The Bruce High Quality Foundation
Julien Bismuth, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Ernst Caramelle, Peter Coffin, Alex Hubbard, Koudlam, Ruth Laskey, Lorna Macintyre, Mahony, Tom Marioni, Sands Murray-Wassink, Rancourt/Yatsuk, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Martha Rosler, Misha Stroj, Piotr Uklanski, and Rita Vitorelli
Executive Producers and Curators: Severin Dünser, Christian Kobald, Emanuel Layr, Andreas Stadler, and Rita Vitorelli
Exhibition coordinator: Natascha Boojar
This exhibition understands art in a very mundane sense as a source of solace. It is committed to the mildly intoxicating character of beauty and the inebriating quality of alcohol and embraces the baser genres of still life and decoration. The show comprises two perspectives. One addresses the topic of solace in a contemplative movement revolving around objects, video, and painting. The other focuses on the headier consolations of inebriation and intoxication. The exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum is supplemented by a series of performances and events taking place in different locations throughout the city, each bringing up a form of solace, be it meditative or delirious.
The complexities of solace are reflected by the diversity of works in the exhibition. Paintings by Ernst Caramelle, Alex Hubbard, Ruth Laskey, Gerwald Rockenschaub, and Rita Vitorelli reveal the consolatory aspects of the medium of painting itself. Sands Murray-Wassink’s video confronts identity and sexuality by way of an act of masturbation. Tom Marioni’s The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends Is the Highest Form of Art promises solace through conversations conducted in a serene atmosphere of communal inebriation. The Bruce High Quality Foundation’s homage to Beethoven and Ayn Rand, titled Ode to Joy (The Fountainhead), and Peter Coffin’s installation Untitled (Equilibrium Balloons) represent more philosophical forms of solace. The latter addresses existential issues like inner balance by means of a deceptively simple visual metaphor. Lastly, the DIY romanticism of the Viennese art collective Mahony in Schäbiger Mond, leuchte [Make-shift moon, lamp] takes a more aesthetically-minded approach, floating a hand-built moon in a Caspar David Friedrich-like setting installed in a bedroom dresser.
The solace sought in inebriation and intoxication is explored more directly in the projects and performances that will take place throughout the period of the exhibition, both at the Austrian Cultural Forum and at several off-site venues. Philosophical drinking songs, penned by the early twentieth-century Austrian philosopher and economist Felix Kaufmann, will be played during the opening reception. The Solace party, hosted by Austria-based art magazine spike, will further delve into the intricacies of inebriation. There will be an evening of theory (In Memory of Painting: Solace), action (a performance by the New York-based duo Rancourt/Yatsuk), and musical entertainment (a concert by the French electronica composer Koudlam). There will also be a poetry reading where actor Jeff Horn will read poems on solace selected by artists in the show. A film screening curated by Andreas Huber will bring together various consolatory film and video works.
In the first week of March, the members of the Palm d’Or Social Club (Lucas Ajemian, Julien Bismuth, Mike Bouchet, Henrik Capetillo, Sebastian Clough, Christian Jankowski, and Seth Williamson) will host an evening of entertainment. Last but not least, several artists will lead walks through New York City to the places where they find or found their own unique forms of solace.
Schedule of Solace Events and Performances:
Wednesday, February 3, ACFNY, from 6 – 8 PM:
Opening reception featuring "Wiener Lieder zu Philosophie und Ökonomie" (Viennese Songs on Philosophy and Economy) by Felix Kaufmann. Performed by Joshua Camp (music & vocals)
Monday, February 15, from 8 PM:
Conversation Piece: talking, drinking, and finding "solace" in a hotel suite
Limited to 20 persons. Venue revealed only to attendees. R.S.V.P. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 18, ACF Theater:
6 PM Lecture by Suzanne Hudson: In Memory of Painting – Solace
7.30 PM Performance by Rancourt/Yatsuk
By their own account, Justin Rancourt and Chuck Yatsuk are "two young lifestyle artists who orchestrate events and exhibitions centered on American leisure pastimes: mixing drinks, motivational speaking, real estate speculation, multi-level marketing, boating, and vacation planning." For the evening at the Austrian Cultural Forum, Rancourt/Yatsuk are developing a special performance that shares their perspective on Solace in the form of a presentation and demonstration.
9 PM Concert by Koudlam
"He is young and beautiful, his lips smell the ocean, his eyes are like the eyes of a dolphin. His body is like a modern statue, his music golden ruins and mountain summit visions at night. He believes that poverty in Africa can save the world." That's how Kouldam, French author, composer, singer, and poet, characterizes himself. Influenced by musical styles ranging from classical music to pop and techno, Kouldam creates multifaceted worlds between heroic-romantic pop songs and electronic operas. His concert at the Austrian Cultural Forum theater will speak straight to the heart of our souls.
R.S.V.P. at www.acfny.org (go to Events, click on the day of the event, and click on the reservation button)
Tuesday, February 23, 8 PM, 179 Canal (179 Canal Street, 2nd Floor):
La nuit porte conseil: A Poetry Night
Jeff Horn reads poems on solace selected by artists in the exhibition
Thursday, March 4 | Friday, March 5 | Saturday, March 6 | 10:30 AM (starting point at the ACF):
There's a place, Where I can go, When I feel low, When I feel blue: A selection of artists take participants on guided walks to places where they seek solace.
Limited to 20 persons each City Walk. R.S.V.P. email@example.com
Friday, March 5, from 8 PM to late at the ACF:
An evening with the Palm d’Or Social Club
Artists Lucas Ajemian, Julien Bismuth, Mike Bouchet, Sebastian Clough, Christian Jankowski, and Seth Williamson of the Palm D’or Social Club will host an evening of surprise entertainment.
Thursday, March 11, 7 PM, ACF Theater:
Screening of videos and films selected and introduced by Andreas Huber
Maria Simma Austrian Cultural Forum New York 212 3195300 ext. 203 917 5200256 firstname.lastname@example.org
ACFNY Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
Daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Admission is free.