Robert Kuśmirowski: DUSTribute

Robert Kuśmirowski: DUSTribute

Kunstraum Dornbirn

March 30, 2022
Robert Kuśmirowski
March 25–May 29, 2022
Kunstraum Dornbirn
Jahngasse 9
6850 Dornbirn
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +43 5572 55044

For Kunstraum Dornbirn, Robert Kuśmirowski (born in 1973 in Łódź, Poland) has created a new site-specific environment entitled DUSTribute. In the former assembly hall, he has developed a post-apocalyptic scenery that completely transforms the space. Visitors find themselves in a world whose appearance resembles a fictional journey through time. Historical, cinematic and narrative reference systems interweave to form a story of existential peril and eerie beauty.

The artist occupies the entire hall, which formerly served as a machine works’ fitting shop and today functions as exhibition space, eliminating the tall transom lattice windows and shutting out outside influences. Sand piled up into mounds covers the entire floor of the large hall. In addition to a small wooden shed, a human figure can be made out in this inhospitable world. Working tools, machines and wooden carts are now dysfunctional representatives of a bygone era.

Visually and atmospherically, Kuśmirowski’s new work is based on the film classic Stalker (1979) by Soviet director Andrei Tarkowsky. It is about an area known as the “Zone”, which the military has sealed off after the occurrence of mysterious incidents. The nameless stalker (a local guide) leads customers into the forbidden region, helping them avoid the dangers lurking there. With his help and for different reasons, a professor and a writer seek to enter the “Room of Wishes”, which legend says is a place where the most secret wishes come true.

At Kunstraum Dornbirn, Kuśmirowski places his protagonist in a reconstruction of the gloomy scenery of this room. The sandy ground and the diffuse light create a magical world in which the human figure ekes out an existence in harsh, lifeless surroundings by daily labour, in hope of a better future that never comes. Even worse, time seems to stand still. The oppressive, anxiety-filled mood is reinforced by the inscrutable beauty of this mysterious parallel world.

Kuśmirowski evokes the narrative potential contained in his works through the re-enactment and staging of past times. The historical references spring from collective and individual history and are mixed with fiction and imagination. The resulting image testifies to a handwritten, unique and independent way of artistically appropriating the concrete world. It draws visitors in and lays claim to all the senses. The confrontation with mystical, decayed or destroyed places guides our uneasiness through the experience of obvious abandonment, human absence, and the consternation induced by an apparently perfect staging of past time in the present. Fascination is fed by a sense of the uncanny.

A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.


Monika Sosnowska
June 17–October 30, 2022
Folded steel fire escapes of American skyscrapers, deformed spiral staircases that lead nowhere, crumpled fences, including concrete anchoring or entire lattice walls with steel gates, which seem to be anthropomorphically shaped and mere hanging dysfunctional referents of their original purpose. Monika Sosnowska’s large-scale installations seem familiar and yet strange, achieving an aesthetic uniqueness in the context of institutional art through the manipulation and deformation of steel girders, concrete, pipes and other building materials. Sosnowska appropriates the characteristics of these materials by bending, tugging, stretching and breaking them after their production, thus reducing their function as building components to absurdity.

Kunst Raum Stadt—art in public space
In the Kunstraum Dornbirn programme, Kunst Raum Stadt stands for art in public space. Our commitment in this area consists in the preservation, promotion and realization of permanent and temporary sculptural works in urban space. In 2021, we could extend the real space exhibition with a digital exhibition format: by means of augmented reality (AR), visitors were able to discover works by the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm in selected places in the city of Dornbirn. In May 2022 we are looking forward to showing works in this format by the Austrian artist Eva Schlegel.

Kunstraum Dornbirn
Kunstraum Dornbirn was founded in 1987 as a non-profit association with the aim of presenting and communicating contemporary art. Since 2003, the exhibitions have found ideal conditions for the showing of large-scale installations in the historic assembly hall of the former Rüsch-Werke, a machine factory. The quality of the architecture in its original, raw state offers space for the presentation of current trends in international art. We show established, internationally renowned artists and newer positions in about four exhibitions every year.  

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Kunstraum Dornbirn
March 30, 2022

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