February 8, 2018 - Secession - Rudolf Polanszky : Eidola / Haris Epaminonda : VOL. XXIII
February 8, 2018


Rudolf Polanszky, Hyperbolic spaces (mirrored fold), 2012. 270 x 240 x 240 cm. Photo: Erich Tarmann.

Rudolf Polanszky
February 9–April 22, 2018

Haris Epaminonda
February 9–April 1, 2018

Press conference: February 8, 10–11am
Opening: February 8, 7–10pm

Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–6pm

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Rudolf Polanszky 

How can we imagine the order of prime numbers other than in the familiar linear form of the series? By endowing it with a spatial aspect, a third dimension, for example, so that a prime space emerges. Which (new) cognitive possibilities open up when the perception of negative and positive spaces, of internal and external demarcations, is inverted? These and similar questions preoccupy Rudolf Polanszky, as do fundamental themes in mathematics and epistemology or ancient Greek schools of thought. In his sculptures, pictorial reliefs, writings, and actions, he lends them a provisional manifestation that conveys a positively poetic lightness.

His solo exhibition in the Secession’s main gallery gathers a number of sculptural pieces and picture objects from various ensembles the artist has worked on in the last decade. They provide insight into his world of ideas and exemplify the oeuvre it has inspired, which plays with the inconstancy of assertion vis-à-vis incontrovertible observation. Defying the principle of determinacy, Polanszky has continually posited a kind of “hypothetical interim” meant to remind the beholder of the mutability of structures and the relativity of a scientific logic of truth. Hence his keen interest in phantasms, simulacra, and mirror images and his skeptical view of the absolute and purely rational. The title he chose for his show at the Secession, Eidola, is the plural of the Greek eidolon, a small insubstantial image or phantom, and in a variation of the well-known phrase “What you see is what you get,” its leitmotif might be “What you get is more (other) than what you see.”

Rudolf Polanszky was born in Vienna in 1951 and lives and works in Vienna.

The exhibition of Rudolf Polanszky is mainly sponsored by Arbeiterkammer Wien.

Curator: Jeanette Pacher

Haris Epaminonda 

In Haris Epaminonda’s exhibitions, fragments from the natural world find their counterparts in shards of historical materials. Found and crafted elements such as architectural carvings and modifications, support structures in the form of pedestals and platforms, draperies, vessels and statuettes as well as pages from old books form the visual vocabulary out of which Epaminonda weaves unimagined narratives. The individual components arranged in the gallery are in palpable interaction, though the specific character of their interrelation remains enigmatic. It is here that Epaminonda’s art of visual storytelling encounters the particular history of the exhibition site.

The artist’s exhibitions are titled as consecutively numbered “Volumes,” suggesting an abstract ordering principle rather than referring to specific contents so as to remain open to different interpretations and readings. The predominant straight lines and geometric shapes and the reduced palette ensure structure and organization and function like a coordinate system. Epaminonda’s use of materials is careful and meticulous; the objects she selects are vehicles of meaning by virtue of their form as well as materiality and so merit close inspection. The surface—the “skin,” one might say—of the sculptures is an aspect to which the artist pays particular attention, often employing traditional or historic artisanal and architectural techniques like lacquer painting or Stucco Veneziano, a lime-based finish developed in Venice in the second half of the fifteenth century; its flexibility made it especially suited to the needs of builders in the lagoon city because it adapted when the soil beneath the building shifted. Epaminonda applies such techniques to a series of sculptures and wall pieces. In this manner, materials and their treatment almost imperceptibly enrich her art with geographical, cultural, and, not least importantly, symbolic references.

In a sense, Epaminonda’s subtly arranged assemblages are a more elaborate and expansive version of her earlier works, in which she applied techniques of collage to found film and video footage and images from books and magazines. Video editing and the composition of collages, to her mind, are closely related processes, since both are about making definite cuts.

In VOL. XXIII at the Secession, Epaminonda transforms the space into a whitewashed room with mirrors and reflections as prominent features, an environment that recalls scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science-fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey or settings found in Giorgio De Chirico’s early metaphysical paintings.

Here the moon is rising from the sea horizon, counterbalanced by a blue velvet curtain suspended from the ceiling.

A pool filled with water reflecting a set of arches is reminiscent of a nocturnal sight in a Roman alley. The serpent has left the scene. The bust of Apollo awaits a new inscription.

Haris Epaminonda was born in Nicosia (Cyprus) in 1980 and lives and works in Berlin and Cyprus.

Curator: Bettina Spörr

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