Opening | 22.09.2010, 7.00 p.m.
Date | 23.09.2010 - 24.10.2010
Venue | xhibit at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, 1st floor
Opening hours: Tue - Sun, 10 am - 6 pm

Artists: Matts Leiderstam and Alan Cicmak, Eric Kläring, Lisa Lampl, Lisa Rastl
Curator: Søren Grammel
Exhibition on the occassion of the opening of the new exhibition rooms xhibit.

Attitude and Canon Still from a video of Alan Cicmak, Eric Kläring, Lisa Lampl and Lisa Rastl

The new conception of the Academy's second floor exhibition areas also includes a spacious new gallery for contemporary art and presentations of the Graphic Art Collection adjacent to the Gallery of Paintings and the new foyer: xhibit.

For the joint opening of xhibit and the Gallery of Paintings, Søren Grammel, the Academy's curator-in-residence, and the Swedish artist Matts Leiderstam, who develops new perspectives on historical pictorial motifs and compositions in his installations, have conceived the exhibition project Attitude and Canon together with the students Alan Cicmak, Eric Kläring, Lisa Lampl, and Lisa Rastl. Both the involved students' and Leiderstam's works are recent productions relating to the specific context of the Academy's Gallery of Paintings and Graphic Art Collection. This "implemented" exhibition situation is aimed at creating updating vectors concerning the collection and the mode of its presentation. The approach not only focuses on the place and the practice of collecting, but also on the choreography of the presentation and the grammar of art-historical decision-making.

Attitude and Canon is based on the combination of teaching and art production and thus also explores the possibilities of work offered by an academy's own collection.

As suggested by its title, the project focuses on the analysis of different aesthetic and mediative means for the construction of canonic orders in the field of art. It aims at both a critique of the art scene’s procedures and the creation of new parallel movements of approach and contentual appropriation.

The renovation and restructuring of the Academy’s Gallery of Paintings is the starting point for a video film made by the students Alan Cicmak, Eric Kläring, Lisa Lampl, and Lisa Rastl. Long sequences show the rooms being converted in a constantly flowing movement. The camera pans past materials and objects. The surfaces documented in the film condense the overlapping two states of building. The film subtly, almost archaeologically presents these settings of institutional presentation at the moment of their intersection and in their transitory beauty.

Lisa Rastl (born in 1974, studies Fine Arts with Heimo Zobernig) frequently draws on the strategies of Institutional Critique, which she develops and adapts to her interests and the issues she is concerned with. By donating works of her to various art institutions, she has succeeded in gaining insights into the apparatus of certain museums. Rastl’s photographs and documents are founded on her wish to know where her works go within these institutions. This also holds true for Attitude and Canon: the donation turns into an intervention into the exhibition. The other shown work, After Documenta, is based on photographic material shot immediately after the removal of the artworks presented at the documenta 12 with the exhibition architecture still intact. Reducing the mise-en-scène of the exhibition to itself, Rastl’s photographs reveal the interpretative desire of the connotation system of the exhibition, which has been criticized particularly in regard to documenta 12 again.

Matts Leiderstam (born in 1956) has repeatedly developed new perspectives on historical picture motifs and compositions in his installations. Two of his installations for Attitude and Canon refer directly to the works of Count Anton Lamberg-Sprinzenstein’s (1740–1822) collection presented in the Gallery of Paintings. The installation Einst gesehen thematizes the Count’s self-image as a collector and art lover. Leiderstam confronts a historical portrait of Lamberg-Sprinzenstein (by Martin Ferdinand Quadal, 1784) with two views of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on the Bay of Naples (by Michael Wutky, 1790s). Leiderstam uses the subject of a volcano’s eruption to approach concealed personal constellations and motives of the collector. He essayistically interweaves his speculation about Lamberg-Sprinzenstein with reflections on the genesis and launching of certain iconologies and the artistic attitudes behind them. Leiderstam’s second work relates to the painting View of Dordrecht (by Jan van Goyen, 1648) to be found in the Academy’s collections. For his animated video, Leiderstam has assembled numerous further interpretations of this subject, which particularly seventeenth-century artists frequently devoted themselves to, and arranged them in a way that one merges into the other, which reveals both the motif’s schematic, almost serial pattern of composition and the discursive subtleties of its many variations.

Erik Klaering (born in 1978, studies Fine Arts with Heimo Zobernig) has developed a number of works shedding light on the relationship between the architecture of the exhibition space and the modes of presentation it implies. The works realized by Klaering for Attitude and Canon create or emphasize locations through a variety of visual interventions and markings. They focus the visitors’ attention on the character of the exhibition spaces and the decisions their order is grounded on. Kläring’s subtle gestures and interventions offer an approach which does not simply ignore the given situation as normal, but reveals it as one of various possible constructions.

Denote, the video installation Alan Cicmak (born in 1976, studies Fine Arts with Constanze Ruhm) has conceived for Attitude and Canon, aims at rearticulating the concepts of pictorial space and compositional structures of traditional landscape painting by means of filmic methods and techniques. The work’s starting point is a montage involving three overlapping landscape paintings in the vein of Claude Lorrain, which are to be found in the Gallery of Paintings. Constituting the central element of the work, a sculpture, though developed as a means of the projection at first sight, primarily defines the observer’s view of the filmic narration. The sculpture’s form is based on the pictorial concept of Lorenzo Lotto’s painting Goldsmith in Three Views (1525/35). Both the picture’s and the sculpture’s crucial idea is the spatial unfolding of the same subject into different simultaneous views.

Guided by her interest to learn more about the motives and backgrounds of decision processes prevailing in museums and exhibition contexts, Lisa Lampl (born in 1982, studies Art and Communication/Education in the Arts with Marion von Osten) has conducted a series of interviews with various curators and art historians for her contribution to Attitude and Canon. The interviews have yielded fragmentary insights into the art scene’s everyday work and the features and limitations of institutional procedures. Yet Lampl does not remain on a purely documentary level, but has assembled the various interviews to a kind of fictitious conversation between several involved persons, which she reworked into a radio play with various voices. She thus focuses on the modes of speaking and the use of language for defining and positioning her own work vis-à-vis the institutional context and its justification pressure.

(Søren Grammel, curator)

Translation: Wolfgang Astelbauer