Gelatin & Liam Gillick at Kunsthalle Wien

Artists: Gelatin, Liam Gillick

Participants: Nik Amato, Artjom Astrov, Ines Ballesteros, Michela Brollo, Hugo Canoilas, Oleg Eliseev, Scott Evans, Christoph Harringer, Helmut Heiss, Kolbeinn Hugi Höskuldsson, Lisa Jäger, Chris Janka, Jen Kratochvil, Yukika Kudo, Jenyia Kukerov, Bert Löschner, Cristian Manzutto, Sandra Margeth-Theuer, Maria Metsalu, Josephine Reither, Olivia Reither, Nicolás Rosés Ponce, Manuel Scheiwiller, Kazuto Taguchi, Catharina Wronn, and others

Exhibition title: Stinking Dawn

Curated by: Lucas Gehrmann, Luca Lo Pinto

Venue: Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Date: July 5 – October 6, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunsthalle Wien

Note: Exhibition booklet can be found here

“Today, what does it mean to be a Revolutionary? What does it mean to think back on the basic idea of a force which wants to change society? Not only is the revolutionary destiny at stake, but also the movement of all women and men that have changed the world!”

For many years Gelatin and Liam Gillick have discussed how to work together. The result is the exhibition Stinking Dawn: the production of a full length feature film at Kunsthalle Wien. The concept, script and staging have been developed in a constant exchange between the artists. The film will examine the limits of human tolerance in the face of oppression, political crisis and excessive self-delusion. It follows the destiny of four privileged young people who grow up at a time of crisis and move through various stages of development and self-reflection towards a final moment of collapse.

During the shooting period (July 4–13), the artists will be joined by many artist friends and long term collaborators. All visitors to the exhibition will be potential extras inside a sprawling modifiable stage setting—a monumental faux-stone toy-block architecture of colonnades, amphitheaters, night-club interiors, and a prison.

The protagonists personify“pathetic young snobs” who try to keep afloat in what already could only be called post-leftism. What initially sounds like the realization of a socialist pipe dream quickly turns into a sophisticated interrogation of ideals and values that are being eroded before our eyes by the contemporary “post-utopian situation”—a very real set of fears, envy, and conformism fanned by the “neoliberal counter-reformation.”

The movie script is in part based on Vivre et penser comme des porcs. De l’incitation à l’envie et à l’ennui dans les démocraties-marchés, a book published in 1998 by the French philosopher and mathematician Gilles Châtelet (the English translation was released in 2014 as To Live and Think Like Pigs—The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies). The titular “pig” is the neoliberal egomaniac whose desires, strategies, and projects serve a single objective: to increase the productivity and profitability of his own human capital.

Both Gillick’s and Gelatin’s art is informed by a distaste for the demonstrative exercise of authority in any form, and since the 1990s, they have sought to realize their projects in ways that chart a genuinely novel alternative to hierarchical power structures. A key strategy in this context has been working with other producers; what sociologists call parallel play. Stinking Dawn is a case in point: the project grew out of long conversations between the artists that began in the early 2000s.

After shooting in July, the artists will move to the studio for the film’s post-production. The exhibition for the remaining duration shows the looming grey and graffitied remnants of the production. A large slideshow of photographs is projected within the monumental setting providing insights on the filming process. Musical instruments in the space haphazardly play while visitors are able to walk among the tattered sculptural traces of the scenery that gave the film its peculiarly striking mise-en-scène. The “end” of the presentation will at once be a prelude to the film’s premiere, to be held in the fall of 2019 at an as yet unspecified venue outside Kunsthalle Wien.

There are four kinds of silence:
Literal, allegorical, moral, divine.
And putting all four together is difficult, almost impossible.
And then, there is harmony.
And this happens a few times in a lifetime, then you die.
This is very important.
(from: Liam Gillick, script for Stinking Dawn, 2019)

Installation view: Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Jorit Aust

Installation view: Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Jorit Aust

Installation view: Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Documentation: Maria Ziegelböck, Photo: Jorit Aust

Installation view: Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Documentation: Maria Ziegelböck, Photo: Jorit Aust

Installation view: Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Jorit Aust

Installation view: Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Jorit Aust

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Marlene Rosenthal

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Marlene Rosenthal

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Marlene Rosenthal

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Paula Thomaka

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Marlene Rosenthal

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Marlene Rosenthal

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019, Photo: Marlene Rosenthal

Gelatin & Liam Gillick. Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019 © eSeL.at – Lorenz Seidler

Gelatin & Liam Gillick. Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019 © eSeL.at – Lorenz Seidler

Gelatin & Liam Gillick. Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019 © eSeL.at – Lorenz Seidler

Gelatin & Liam Gillick. Stinking Dawn, Kunsthalle Wien 2019 © eSeL.at – Lorenz Seidler

Gelatin, Stinking Dawn, 2019 © Gelatin, Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, Wien

Gelatin, Stinking Dawn, 2019 © Gelatin, Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, Wien

Gelatin, Stinking Dawn, 2019 © Gelatin, Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, Wien

Gelatin, Stinking Dawn, 2019 © Gelatin, Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, Wien

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, 2019, Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer

Gelatin & Liam Gillick, Stinking Dawn, 2019, Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer

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