One, No One and One Hundred Thousand at Kunsthalle Wien

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Artists: Darren Bader, Jason Dodge, Phanos Kyriacou, Adriana Lara, Jonathan Monk, Marlie Mul, Amalia Pica, Martin Soto Climent, Lina Viste Grønli

Exhibition title: The Promise of Total Automation

Curated by: Luca Lo Pinto

Venue: Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Date:  February 19 – May 22, 2016

Photography: Maximilian Pramatarov and David Avazzadeh, all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunsthalle Wien

This is the art of today, lying down on the bed looking up into space. It doesn’t matter what the art looks like but how it’s used. The important thing is to find a place for art, not a description.
– Franz West

Theater has to be brought back to its true essence, which is the contrary of what is usually known as theater. What must be pursued is a theater without spectators, a theater where spectators will no longer be spectators, where they will learn things instead of being captured by images and become active participants in a collective performance instead of being passive viewers.
– Jacques Ranciere

The more man contemplates, the less he lives.
– Guy Debord

One, No One and One Hundred Thousand is an exhibition inspired by Oulipo’s literary strategies based on the idea of a “workshop of potential literature.” According to one of its founders, Raymond Queneau, Oulipo’s objective was to propose new “structures” for writers that are mathematical in nature, or to invent new artificial or mechanical procedures that could contribute to literary activity: props for inspiration or aids for creativity.

This notion of potentiality will be applied to the format of an exhibition – not as an assertion of what an exhibition should be, but as an attempt to uncover what it could be. An exhibition conceived as a “machine” that produces other exhibitions. Nine artists were commissioned to create new works, which will then be presented in a display that can change continually according to the choice of the spectator.

Jason Dodge often places everyday things in the exhibition space. What the living do comprises waste material such as paper, bottle caps or packaging materials that can be situated in the space by the visitors. Handle with handles by Phanos Kyriacou consists of six terracotta casts of plastic water cooler bottles. Adriana Lara’s work Opening Hours is an intangible readymade employing time. Inspired by the versatility that is inherent in the work of Franz West and picking up the idea that art should be used, Jonathan Monk shows – in an act of appropriation – Jonathan Monk presents four chairs and a coat rack by Franz West – five pieces of furniture by Franz West. The artist Marlie Mul has produced the work Hammer: two oversized hammers made of flexible materials. Joy in Paperwork is the title of Amalia Pica’s series of works on paper that have been printed on with office stamps. Lina Viste Grønli provides the exhibition with four wooden letters, mounted on wheels, which she calls AAHHAHAAHAHA. Great versatility and thus almost unlimited presentation possibilities is offered by the work Graffiti Blind of artist Martin Soto Climent. The piece provides many possibilities for transformation and numerous compositions, highlighting the relation between the body and the object as an extension of a movement. Finally Darren Bader’s 8/12 tasks visitors to interpret the work consisting only of the title and to find a way to contribute any 8 and any 12 to the exhibition.

The exhibition will open with a set-up designed by the curator. From the day after on the works will be deinstalled and placed back on top of their respective packaging. The space as such will remain empty, while the art works will be waiting for being installed in a different configuration. Each visitor will thus be invited to mount his or her own exhibition. A member of the Kunsthalle Wien staff will afterwards document the new setup with a number of photos, which all together will constitute the exhibition catalogue. In addition to that, a single Polaroid with an installation view will be taken to create a visual diary in progress of the exhibitions.

Following Marcel Broodthaers’s motto “Every exhibition is one possibility surrounded by many other possibilities which are worth being explored,” the exhibition potentially presents an unlimited number of possible arrangements of works according to the exhibition’s duration and its number of visitors. It also investigates various aspects related to exhibition making and questions the authorship and authority of today’s curator. The main actor of the exhibition will be the spectator who will not act as a consumer but as a co-producer of the artists and the curator.

The legendary Raymond Queneau book A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems acts as a manifesto for this exhibition. The book consists of 14 groups of 10 lines of poetry each; the groups are ordered and the lines written in such a way that one may select one line from the first group, one line from the second group, and so on until 14 lines are selected. These 14 lines, read in the order of selection, will comprise a sonnet. Since there are 10 options for each of 14 choices, it follows that exactly 1014 (= 100,000,000,000,000) different sonnets may be produced using this method. It would take some 200,000,000 years to read them all when the reading takes place twenty-four hours a day.

1_One-No-One_David-Avazzadeh

One, No One and One Hundred Thousand, arranged by Luca Lo Pinto, Kunsthalle Wien 2016

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One, No One and One Hundred Thousand, arranged by Luca Lo Pinto, Kunsthalle Wien 2016

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One, No One and One Hundred Thousand, arranged by Tanja Ivanova & Elena Kisel, Kunsthalle Wien 2016

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One, No One and One Hundred Thousand, arranged by Tanja Ivanova & Elena Kisel, Kunsthalle Wien 2016

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Jason Dodge, What the living do, Courtesy the artist and Franco Noero

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Phanos Kyriacou, Handle with handles, 2016, Courtesy the artist

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Jonathan Monk, Jonathan Monk presents four chairs and a coat rack by Franz West, 2016, Courtesy the artist and Franz West Privatstiftung

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Jonathan Monk, Jonathan Monk presents four chairs and a coat rack by Franz West, 2016, Courtesy der Künstler und Franz West Privatstiftung

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Jonathan Monk, Jonathan Monk presents four chairs and a coat rack by Franz West, 2016, Courtesy the artist and Franz West Privatstiftung

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Marlie Mul, Hammer, 2016, Courtesy the artist

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Amalia Pica, Joy in Paperwork, 2016, Courtesy the artist

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Martin Soto Climent, Graffiti Blind, 2016, Courtesy the artist and T293 Gallery

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Lina Viste Grønli, AAHHAHAAHAHA, 2016, Courtesy the artist and Gaudel

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