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Grazer Kunstverein announces new and extended commissions
Isabel Nolan The Provisory Rug, adaptable for past, present and future. (For Marie Lieb), 2012.

GRAZ.- Art has long been the dysfunctional holding space for thought. Objects identifiable for their potential use, thwarted. A familiar thing presenting itself as what it is, only to reveal that it isn’t. Throughout 2017 the Grazer Kunstverein is occupied with unraveling thoughts around tools and magic, use and necessity, work and power, as explored in The Necessity of Art, written in 1959 by the brilliant and almost forgotten Ernst Fischer.

Through artistic practice, we investigate Fischer’s claim that art is not only necessary in order to make it possible for humanity to recognise and change the world, but that art is also necessary by virtue of the magic inherent within it. Credited with the slogan “Art must do nothing, yet can do everything” Fisher acts as our spirit guide for the development of a year-long programme of new commissions, evolving conversations, and on-going research collaborations, all dedicated to or inspired by the question of the necessity of art.

Less concerned with “art in the service of . . .” and more convinced by “art as the potential for . . .” the programme reflects a commitment to performativity through language, meaning and enactment. Each season builds, evolves and blends works, positions, and practices in an accumulative gesture that questions the role and function of a kunstverein in times of deep uncertainty about what art is, does, or can do. As poet Adam Zagajewski asks, why is art silent when terrible things happen? And terrible things happen every day.

New and Extended Commissions
Céline Condorelli Things That Go Without Saying, 2013–2020

In 2013 Céline Condorelli was commissioned by former director Krist Gruijthuijsen to produce a new work for the Grazer Kunstverein as part of The Members Library. The outcome was Things That Go Without Saying, realised in collaboration with Harry Thaler. The structure operates at a scale between furniture and architecture, and has become truly the heart of the building. It currently houses over 200 books, each of which have been selected for inclusion by our members. In adapting the work for the new artistic programme, Things That Go Without Saying is mirrored by Fink’s library of tastes, and takes on a bright new hue. The library (of books) will continue to grow, as the structure continues to host or support newly commissioned work by other artists.

Céline Condorelli (b. 1974, Paris, France) lives and works in London. Her main research interests include architecture, support structures, and performing an understanding of social relations through aesthetic enquiry. Recent exhibitions and projects have taken place at P!, New York; Kate Macgarry, London; Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Liverpool Biennial, UK; Kunsthalle Lissabon, Portugal; Stroom den Haag, Netherlands; and Henie Onstadt Museum, Oslo, Norway.

Chris Evans in collaboration with Morten Norbye Halvorsen Jingle, 2017–2020
Chris Evans, in collaboration with Morten Norbye Halvorsen, has produced a jingle for the six entrance doors of the Grazer Kunstverein, set to cumulatively proclaim and broadcast the arrival of each visitor. The composition incorporates a Shepard scale – a sequence of notes arranged to give the auditory illusion of an ascending or descending scale, while remaining ultimately unchanged in their pitch range. It also includes remnants of the song ‘Ain’t Gonna Feel’ by Austrian band, ‘Supermax’, whose popularity peaked in the 1970’s.

Chris Evans (b. 1967, Hull, UK) is an artist based in London. His work navigates modes and means of production evolving largely through conversations. He was also the bassist for the now defunct band Life without Buildings. Morten Norbye Halvorsen (b. 1980, Stravanger, Norway) is an artist based in Berlin. He forms, with artists Chris Evans and Benjamin Seror, the band Concert, who are currently working on a sequel to their 10'' LP ‘Behave Like an Audience’.

Evans’ recent solo presentations have included exhibitions at Praxes, Berlin; Markus Luettgen, Cologne; Project Arts Centre, Dublin; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Luettgenmeijer, Berlin; Marres, Maastricht; Mala Galerija, Ljubljana; and Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp.

