Unterspiel: An Exhibition of Contemporary Viennese Artists, curated by CCST candidate Séamus Kealy

Opening Reception & Performances: Thursday June 30th, 2005, 6-9 pm. Show runs July 1 – August 14.

Patrick Baumüller & Severin Hofmann, Catrin Bolt, Marlene Haring, monochrom, Hans Schabus

Emerging Viennese artists come to Vancouver to rewrite their cultural history. Guest Curator Séamus Kealy.

Unterspiel is an exhibition of five contemporary Viennese artists/artist groups.  This exhibition accounts for a variety of artistic strategies exploring the problematics of contemporary art production in Vienna.  The works in this group exhibition have a specific, sometimes belated, relation to a tradition of avant-gardism that has its origins in fin de siecle Vienna, but at the same time these artists are paradoxically root in the provocative actions of the Viennese Actionists.  In the wake of the Actionists’ inherently political work,  ontemporary Viennese art often engages in socio-political issues, whether around notions of Austrian identity, or in confrontation to political or art institutions.

This exhibition is organized by artist and independent curatorSéamus Kealy, a candidate in the Curatorial Program at UBC, and is a co-production of The Contemporary Art Gallery and The University of British Columbia.

Severin Hofmann & Patrick Baumüller: This artist duo will interact with the public in their site-specific Würstelstand outside the gallery.  Based on the ubiquitous Vienna hotdog stands, this caravan will be a site of performance, cultural reflection, and the distribution of sausages into Vancouver’s downtown district to experiment with notions of ‘cultural difference’ directly with the public.  Altogether, these artists are transplanting a clichéd image of Austrian culture.

Catrin Bolt & Marlene Haring: This former artist duo will present individual work that follows their collaborative work.  These young artists have made video and performance works that are politically and sexually provocative, such as the 2003 video, Call Boys, involving male prostitutes, or recent performances in politically-charged contexts such as government buildings.

monochrom:  Public volunteers will be invited to be buried alive.  With a small, private graveyard set up in the gallery, willing individuals may come to experience their own mortality.  As part of their “Experience” tour through the US and Canada, this art collective will also present a lecture on Wednesday, June 29th at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

Hans Schabus:  Schabus, who represents Austria at this year’s Venice Biennale, will present the video installation “Western”, a complex work that questions notions of post-war Viennese identity.  In this work, Schabus boats through the famous catacomb sewers beneath Vienna, the same place where Orson Wells had run from the authorities in the 1949 film The Third Man.

An exhibition catalogue with a text by curator Séamus Kealy will be available.

The exhibition was made possible with core support from: The Austrian Federal Chancellery Kunst Program, The Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Ottawa and with the generous support of:

The Austrian Consulate in Vancouver
The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, The University of British Columbia
The Alvin Balkind Fund
The Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery
Faculty of Graduate Studies, The University of British Columbia
Red Bull
E.T.T. European Technology Transfer Inc.

For more information please contact: info@contemporaryartgallery.ca or 604 681 2700

The Contemporary Art Gallery is generously supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, The City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation, The Province of British Columbia and The BC Arts Council, our members and volunteers.

Contemporary Art Gallery, 555 Nelson Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 6R5 Canada
www.contemporaryartgallery.ca  Spring/Summer hours in effect: Wed – Sun 12 – 5 pm; Thurs 12 – 8pm.

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