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  [DAS BLAUE LICHT (the blue light). The tendency towards the cristalline in art and design]

Kunstverein Medienturm
Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz

curator: Vitus Weh (D)

opening: 19.6.2009 7 p.m.
press talk: 19.6.2009, 11 a.m.

Tue - Sat 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. &
Wed - Fri 3 - 6 p.m., August: Tue - Sat 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

catalogue: Verlag Folio (Vienna/Bolzano)
Catalogue presentation: Kunstverein Medienturm
Book presentation with reading: 1.7., 7 p.m., space D / quartier21, MQ Vienna

supporting programme: discussion, 19.6.2009, 5 p.m.
Vitus Weh discusses with Richard Kriesche and participating artists and designers

Supporting programme: mahony "Papa Mariposa"
Koje Medienturm, quartier 21/MQ Vienna, 1.7. – 31.8.2009

Thanks to: Styrian Government, cultural department; BMUKK Vienna, art section; City of Graz,
cultural department; KULTUR MACHT MENSCH; AHT Cooling Systems; Magis spa and all lending parties
Today's culture is fascinated by the crystalline and geological. Its natural precision, durability and beauty, however, is linked to the exact opposite: the ephemeral, withering and the death. Regarding this ambivalent phenomenon, “Glanz und Verderben” (glamour and doom) shall be an investigation pertaining to cultural sciences, presenting different disciplines, works and documents equally side by side. The results are edited in exhibition chapters at different locations and in a summarizing catalogue.
The exhibition DAS BLAUE LICHT (the blue light) at Kunstverein Medienturm particularly analyses the realms of art and design, which are basically characterized by different approaches and utilization systems.
However, in the metaphoric realm of the sinister crystalline, they join.

The exhibition title DAS BLAUE LICHT (the blue light), on the one hand, refers to today’s everyday light shimmer which radiates from the living rooms in the evening, on the other hand to the 1930s, thus to an era which, like today, already conferred such great importance to the sinister-crystalline: “Das blaue Licht“ is the title of the directing debut (1932) of the later NSDAP-propaganda film maker Leni Riefenstahl, where a fascinating crystal grot in the mountains plays a fatal role.

The presented works:

Walking-Chair presents a chilly lounge: “Montebello“ is a sofa resembling an iceberg, topped by a poor glittering landscape of chandeliers. In the same space, Robert Smithson’s film “Spiral Jetty“ (32 min, 1970) burgeons it audiovisual pull – a staggering document of the homonymous land art sculpture in the Great Salt Lake of Utah. The third position is by Gottfried Bechtold. Bechtold let press a brand new Porsche into a compact wreck. However, gloss and glamour did not escape from the famous design object, it appears, on the contrary, like a wounded creature – as if a formerly technoid fetish has mutated into an organism.

Bogomir Ecker is know, amongst others, for his “Tropfsteinmaschine” (dripstone machine), conceived for the time span of 500 years at the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Its presumptuous consumption of time exemplarily encapsulates the crystalline symbolism of contemporary architecture of museums. For Kunstverein Medienturm, Ecker creates a big site specific installation dealing with the Graz-based Schlossberg and its tunnels and grots. Konstantin Grcic presents his famous “chair-ONE”: an industrially produced chair (by Magis spa), the seating and leaning surface being reduced to a, with respect to statics and ergonomics, necessary, crystalline frame. The artist group mahony deals with the scientific expeditions of the late 19th century. Their geographic, geological and meteorologic documentations recall the age of polymaths. In a saloon for stones and minerals, it condenses journeys and histories.

In an adjacent space, works of Florian Ladstätter are presented. Three black orchids of mirrors characterize the space with their sinister elegance, added by jewellery from the series “Les Fleurs Du Mal”, as well as its staging in fashion magazines.

Drawings and the sculpture “Marseis (Phobos)“ are presented by Björn Dahlem, which seem to derive from a crystalline science fiction world. Thomas Feichtner shows corresponding door handles and monstrous silverware of his sharp-edged Axiome series, the Swiss graphic and product designer Nicole Aebischer her Joker vases.

The spatial conclusion is made by Herwig Weiser’s “Lucid Phantom Messenger“: a laboratory of image generation by means of artificial crystal gardens of powdered computer material. A high tech media art inferno furiosum.

Catalogue: GLANZ UND VERDERBEN, Verlag Folio (Vienna/Bolzano), ISBN 978-3-85256-479

A catalogue pertaining to cultural sciences (136 pages) is published under the title “Glanz und
Verderben“ (glamour and doom) in the “Series Medienturm” (Folio Verlag, Bolzano/Vienna). Editor: Vitus Weh; graphik design: metaphor; editorial board: Vitus Weh and Ines Gebetsroither
With images and texts on the displayed works as well as essays by Tulga Beyerle, Brigitte Felderer, Angelika Höckner / Gerald Moser, Susanne Jäger, Christian Lerch, Ingrid Loschek, Wolfgang Pauser, Thomas Trummer, Vitus Weh, and others

The catalogue documents also the following exhibition chapters:

(glamour and doom, precarious crystals in art and architecture)
kunsthaus muerz, Mürzzuschlag: 8.11.2008 – 29.3.2009

(sharp chic, on the attraction of the crystalline)
Freiraum/quartier21, MQ Vienna: 7.2. – 19.4.2009

The catalogue is presented in the frame of the exhibition opening at Kunstverein Medienturm. A book presentation including a reading and an exhibition opening takes place on July 1, at 7 p.m. at Space D / quartier21, MQ Vienna.

Vitus Weh talks about crystalline architecture of museums, Gilbert Bretterbauer reads from ":extended version" + accompanied by guitar of "son of the velvet rat". In addition, the artists' group mahony presents an installation at Koje Medienturm, MQ Vienna.

Nicole Aebischer, Gottfried Bechtold, Björn Dahlem, Bogomir Ecker, Thomas Feichtner, Konstantin Grcic, Florian Ladstätter, mahony, Robert Smithson, WALKING-CHAIR, Herwig Weiser

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Nicole Aebischer, Joker 10 / 20 / 40 (Vase), 2007. exhibition view. photo: Rainer Iglar