Ukeles completed an undergraduate degree in history and international studies at Barnard and studied visual arts at Pratt Institute in New York. Ukeles’ work at this time was experimental, and visually and symbolically conveyed the social unrest surrounding events such as the women’s movement and the Vietnam War.

Ukeles became increasingly disturbed by the separation of the artist in society from everyday activities such as childcare, household work, and other routine labor practices that she felt should be reinterpreted within the contexts of personal and political aesthetic values. Ukeles has stated that “Avant-garde art, which claims utter development, is infected by strains of maintenance ideas, maintenance activities, and maintenance materials…”

“I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order) I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also, (up to now separately) I ‘do’ Art. Now I will simply do these everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art.” (Ukeles, 1969)

The exhibition will be accompanied by Ukeles’ very first publication focusing on her “Ballet Works” produced between 1983 and 2012. It is produced by Kunstverein, Amsterdam in collaboration with the Grazer Kunstverein, and is published by Sternberg Press with the support of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Nina Beier, Dexter Sinister, Will Stuart and Robert Wilhite.

Nina Beier
‘Tragedy’, 2011

A Persian rug situated at the entrance of the first gallery becomes a stage for a performance in which various dog owners visit the exhibition at unannounced times and ask their animals to “play dead” on the rug. The result is an absurd, theatrical gesture in which, for a moment, the pet serves as both a still life “gatekeeper” to the galleries.

Will Stuart

,On the positioning of a replica of Michelangelo Pistoletto's Struttura per parlare in piedi (Structure for talking while standing), 1965-66 from the series Oggetti in meno (Minus objects), reproduction', 2012

Positioned wherever negotiated, Will Stuart (Will Holder and Stuart Bailey) present a replica of Struttura per parlare in piedi (Structure for Talking While Standing) (1965–66), a work by Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933, Italy) that belongs to his series of Minus Objects (Oggetti in meno).

The work will be accompanied by a public notice investigating the original intentions behind the work, and how subsequent negotiations with the various parties involved reflect its ambiguous doubling as furniture (for the public to lean on) and metaphor (for the politics of conversation). The object will become an ongoing subject of negotiation during the consideration of space and function within discursive programming.

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s work was exhibited at the Grazer Kunstverein in 1988.

Dexter Sinister is a designer-editor-publisher duo established in 2006 by Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt. Their activities, which include a workshop and bookstore in New York, explore the possibilities of publishing in both printed and digital form – often in relation to art production. Many of their projects are site-specific and time-sensitive, including publications and events produced live in galleries over set periods of time. In 2011, they produced carpet tiles based on ‘tinctures’.

Tinctures are the colors used to emblazon a Coat of Arms in heraldry. Specific designs often had to be communicated using black-and-white drawing alone. In the absence of true color representation, a coded system of line hatching was developed that could easily distinguish one tincture from another. Each tincture has a proper, corresponding heraldic name. The titles produced by Dexter Sinister are spread throughout the galleries.

Robert Wilhite
‘Small Black Chair’, 1984

Robert Wilhite’s (b. 1946, Santa Ana, CA) practice is characterized by an ongoing battle between the serendipitous and the calculated, the conceptual and the tangible. His work moves freely between mediums and disciplines, from sculpture and performance to flatware design. In the late 1970s, Wilhite collaborated on four plays with French artist Guy de Cointet, producing props and a set design for the performance. The small, black chair is a reproduction of one of these props.

In 1997 Wilhite produced a series of chairs for artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles as part of her installation ‘Unburning Freedom Hall’ at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.

The Members Library

The Grazer Kunstverein has expanded its premises with a new venue entitled The Members Library, which concentrates on language display and production through the notion of publications, which also double as a space for social encounters. It will therefore also function as the venue for all discursive programming.

The Members Library consists of two elements: a library (including a small bookstore) and an exhibition space (dedicated to publications)

The library’s structure is “furnished” with books recommended by each member. These books (either bought or donated) have played an important part in the member’s lives (by ways of thinking). The Library organizes monthly evenings in which members are invited to present or organize something around the books they have recommended.

The purpose of these evenings is to engage the audience in the member’s interests and fascinations. It is a way of both conveying information and allowing participants to introduce themselves to the other (potential) members.

The library is constructed and designed by artist and architect Céline Condorelli (b. 1974, Paris) in collaboration with Harry Thaler as a permanent work entitled ‘Things That Go Without Saying'. Condorelli works with art and architecture, combining a number of approaches from developing structures for “supporting” (the work of others, forms of political imaginary, existing and fictional realities) to broader inquiries into forms of commonality and discursive sites.

The resulting projects merge various exhibitions, politics, fiction, display, public space, sound, writing, and whatever else feels urgent at the time. The structure she had built for The Members Library is part of a series entitled ‘Additionals’. These different prop-like objects, quasi- functional structures, operate at a scale between furniture and architecture.