Fiona Hallinan Fink’s, 2017–2020 Bar designed and built by Studio Magic and Brauchst Collective
Fink’s is a library of tastes. Set in the reception area of the gallery, it is an ongoing, collaborative artwork developed by Fiona Hallinan in conversation with the many producers, makers and growers of Graz and the surrounding area. Designed to replicate the aesthetics of a café, Fink’s functions as a threshold, a welcoming space for conversations about art and the world, a repository of tastes, recipes and memories, and a holistic space for dreaming and scheming. It operates principally on the basis of meaningful exchange with members of the Grazer Kunstverein. Fink’s exists in two states: active and dormant.

Fink’s is open daily from 11am – 6pm during active periods.

23–30 June 2017
23–30 September 2017
1–10 December 2017

Fiona Hallinan (b. 1984, Dublin, Ireland) lives and works between Dublin and Graz. She is the creator of a number of collaborative projects involving hospitality, food and education such as Heterodyne, iterations of which have taken place in Paris, Istanbul, and Wicklow; The Hare, an artist run temporary café at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin; Concrete Tiki, a series of site-specific food events at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and CCI Paris; and HOMESTAY, hospitality project for Science Gallery, Dublin. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Kerlin Gallery; Dublin; Irish Museum of Modern Art; Mother’s Tankstation; Parsons Paris; and Brown University, Rhode Island.

Isabella Kohlhuber Space for an Agreement, 2016
Isabella Kohlhuber’s practice engages with typography as a form of thought process. Her work Space for an Agreement interrupts the conventional readings of an artwork, in both its formal sculptural presence and its potential functionality. This work will accompany us through our year-long programme, exploring the necessity of art in the in-between space of form and function.

Isabella Kohlhuber (b. 1982, Bad Ischl, Austria) lives and works in Vienna. Her work is underpinned by an interest in signs, meaning, typeface and forms of communication. She lectures at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Recent exhibitions of her work have taken place at Artistic Bokeh, Museumsquartier Vienna; Galleria Doris Ghetta, Ortisei; Werkstadt Graz; Künstlerhaus Graz; Sigmund Freud Gallery, Graz; and in public space in Salzburg and Vienna.

Isabel Nolan The Provisory Rug, adaptable for past, present and future. (For Marie Lieb), 2012
Inspired initially by the unusual actions of a woman in a room in Heidelberg in 1894, Isabel Nolan’s sculptural floor piece takes on many different forms and dedications. This disobliging carpet accompanies us in various configurations throughout our 2017 programme. The first iteration is titled Spare Rug for Marie Lieb’s room, Heidelberg Psychiatric Hospital, 1894 (a.k.a. Circumstances shape an emptiness), 2012.

Photographs of Marie Lieb’s original work are reproduced with special thanks to the Prinzhorn Collection, University Hospital, Heidelberg.

Isabel Nolan (b. 1974, Dublin, Ireland) works with sculpture, textiles, photographs and text to describe or reveal moments (material, temporal, or otherwise) emerging from the fundamental human desire to find the world meaningful. Recent exhibitions include Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Mercer Union, Toronto and CAG, Vancouver; Launch Pad new York; The Model, Sligo; and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin.

Adam Zagajewski We Know What Art Is, 2013
Adam Zagajewski is a poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He first became well known as one of the leading poets of the Generation of ‘68’ or the Polish New Wave (Nowa fala); today he is one of Poland’s most well known contemporary poets. Now part of our year-long programme, this poem, which exists ephemerally on the tips of tongues, first appeared in English in issue 136 of The Threepenny Review in Winter 2014.

Adam Zagajewski (b. 1945, Lwów, Poland). Among his collections are Anteny (Cracow: a5, 2005); Powrót (2003); Pragnienie (Cracow: a5, 1999); Ziemia ognista (1994); Jechac do Lwowa (1985); Sklepy miesne (1975); andKomunikat (1972). His books of poetry in English include Eternal Enemies: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008. Translated by Clare Cavanaugh); Without End: New and Selected Poems (2002, translated by Clare Cavanaugh); Mysticism for Beginners (1997, translated by Clare Cavanaugh);Tremor (1985, translated by Renata Gorczyński); and Canvas (1991, translated by Renata Gorczyński, B. Ivry, and C. K. Williams).

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