"Our Haus" Exhibition

Austrian Cultural Forum NYC

poster for "Our Haus" Exhibition

This event has ended.

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) presents Our Haus, an exhibition in celebration of its ten year anniversary. Curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley, Our Haus forgoes a typical survey, instead examining the many facets of the Forum's mission as a place for the presentation of contemporary culture, as a center for the discussion of ideas and establishing cross-cultural relationships. These aspects are presented through recent and newly-commissioned works by ten artists with ties to Austria and New York, who employ the landmark architecture of the Forum to explore themes that celebrate the history and mission of the ACFNY and its role within the city.

Central to the exhibition is Rainer Prohaska's Cuisine à tous les étages ("Kitchen on every floor") (2012), an interactive installation that invites visitors to visit kitchen stations extending throughout the narrow verticality of the building's gallery space. Each station will provide one item to create a meal, fostering an exploration of the space and conversation among guests. New bonds and repurposing of the building are also reflected in the work of the collective WochenKlausur, who have created an office and meeting room within the gallery, inviting a variety of local non-profit organizations to both network and operate in the space for the run of the exhibition.

Judith Fegerl—known for her sculptural work that combines intangible elements with the constructed and using electricity as a medium in her work—will intervene within the architecture of the building itself, creating drawings via controlled electrical fires in the walls. Conversely, Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber have created an architectural intervention upon the walls themselves through a specially commissioned wallpaper designed for New York City.

Rainer Ganahl, a veteran New Yorker, has produced a video that traces the route up Third Avenue, contrasting the open architecture and bustling neighborhood surrounding the ACFNY with his adopted home of Spanish Harlem and its boarded-up residential spaces. Architectural disparity is also present in the paintings of New York-born, Austrian-raised Fabian Patzak, who creates intimate impressions of buildings and fixtures found in his travels for what will be his first exhibition in the city.

Johanna Kandl and Helmut Kandl channel a personal sense of domesticity through vintage super-8 films of her childhood home, edited together with contemporary footage of its now-abandoned state. Johanna Kandl also welcomes visitors to Our Haus with a second work, a large painting entitled Wir haben viele Freunde ("We Have Many Friends").

Similarly personal is the work of Matthias Herrmann, who presents still lifes created from his recent New York residency that reflect upon topics such as sexuality, sexual health, and body image. For the first time these works are also freely available as postcards, allowing a direct and personal exchange between artist and audience. The Linz-based collective TIME'S UP will present Unattended Luggage, an installation that draws the audience in to the vast history of immigration in New York by providing items of luggage for them to peruse.

Lastly, interactivity takes a more lighthearted turn in Mathias Kessler's Das Eismeer, Die gescheiterte Hoffnung ("The Arctic Sea, The Failed Hope"). The famous titular landscape by Caspar David Friedrich is recreated by Kessler as a sculpture inside a mini-refrigerator that visitors are encouraged to gaze upon as they help themselves to a bottle of beer. A social sculpture, the intention is that audience members also engage in conversation while contemplating the view.



from May 17, 2012 to August 26, 2012

Opening Reception on 2012-05-16 from 19:00 to 21:00
6-7pm, Performance by artist Rainer Prohaska. Official opening by Claudia Schmied, the Austrian Minister for Education, Arts and Culture, and with artists and the curator.

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