July 2, 2020 - Kunsthalle Wien - KISS
July 2, 2020

Kunsthalle Wien

[1] Eva Egermann, Sketch for KISS, 2020 after a quote by Ianina Ilitcheva, 183 days (95/183), 2015. Courtesy the artist. [2] Elke Silvia Krystufek, Not My Government, 2019. Courtesy the artist & Croy Nielsen, Vienna. Photo: Kunst-Dokumentation.com. [3] Johanna Tinzl, Back in Vienna – Body Adaptations, Friesgasse, 1150 Wien, 2016/2020. Courtesy the artist. © Bildrecht Wien, 2020. [4] Margot Pilz, Hausfrauendenkmal, 1979. Courtesy the artist & Galerie 3. [5] Rade Petrasevic, PLEASE DON’T ASK, 2019. Courtesy the artist & Christine König Galerie. [6] Thomas Geiger, The Festival of Minimal Actions (Re-Performance of Leonardo Gonzalez, Topping, 2014), 2018. Photo: Despacio.

July 1–September 30, 2020

Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz
Treitlstraße 2
1040 Vienna

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube / #KissVienna

With Eva Egermann, Thomas Geiger, Elke Silvia Krystufek, Rade Petrasevic, Margot Pilz, Johanna Tinzl ...

Curated by the Kunsthalle Wien curatorial team (Laura Amann, Anne Faucheret, Aziza Harmel, and WHW)

KISS unfolds as a series of artistic works in public space inviting those living and creating in Vienna to engage in an act of social and cultural intimacy during the summer of 2020.

“We also need to mix our bugs and that is why we kiss and exchange fluids. Fluid exchange is disgusting but once you love, the evolution tricks you. […] People who do not mix fluids, do not dream, and use hand sanitizer or mouthwash will be extinct. Love is about mixing genes to compete with bacteria and viruses, and to dream together about conquering the cosmos in its various forms.” (Ben Marcus, “First Love”)

So, what is this investigation known as kissing? Which secrets are we prying off each other? What happens when fluids, bugs, and viruses mix in an act of love? And how can we conquer the cosmos when kissing is no longer allowed or safe? Küssen verboten? Bussi baba? And if we are already at it: Who is allowed to kiss? And where? And when?

A kiss can betray. A kiss can bid farewell. A kiss can bestow peace. A kiss can seal a union. A kiss can cause death. A kiss can be stolen. A kiss can be blown. A kiss can be denied. A kiss can attract thousands of tourists daily. A kiss can be subversive. A kiss can change the law…

In times of physical distancing, all the power and potential embodied in the kiss seems to dissipate in awkwardness and insecurity. The meaning of public space itself has also been undergoing a complex transformation, shaping into an at times contradictory physical and psychological experience.

It is from within this friction between the need for intimacy, touch, and solace and the simultaneous impossibility of it all that the artistic contributions of KISS operate.

Eva Egermann installs wall posters and banners throughout the city. The intriguing poetic slogans they feature expound on physical and emotional dependence and hedonist desire and resonate as an audacious counterproposal to the politically organized social distancing.

Thomas Geiger re-performs nineteen works in nineteen days at Reumannplatz in search of potential situations of physical interaction, affection, intimacy, and romance in public space during periods of pandemic.   

Elke Silvia Krystufek erects a funerary monument at Karlsplatz to commemorate the involuntarily shaped, falsely chronicled, and misrepresented biographies and deaths of women in general and her mother in particular.

Rade Petrasevic applies bold colors, simple shapes, and a cheeky title to a large-scale wall covering, which, through a laid-back approach, speaks about the tensions between private and public as well as between sexuality and bodily transformation.

Margot Pilz rebuilds a large but soft and fragile monument to housewives in the city center, originally presented as a sculpture-action forty years ago. Shockingly, its continued relevance today is undeniable.

Johanna Tinzl presents a large-scale photographic triptych in Museumsquartier portraying the painful, decade-long process of Jewish-born Helga Pollak-Kinsky returning to Vienna after having survived National Socialism.

By adding existing sites and artifacts of cultural significance to its parcours across the city, KISS expands on the traditional exhibition narrative to incite us to set off on an exploration of art, culture, and history in public space. The realized projects will be activated through an accompanying program over the course of July, August, and September 2020.

Let’s find out what the Austrian capital’s relationship to kissing is, in this odd year when those actually living in Vienna will get to experience Vienna—perhaps more intensely and, at the very least, differently than ever before. We will have to learn how to relate to each other even if we can’t see the beaming smiles behind our masks, enjoy each other’s embrace, or interlock our lips without thinking twice.

Denn küssen kann man nicht alleine.

Additional locations, stories, and the program of KISS are updated regularly at www.kunsthallewien.at/en/exhibition/kiss

Start your journey with (a) KISS at Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz.

Stay connected: Please check our website for regular updates on our program.
For further information, please contact: presse [​at​] kunsthallewien.at

Kunsthalle Wien
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