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Winter at Grazer Kunstverein

Richard Kriesche
VERNISSAGE
12–16 February 2020, 6-9pm


Image courtesy of Richard Kriesche.

VERNISSAGE is a week-long project conceived by Richard Kriesche especially for the Grazer Kunstverein. Open only in the evenings, the project aims to reconsider the precise location of art in the contemporary context, thinking about the individual, subjective experience in contrast with the quantification of culture as data. Since the 1990’s Kriesche’s work has explored the interdependencies of art, society, technology and economy, working in critical and creative tension to problematise systems and reveal glitches. For Winter 2019/20, Kriesche creates a situation in which visitors to the Kunstverein are invited to search for, and locate meaning, against a dizzying backdrop of bureaucracy, protocol and radical hospitality.

For each of the five opening nights of VERNISSAGE, the same speech was recited by artistic director Kate Strain, to mark the moment and declare the official launch of the VERNISSAGE.

“Ladies and gentlemen, dear members, esteemed guests, good evening and a very warm welcome to Grazer Kunstverein for VERNISSAGE. My name is Kate Strain and I am the artistic director of Grazer Kunstverein. Here beside me is Richard Kriesche, and he is the artist responsible for this project.

But, who are you? We invited you – we should know… You are of course the public. But in fact, you are much more than that! – you are the besucher (those who search). You are the besucher and you are here with us to celebrate the opening of this exhibition. Here in this space, the individual is transformed by virtue of being physically present here at the vernissage, into the besucher. Well dear besuchers, you are all very welcome to VERNISSAGE.

But what is a vernissage? A vernissage (from the French word, originally meaning “varnishing”) is a term used for a preview of an art exhibition, which may be private, before the formal opening. If the vernissage is not open to the public, but only for invited guests, it is also sometimes called a private view. In the nineteenth century artists would sometimes put the finishing touches on their paintings by varnishing the canvas on this day. And special friends, patrons, or visiting elite would be invited to celebrate alongside. These days, the convention of a vernissage has evolved to become a shared moment in which to officially toast the new artwork, and to be the first to see it. As an arts professional, a VIP, a critic, a potential collector or indeed as an invited besucher.

We are honoured to present this new work by Richard Kriesche, and even more honoured that today, as with each vernissage this week, ‘the artist is present’.

Before you finally enter the exhibition, we must of course not forget to thank our dear sponsors and collaborators. Thank you to JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, to DIGITAL – Institute for Information and Communication Technologies, NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies AG. Thank you also to our supporters, Stadt, Land and Bund, and Legero. Huge thanks to our wonderful team; Tanja, Christina, Ahmad, Enzo, Julia, Henrik und Thomas. Thank you to Weinhof Ulrich for the delicious wine, and thank you to our members for your continuous curiosity, enthusiasm and vital engagement. And finally, thank you to the artist himself, Richard Kriesche.

You have heard, dear besuchers, of one-person-shows before. Naturally you know that a one-person-show is a solo exhibition, made by one person. In this case however we have a one-person-show, which is not only made by one person, it is also made for one person. For this reason, we invite you, to come and experience this exhibition one person at a time. Entry is strictly limited and each one of you wishing to attend must enter in isolation. Of course we will need your patience and cooperation in facilitating such a mode of intensely private viewing, but we do hope you will enjoy the drinks and nibbles while you wait your turn.

Thank you all for coming to VERNISSAGE.

This is for you.”

Richard Kriesche (born 1940, Vienna) is an artist, media artist and theorist, exhibition organizer, curator of art and science exhibitions, publisher of art magazines, gallery owner and publicist. His artistic fields of work include photography, video, computer, net art, installations, performance and multimedia art. Kriesche’s sculptures and installations have been presented several times at documenta Kassel and the Venice Biennale. Kriesche was the first Austrian artist to receive a prize from the Venice Biennale. He is among others winner of the Austrian media art award.

Kriesche’s more recent major exhibitions include: “Schwindel der Wirklichkeit”, Academy of the Arts, Berlin, 2014. “ABSTRACT LOOP AUSTRIA”, 21er Haus, Vienna, 2016. “Painting with Method”, mumok Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, 2018. In 2020, an exhibition on Austria’s post-war art and cultural history will take place under the direction of the Albertina Modern and with Kriesche’s participation – “The Beginning: Art in Vienna 1945 to 1980”.

VERNISSAGE by Richard Kriesche is realised with research by JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, DIGITAL – Institute for Information and Communication Technologies, supported by NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies AG.


Richard Kriesche, detail from VERNISSAGE, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Richard Kriesche, detail from VERNISSAGE, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Richard Kriesche, detail from VERNISSAGE, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Richard Kriesche, detail from VERNISSAGE, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Fiona Hallinan
I remember oranges, you remember dust
6 December 2019

As part of her ongoing hospitality project Fink’s, Fiona Hallinan presents ‘I remember oranges, you remember dust’, a cooking workshop in collaboration with Eva De Moor, presented in three parts that explore how to make dust, wash hands, knead ash, remove excess, preserve and persevere. This is an artistic performance in the frame of a cookery class, and will involve active, hands-on work with fresh produce, fireside stories, unusual recipes, shared knowledge and shared food, culminating in a collective feast of seasonal specialties.


Fiona Hallinan, I remember oranges, you remember dust, cooking workshop with Eva De Moor, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Fiona Hallinan, I remember oranges, you remember dust, cooking workshop with Eva De Moor, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Fiona Hallinan, I remember oranges, you remember dust, cooking workshop with Eva De Moor, Winter 2019/20, Grazer Kunstverein. Photo by Thomas Raggam.


Triple Candie
Grazer Kunstverein, 2017–2020
6 December 2019

In 2017 Triple Candie (Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett) started a multi-layered research project, investigating the work and methodologies of American artist Michael Asher (1943–2012). This performative project attempted to resurrect the lost experiential potentialities of Asher's situational artworks, drawing on a depth of research to create new interventions in a new context, that of the institutional framework of the Grazer Kunstverein. The resulting propositions, speculations, interventions, and installations are documented in a new bi-lingual publication, ‘Triple Candie: Grazer Kunstverein, 2017–2020’. This catalogue is published in collaboration with Phileas – A Fund for Contemporary Art, and was launched on December 6 2019 as part of Grazer Kunstverein's Winter Season. ‘Triple Candie: Grazer Kunstverein, 2017–2020’ is co-published by Mark Pezinger Books.


‘Triple Candie: Grazer Kunstverein, 2017–2020’


‘Triple Candie: Grazer Kunstverein, 2017–2020’ displayed within The Elisabeth Printschitz Library. Photo by Thomas Raggam.