Kunsthalle Wien

October 12, 2001

18 October 2001 - 6 January 2002

Hall 1, Museumsplatz 1, A-1070 Vienna
Open daily 10 a.m.7 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.10 p.m.
Infoline 43-1-52189-33

Press Preview: Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 10 a.m.
Opening: Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 7 p.m.

Curated by Joshua Decter.

In the past 50 years, TV has become the most popular medium worldwide. Not only our main supplier of information, entertainment, and their crossbreed, infotainment, it is also a kind comforter to the lonely, a babysitter loved by parents and children alike, a relaxant for the stress-ridden, and, for some, the no. 1 cultural epidemic. TV is the largest reservoir of the collective memory, creating and transforming identities not least because it makes the private public. TV is still stirring up public controversy, taking the role of the eternal scapegoat for the alleged dumbing down of society or the decline of morals. TV is ubiquitous, and will always remain a usual suspect for criticism.

Tele(visions) shows how artists have absorbed, critically challenged, and occasionally reinvented their TV experience in their work, analyzing and ironizing couch potatoes, talk-show hosts, quiz shows and TV news, glamorous prime-time shows, the circus of afternoon talk-shows. The exhibition documents artists initiatives for a different TV, presents ways of continuous image recycling and shows that TV is more than an easily accessible mine for video art.

The various influences of, and responses to, TV in different generations of artists are presented here for the first time in broad range. The show is a unique compilation of more than eighty works with a special focus on the 1980s and 90s. Paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations, and videos illustrate the intense attention that artists from diverse social and ideological backgrounds have given to TV, both playfully and seriously. Far beyond the usual lamentation about the encroachment of the mass taste of mainstream cultural industry on visual art, Tele(visions) reflects the creative, critical, and complex potential of this reciprocal relationship.

The artworks in Tele(visions) reveal the presence of TV in a variety of ways: there are literal (iconographic) references to television as a ubiquitous domestic object, as well as indirect allusions to the atmosphere of our TV-saturated lives. There are complex strategies of socio-political critique, gestures of playful ambivalence, and many other attitudes and reflections. Here are just a few examples of the diverse artworks included:

William Wegmans 1972 photograph, T.V, a domestic scene revealing a hilarious ritual of television-watching; Thomas Demands 1997 photograph, Studio, a reconstruction of the scene of TV-studio; Sarah Charlesworths 1979 “Movie Television News History, June 21, 1979,” a study of the interconnection of television media and newspaper news coverage; Maurizio Cattelans 1998 sculpture “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around it, does it make a sound?,” a perversely entertaining hybrid of donkey and TV-set; Doron Solomons 1998 video projection “Lullaby, documenting the transmission of the Middle East conflict & violence through television; LOT/eks 1999 “TV-TANK (television lounging tube),” a new environment for television-watching, and in Das Zimmer (1994), Pipilotti Rist paraphrases the visual predominance of the TV set.

All of the participating artists, in one way or another, articulate a vision of the world of Tele(visions).

At the start of a new century, it is a propitious moment to look back at the impact of television, and to reevaluate its relationship to the visual arts, writes exhibition curator Joshua Decter. Tele(visions) offers a straightforward, even transparent, curatorial proposal: the audience is invited to rethink art through the filter of television, and vice-versa.

Artists Participating:
Maike Abetz / Oliver Drescher, Vito Acconci, Ant Farm, Apsolutno, Art Club 2000, Michel Auder, John Baldessari, Martin Beck, Mark Bennett, Ashley Bickerton, Dara Birnbaum, Dike Blair, Candice Breitz, Chris Burden, Miguel Calderón, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Sarah Charlesworth, Larry Clark, Hans-Christian Dany / Christoph Schäfer, Thomas Demand, Jessica Diamond, Jan Dibbets, Do-Foundation, Peter Dombrowe, Tracey Emin, Harun Farocki/Andrei Ujica, GALA Committee, General Idea, Nan Goldin, Paul Graham, Simon Grennan / Christopher Sperandio, Keith Haring, Astrid Herrmann, Christine Hill, Jonathan Horowitz, Jim Isermann, Sanja Ivekovic, Christian Jankowski, Martin Kippenberger, Alexander Kluge, Barbara Kruger, Sean Landers, Louise Lawler, LOT/EK, Miltos Manetas, Dorit Margreiter, Allan McCollum, John Miller, Antonio Muntadas, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Paper Tiger Television, Philippe Parreno, Zhang Peili, Raymond Pettibon, Daniel Pflumm, Richard Prince, David Reeb, Tobias Rehberger, Pipilotti Rist, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Ursula Rogg, Julian Rosefeldt, Martha Rosler, Christoph Schlingensief, Ilene Segalove, Richard Serra, David Shrigley, Laurie Simmons, Michael Smith / Joshua White, Doron Solomons, Wolfgang Staehle, Haim Steinbach, Szuper Gallery, TVTV, Van Gogh T.V., Klaus vom Bruch, Carrie Mae Weems, William Wegman, Olav Westphalen, Måns Wrange, Joseph Zehrer

Concept / Curator: Joshua Decter, New York
Project Manager: Gabriele Mackert, curator Kunsthalle Wien
Curator Side Program: Justin Hoffmann, Munich/Vienna
Exhibition Design: architecture

Side Program:
In a comprehensive events program, Tele(visions) will be extended at a discourse, performance, and audiovisual level with discussions, film showings, club evenings, and concerts.

Exhibition Catalogue:
With contributions by José Luis Brea, Joshua Decter, Justin Hoffmann, Gabriele Mackert, Robert Riley and artists statements, German language, 312 pages with numerous color illustrations.
Kunsthalle Wien (ed.), ISBN 3-85247031-5, ATS 290, (Euro 21,07)

We thank our exhibition sponsor Wiener Städtische Versicherung.

Information & photos: Claudia Bauer, KUNSTHALLE wien, Büro: Museumsplatz 1, A-1070 Vienna, phone 43-1-521 89-22, fax 43-1-521 89-25 e-mail:;

RSVP for Tele(visions)
Kunsthalle Wien
October 12, 2001

Thank you for your RSVP.

Kunsthalle Wien will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.