March 25, 2014 - Secession - Heinrich Dunst, Little Warsaw, and Kerstin von Gabain
March 25, 2014

Heinrich Dunst, Little Warsaw, and Kerstin von Gabain

Heinrich Dunst. Photo: Stefan Olah.

Heinrich Dunst: DA
Little Warsaw: Naming You
Kerstin von Gabain: Raver geht ins archäologische Museum

April 11–June 8, 2014

Opening: April 10, 7pm

Friedrichstraße 12
A-1010 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +43 1 587 53 07 11
F +43 1 587 53 07 34
office [​at​]

Heinrich Dunst
The Austrian artist Heinrich Dunst creates spatial interventions and performances to navigate the gap between what can be seen and what can be said, the untranslatability of one form into another, and the contextual nature of spatial presentations. His conceptual approach is rooted both in the Viennese scene of the 1980s and its characteristic ambition to extend abstract painting into the exhibition space, and in the work of artists like Marcel Broodthaers, who scrutinize the systems underlying the perception of words and images. Dunst lends these complex issues fresh interest by questioning the references he invokes, highlighting their ambiguities and ultimately revealing the prerequisites on which art itself is based.

For his show at the Secession, Dunst will develop a new installation. Its organizing principle is a wall cutting diagonally across the gallery on which a hypertext is inscribed. Various media fragments—letters cut from pink foam material, monochrome pictures, defamiliarized everyday objects, an Ottoman miniature painting, and copies (reprints) around the theme of the hand—are the elements from which he constructs a non-hierarchical visual field. His individual choices can be read both as confident graphic signifiers and as sculptural objects, regarded as traces of the artist’s subjectivity, and located in the perceptual ensemble they form with their surroundings. Dunst uses variation, superimposition, and changes of direction to challenge us to reflect on the construction of meaning.

Heinrich Dunst was born in Hallein in 1955 and lives and works in Vienna.

Little Warsaw
Naming You
Since 1999, András Gálik and Bálint Havas have realized joint art projects under the name Little Warsaw. In films, performances, and installations, they explore history and its interpretations, the collective consciousness and established visual languages and traditions. The analysis of society’s engagement with history is a crucial factor in their work; the role of the artist as a producer of images, objects, or situations that are embedded in, or illustrate, a (historical) context is up for debate, as is the reception of works of art as a dynamic process—one that is subject to changing socio-political realities.

One preferred strategy Little Warsaw use to generate (new) collective awareness of what has faded into obscurity or was never perceived in the first place is the re- or novel contextualization of monuments and artistic artefacts. The displacement or spatial—and hence contextual—transfer is one of their preferred methods whereas these temporary interventions always leave the physical integrity of the object untouched.

In Naming You, Little Warsaw present a diverse group of works, the majority of which were produced on the occasion of their exhibition at the Secession. The objects range from geometrical wooden structures and various historic documents to a mosaic color field. To tackle this diversity, a fictional fragmentary narrative has been created that is present in the real exhibition setup in the form of several chapters of a book. Little Warsaw thus question the role of fiction and myth-making, of prefabricated identities and constructed narratives against the backdrop of being truthful to one’s artistic endeavors in the hard-edged reality of today’s art world.

András Gálik (born in 1970) and Bálint Havas (born in 1971) live and work in Budapest.

Kerstin von Gabain
Raver geht ins archäologische Museum (Raver goes to the archaeological museum)
Many of Kerstin von Gabain’s works enter into unusual and surprising liaisons. In her exhibition City of broken furniture, which was on display in the galleries of the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna in 2013, she presented pieces of furniture in the role of “patients,” “dressing” their “wounds,” and contrasted them with a photographic series about furniture in the MAK’s collections. In a nod to twentieth-century medical documentaries, the photographs bear titles that quote the names of illnesses or suggest classificatory schemes such as Syphilis or 6 Verbrecher (6 Criminals). In a series of photographs created in Tokyo in 2011, she staged used futons and mattresses in the style of Nobuyoshi Araki’s bondage pictures. The artist also uses her own body in laconic or provocative observations about stereotypes as well as flashes of visual humor.

Von Gabain’s earlier installations and interventions often relied on found and humble materials and a characteristic repertoire of images and forms, including speaker towers, banners, and slide shows. The artist works with various modes of appropriation, adapting subcultural practices or refashioning furniture and entire rooms resulting in analogies and unexpected moments. Her photographs, which play a growing role in her creative output, tell stories of such absurd situations.

In the Secession’s Grafisches Kabinett, von Gabain presents new work created for this exhibition that elaborates on her previous oeuvre. Analogue black-and-white photographs that suggest an archaeological inventory are combined with several sculptural works. Some pictures show plaster casts of fragmentary limbs; in others, the artist can be seen extending her own body in a performative play with the prosthesis-like objects, exploring cultural and social paradigms and translating them into distinctive artistic ideas.

Kerstin von Gabain was born in Palo Alto (USA) in 1979 and lives and works in Vienna.

Press conference: April 10, 10am
For interview requests and any other questions, please contact
Please find the press releases and images for download here from April 10:

Guided tours: Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 2pm and by appointment
Permanent presentation: Gustav Klimt Beethoven Frieze


Heinrich Dunst, Little Warsaw, and Kerstin von Gabain at Secession
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