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Knoll Gallery Vienna
2 October - 15 November 2014

Opening: Thursday 2 October, 6-9pm

Curated by Maja and Reuben Fowkes

Participating artists:
Tibor Horváth, Oto Hudec, Renata Poljak,
Davor Sanvincenti

#underthestars explore ecological alternatives to the tragic figure of the 24/7 immaterial worker who spends too much time in bed - replying to emails, creating clips for social media, interacting virtually, but not going anywhere. The exhibition highlights the opposite tendency of sleeping outdoors, making a bed beyond the illusionary security provided by modern architecture, and challenging the alienation of a technologically-determined life symbolised by the bad habit of working in bed.

Sleeping under the stars could itself be a form of therapy for the distortions to natural cycles brought by over-dependence on technological comforts, countering the psychic deprivation caused by dozing in the invisible magnetic field of the digital bedroom, with even our dreams electronically rerouted by the whir of computers awakening from sleep mode in the depths of night.

The exhibition sets out to explore the ecological critique of what has been diagnosed as the Century of the Bed, by highlighting the strategies of artists who make their home under the stars in the liminal state between heaven and earth, echoing the eco-architectural apparition of the mountain climber’s portaledge, a precarious platform suspended halfway up a rock face that invokes a radically different phenomenology of bed. More than a century ago, E.M. Forster in The Machine Stops predicted the breakdown of a futuristic civilisation based on over-dependence on technology, in a dystopian vision of a world in which humans have lost the ability to survive on the surface of the Earth and live in subterranean cells with all their bodily and spiritual needs met by an all-powerful Machine. Perhaps it’s time to prepare for the possibility of the collapse of today’s unsustainable systems and to recognise that letting go of the illusory security of the technological cocoon brings with it the chance to discover the world anew.    

The exhibition takes place in the context of curated by_vienna: The Century of the Bed. The renowned architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina has created the theoretical concept for the meanwhile sixth edition of curated by_vienna. The project is organized by departure, the creative unit of the Vienna Business Agency, in cooperation with 20 selected Viennese contemporary art galleries.



Tibor Horváth

Tibor Horváth, Bicycle Family Suits, 2014. Photo: Andrea Gáldi Vinkó.

"Bicycle is a simple machine which represents versatile freedom and self-generated independency. The Bicycle-Family, cut by their axis and ripped up as a trophy of a dead animal is being outstretched and tied up to the wall thus reminding to the impact of restrictions on it's social significance."

Tibor Horváth was born 1976, Esztergom. Lives and works in Budapest. Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary – Intermedia Department. Selected solo shows:  2012 denial, acb Gallery, Budapest, Fuck You Lieber Nachbar, Vienna, Knoll Galerie, 2010 talumatu Ui, Tallinn, Death Box Beehive Gallery, Amsterdam. Selected group exhibitions:  [silence] – A Holocaust Exhibition, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Pensive Pictures, Good Bye!, Higgs Field, Budapest, The Prime Minister of Hungary, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Private Nationalism, Kunsthalle Košice, Slovakia, NMA Híradó Demo Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.

Oto Hudec

Oto Hudec, Nomadia Travelling Museum, 2012-4. Photo courtesy Gandy Gallery Bratislava.

"Nomadia is an imaginary country, without traced borders, without land ownership. As it extends over nationalities, it extends over time – the past, present and the future are all interconnected. Nomadia is a country of travelers in tents. Its history is unwritten, and floats only from the mouth to ear of storytellers. To live in the tent is almost to live as one with nature and therefore people of Nomadia don´t consider Nature a property of man, but a man being part of the Nature. I consider this way of thinking and living very meaningful in today´s situation."

Multi-media artist Oto Hudec was born in Košice, Slovakia and he created his recent work in USA, Portugal, Spain and Slovakia. He graduated as Master of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava, Slovakia. His paintings, drawings and prints explore both personal and social themes. He also creates video, animations, sculptures and works for public spaces about immigration, refugees and the impact of globalization on the environment. In his most recent works Oto Hudec became interested in ecological living, food production and sustainability.  He is a member of creative team MAP - Make Art with Purpose, an international platform and triennal for art that creates change. He is represented by Gandy gallery. Currently he is a resident artist of Chang Dong National Art Studio, Seoul, Korea.

Renata Poljak

Renata Poljak, No Title (Blue), 2010-14.

"FOR A LONG TIME NOW, in life and in art, I have been on a pilgrimage for a deeper meaning in the process of a search that has taken me through different cities, projects, counties, partners, sensations … And I don’t know what exactly I am chasing and waiting for, if not for love and that particular occasion when the blue can become the blue azzuro, and one believes it is the truth, … for at least just a moment."

Born in 1974, Renata Poljak grew up and graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Split and later spent a post-graduate year at the Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, France. Her body of work is composed of different media: video installations, videos, films, drawings, photos and objects. Her films have been screened at the Palais de Tokyo and Centre George Pompidou in Paris and have won prizes at festivals from Berlin to Belgrade. Solo shows include Staging Our Reality at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb and Ruta and the Monument at Art in General, New York, with recent group exhibitions at Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Davor Sanvincenti

Davor Sanvincenti, Le lever du jour sur l'océan, 2012. Photo: Boris Cvjetanović.

"Rising of the day over the ocean. Time based 16mm film which contemplates and investigates the quietest part of the day inspired by Stephan Mallarmé poem "Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui" (Virgin, vivid and in his all beauty today). The film is a single shoot made on Atlantic Ocean shore catching exactly the moment when the Sun enlights the view, the exact visible passage between night and day."

Davor Sanvincenti / b.1979 / is a multimedia artist from Croatia. He is specifically interested in a field of audiovisual phenomenology and anthropology of visual culture, particularly focused on the conditions and forms of human senses and perceptions. His artistic practice takes shape in the variety of media - film and video, photography, physical light and sound installations and live media performances. His work plays with the concept of illusion, exploring the possible boundaries of perception and the construction of experience. He was recipient of several awards including the prestigious Radoslav Putar Award for the best Croatian artist under 35 (2010)  and T-HT Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (2008). His work has been exhibited and presented internationally, including festivals Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, LOOP /Barcelona, 25FPS /Zagreb, World Film Festival /Bangkok, VideoEX /Zurich, CineMed /Montpellier and venues including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; HfG/ZKM, Karlsruhe; UniversalMuseum Joanneum, Graz; Lincoln Center, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Oaxaca; FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou; Camera Austria, Graz; MoCA, Zagreb; La Triennale, Milano; NIU, Barcelona; Filmoteca Española, Madrid;  Glassbox, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.



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