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Fabian Seiz – Exact Secrets

Event Label
Organisational Units
University Library
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna
Location Room (1)
University Library (Reading room, M7)

An exhibition on the polarity of form and content, the essence of secrets, memory, and material by Fabian Seiz as part of the Academy Library‘s Wer A.. sagt series.

“It is more commendable to discover the secret in the light than in the shadow.” Maria Lowitska

This space is a machine! Just like everything created by human hands, this ‘product’, this spatial machine, is apparently composed of the two mutually dependent components of form and content.

The formal; the shelves, the tables, the decoration ... – everything makes itself available to the content; the books, the study, the reading and remembering.
Created as a store, created to store.
As a historical space, it inevitably becomes a time machine. Storing, dating, managing, categorising.

The history of the development of the letters and words themselves – created in a time without paper – remains unexplained.
The explanatory models again show two poles:
a., the technically-coincidental and
b., the mythological-legal approach.

Either the creation of words is based on mere agreement, on a way of expression defined by our physical/technical possibilities (lips, larynx, vocal cords), or everything has a mythological narrative and the words are the only ‘right,’ ‘fitting’ ones that describe everything.
Either/or. Space and time. Form and content. Zero and one.

Disruption of the bipolar:
What if the forms themselves are already their content, or at least co-determine it? Not just a vessel, an enclosure – not a depository for something. Developed in a kind of lockstep. No separate content that is hidden somewhere and has to be discovered. Everything has been visible for a long time – as clear as day when the secret of the forms themselves reveals everything that is sought.

The secret would be the absence of all secrets – a false bottom that opens up a supposed void, but not a vacuum. For the emptiness is caught between forms and signs, between walls, armchairs, tables, and so on.

Alfred Kaufman

“The library (...), infinite memory of non-reading and forgetting (‘l'oublire’). The library (...) or all that it represents and concentrates here in the infinite and endlessly coming readership and concentrates, must therefore admit not to understand (comprendre) what it contains (comprend).” *

Elsewhere, for example in (fictional) literature, the library stands as a metaphor for knowledge and is attributed to cultural memory as a place of thinking and the informed ordering of what is thought.
Reduced to its materiality in its function as a exhibition space, the form of the historical space initially pushes itself into the foreground.
The medial pointing or pointing to immaterial (spiritual) content is successful when what is available is individually chosen, sorted and organised to create a new form of meaning.

In the exhibition Exact Secrets, Fabian Seiz shows objects that stand as reformed and reformulated material witnesses to his collections and orders. Through the expressive movements of cutting, sawing, milling, and gluing, he manifests and layers his memory into the material. The works created in this way refer symbolically and impressively to what is separate from them, to the precisely outlined secrets of thought.

Patrizia Wiesner-Ledermann

* Jacques Derrida: Genesen, Genealogien, Genres und das Genie. Die Geheimnisse des Archivs. Wien: Passagen Verlag, 2006. 39.

Fabian Seiz
Born in Vienna in 1975. 1993–1999 studied painting and printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Gunter Damisch. From 2001 three-dimensional works. Numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. 

Ten exact questions about ten exact secrets
18 Jan 2024, 4 p.m.

A conversation between the artist Fabian Seiz and Patrizia Wiesner-Ledermann about the works on display at the A...cademy Libray as part of the Rundgang 2024.

Duration of the exhibition: 18.01.–01.03.2024
Opening hours: Mon, Tue, Wed 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Opening hours Rundgang 2024:
Thu, 18.01., 4–8 p.m., Fri, 19.01., 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Talk: 18.01.2024, 4 p.m.
Closed: 05.–18.02.2024 (Semester break)
Admission free

Please observe the protective measures in place at the Academy: Covid-19 Guidelines

List of entries

  • Opening: Fabian Seiz – Exact Secrets

    Opening of an exhibition on the polarity of form and content, the essence of secrets, memory, and material by Fabian Seiz as part of the Academy Library‘s Wer A.. sagt series.

    Exhibition opening

    Schillerplatz/ University Library (Reading room, M7)

    University Library

    On display is a 65 cm high tower built from 50 layers of wood. The individual layers stand out visually from each other due to their different colours and types of wood. The top layer shows the cover of Wittgenstein's book “Tractatus logico-philosophicus” from edition suhrkamp in red. The tower was milled along the right side in the form of a curved bracket. The photo was taken from diagonally above right.