‘Additionals’ simultaneously reference conceptual art, architectural propositions, and filmmaking through art direction and set design. the objects draw from Michelangelo Pistoletto’s ‘Oggetti in Meno’ (‘objects one can do without’, usually translated as minus objects), a disparate collection of pseudo-utilitarian objects developed in 1965–66. The title, ‘Additionals’, directly refers to Pistoletto’s series and the process of exceeding, adding to or supplementing what is already present or available.

In The Members Library, ‘the book’ will be viewed as an exhibition venue in itself, conveying the ideas and ambience of art presentation over spatial and temporal distance. Unique (and often forgotten historical) publications will be exhibited along with publications to be seen as sculptures or performances.
Raivo Puusemp – Dissolution

The first presentation in the library series is dedicated to the work of Raivo Puusemp (b. 1942, EE/US) and the reprint of his publication Beyond Art – Dissolution of Rosendale, N.Y. from 1980.

When artist Raivo Puusemp was voted mayor of Rosendale, New York in 1975, the village was plagued by an overbearing tax structure and problems with municipal utilities. Following his election and throughout his tenure, Rosendale's residents were unaware of Puusemp's practice as a conceptual artist, his early interest in phenomenology, and his later experiments with group dynamics and socio-political processes.

Puusemp's approach to the post was, however, an artistic one. He believed in the compatible co-existence of politics, influence and concept. Employing conceptual strategies to tackle the village's issues, Puusemp viewed the situation as an artwork in the form of a political problem. He drew upon previous works – called ‘influence pieces’ – in which the artist would steer subjects into unconsciously executing his ideas.

By March of 1976, Puusemp had persuaded the people of Rosendale (by a landslide 2:1 vote) that the dissolution of the village government would be the best possible solution to their problems. By October of that same year, Puusemp resigned as mayor, withdrew himself from the art context and moved his family to Utah. Rosendale, A Public Work was an attempt to superimpose a formal idea on an essentially directionless, political microsystem and, in doing so, have a permanent effect on that system.

Documentation of the process, including a series of official letters, papers and press clippings, was compiled and later published by the artist in his booklet Beyond Art – Dissolution of Rosendale, N.Y. Prints of the original publication have been reproduced to accompany the exhibition.

Raivo Puusemp – Dissolution is the first comprehensive overview of the Estonian artist's work produced between the mid-1960s and late 1970s, before his creative dissolution. Presenting materials and documentation surrounding his remarkable final project Rosendale, A Public Work, the exhibition also draws upon his earlier work concerning his observations of the natural and social world and the construction of phenomenological objects.

These are presented with related works by artist Ben Kinmont (b. 1963, US), which negotiate the notion of withdrawal and artistic contextualization.

Raivo Puusemp – Dissolution is co-produced by Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, USA. Following its presentation at Project Arts Centre (November 9, 2012 – January 12, 2013) and the Grazer Kunstverein (March 8 – May 19, 2013), it will travel to Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (June 7 – July 27, 2013)

Public Program
March – May 2013

8 March, 7 pm

Concert by Nils Bech with Julian Skar
8 March, 10 pm
Entrance: 5 Euro
Palais Thinnfeld, Mariahilferstraße 2
(previous location Grazer Kunstverein)

Shuttle service Wien - Graz - Wien
A shuttle bus between Vienna and Graz will be provided free of charge for the night of the exhibition openings on 8 March 2013.
Departure Vienna: 3 pm, Oper/bus stop IKEA-Bus
Departure Graz: 11:30 pm, Kunsthaus Graz, Lendkai 1

Talk and Walk
Walk-through with the artists and director Krist Gruijthuijsen
9 March, 3 pm
Grazer Kunstverein, Burggasse 4

Members Events
The Members Library organises monthly evenings in which members are invited to present or organize an event around the books they have recommended.
3 April, 15 May, 7 pm
Grazer Kunstverein, Burggasse 4


kunsttext.werk is a discursive, educational program held in collaboration with the Art History department at the University of Graz. Each evening is presented by young art historians and responds to the exhibitions on display.
19 March, 16 April and 14 May 2013, 7 pm
Grazer Kunstverein, Burggasse 4

The Fales Evenings
New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections will be hosting a yearlong program of evening talks and screenings, each presenting material from the collection that responds to subjects addressed within the larger Grazer Kunstverein program.
25 April, 7 pm
Grazer Kunstverein, Burggasse 4

Ian Wilson
4 May, 6 pm
Closed event

Lecture Mierle Laderman Ukeles
5 May, 6 pm

Beatrice Gibson
Screening of ,The Tiger's Mind' and ,Agatha' followed by a conversation with the artist
8 May, 7 pm

Tanja Gurke

Office Management and Public Relations

For reservation, please contact

Opening: 9 March 2013

Grazer Kunstverein
Burgergasse 4/II, Graz
Opening Hours: Wed–Sun 11am–6pm

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