June 15, 2016 - Secession - Vincent Fecteau / Manon de Boer: Giving Time to Time / Valerio Adami
June 15, 2016


Manon de Boer, An Experiment in Leisure, 2016. © Manon de Boer. Courtesy Jan Mot, Brussels.

Vincent Fecteau
Manon de Boer: Giving Time to Time
Valerio Adami
July 1–August 28, 2016

Opening: June 30, 7pm

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

T +43 1 587530710
F +43 1 587530734

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Vincent Fecteau

Vincent Fecteau’s abstract sculptures defy summary description. Out of everyday staples like papier-mâché, cardboard, pictures from magazines, and paint, he fashions complex objects in which spaces simultaneously collapse and explode. Reminiscent, in many instances, of the elemental forms of early 20th century art, his works evoke associations ranging from utopian architecture and avant-garde stage design to masks and industrially manufactured components, yet they do not spell out their references. They keep their secret in a deliberate and insistent refusal to communicate definite meaning, indicating the artist’s emphasis on sculpture as sculpture and the agency it possesses as a real thing in the world.

At the Secession, Vincent Fecteau presents a new series of ten painted sculptures. Their fairly large rectangular shapes only distantly recall the boxes for flower bouquets with which the artist started. Alternately adding and removing elements in a playful cumulative process that is characteristic of his art, Fecteau has transformed them into convoluted volumes.

The tactile physicality and the surfaces of the objects structured by monochrome fields lend them a peculiar physical presence. Their distinctive aesthetic blends baroque ornateness with a hint of futurist eroticism—one formal logic is perpetually being translated into another. Gifted with a subtle sense of ambivalence, Fecteau probes its potential to offer resistance to the blunt assertion of the normal.

Curator: Annette Südbeck

Manon de Boer
Giving Time to Time

Manon de Boer primarily works with film and her art often subjects the medium itself to critical scrutiny: she insistently probes the interplay between image and sound and questions the power of pictures as well as their claim to truth. Personal narrative and musical interpretation figure as both subjects and methodological registers of de Boer’s filmic portraits, which she composes as slow-paced fluid sequences of images. Most of the protagonists of her films are actors and actresses, musicians, dancers, and intellectuals. The characters gradually assume definite shape as their recollections unfold, emerging into view like photographic prints in the darkroom, and even the fully formed picture conceals at least as much as it reveals.

In de Boer’s work, the fragility or inconsistency of narrative not only draws attention to the mutable relationship between time and language; it also highlights the ways in which perception is dependent on the situational context and subject to subtle alterations. The use of voiceover narration adds another layer that transcends the protagonists’ physical presence.

At the Secession, Manon de Boer will premiere her new film An Experiment in Leisure (2016). The writings of the British psychoanalyst Marion Milner (1900–98), in particular her eponymous book from 1950, serve as a starting point both for this film and her artist’s book Trails and Traces, which is published to accompany the exhibition. For An Experiment in Leisure de Boer asked artists, dancers, actresses, and art historians to respond to Milner’s ideas. Fragments of these conversations interrupt the silence of a vast, void landscape that serves as a backdrop. Reflecting her growing interest in the preconditions for creativity, her recent projects have dealt in one way or another with repetition, rhythm, reverie, the perception of (endless) time, (spaceless) space—and the idea of emptying one’s mind.

On view at the Secession is a small selection of films that represent this concern, such as the recently completed and never-seen "film sketch" The Untroubled Mind (2013–16) or the 16mm installation Maud Capturing the Light "On a Clear Day" (2015).

Curator: Jeanette Pacher

Valerio Adami

The painter and illustrator Valerio Adami is widely regarded as an eminent representative of Italian Pop art. His exhibition in the Secession’s Grafisches Kabinett is the artist’s first solo show in Austria and showcases a series of paintings from his less well-known early oeuvre. Created before 1964, these works stand out for the particularly dynamic interplay between expressive abstraction and stylized figuration.

Explosive discharges of energy are the dominant motif in the selected starkly simplified depictions. Adami’s pictorial spaces teem with bodies wrestling with each other and objects being blown to a thousand pieces, with energy fields, cosmic rays, fire, and dense clouds of smoke. Interspersed between them like quotations lifted from a cartoon are speech bubbles and onomatopoetic words signaling the pictures’ pop and bang. The characteristic features of Adami’s work from this time are the evolution of many of his forms out of the graphical gesture and the painterly structure he lends to different surfaces, probing the ostensible contradiction between individual emotional expression and a deadpan delivery devoid of subjective inflections with almost effortless ease.

Press conference:
June 30, 11am
For interview requests and any other questions please contact: katharina.schniebs [​at​] secession.at
Please find the press releases and images for download here from June 30, 2016.

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Manon de Boer
Giving Time to Time
Valerio Adami
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