Karl Karner: affus

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Open: Tue-Fri 11am-4pm by appointment

Brucknerstrasse 4, 1040, Vienna, Austria
Open: Tue-Fri 11am-4pm by appointment


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Karl Karner: affus

Vienna

Karl Karner: affus
to Sat 2 Mar 2019
Tue-Fri 11am-4pm by appointment | visit

The exhibition “AFFUS” by Karl Karner shows an overview of several creative periods of the artist – from older installations to wildly proliferating sculptures made of bronze and aluminum.

Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer Karl Karner 1

Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer Karl Karner 2

Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer Karl Karner 3

Karner‘s work is situated at the intersection between the objectuality of sculpture and a more recent order of sculpture set in a social context. In the artist´s installations and art environments, viewers frequently become players. Such participative impulses accentuate the irony inherent in these artworks.

The repetition of recurring motifs references the serial production of industrial objects. In Karner‘s work, these motifs are hand-made pieces of cast iron that become part of the artistic process. His preferred motifs are beaked creatures and dogs or hares, often clad with bronze or gold. The fact that they appear in series reminds of Pop Art or Concept Art (for instance Bruce Nauman‘s animal work cycles such as Untitled. Two Wolves, Two Deer from 1989 or Fox Wheel from 1990) but their static nature is broken by the involvement of real people. It would almost seem that these inanimate fantastic creatures are brought to life by the protagonists, which may be yet a reference to Beuys‘ work. In Karner‘s creations, a multitude of tubes injecting or extracting liquid constitute a metabolic system that can, however, only be activated by the viewers or users. To speak of users in the context of this work is possible because the artist generates live situations that reference the virtuality of computer games. With their interactive potential, the environments created by Karner generate various forms of display that are composed similar to arrangements of theatre props and are complemented by a series of performative gestures.

Karl Karner‘s multisensorial, fictional fairytale worlds tell a story of incessantly repeated settings of everyday life, albeit with their function deconstructed, which clearly point out the absurdity of certain processes through the repetition of objectual elements. Their inherent performativity is applied not only to a mere new art context, it also spreads out to the domain of theatrical scenes and art performances where the public is involved beyond the limits of museum presentations according to the directing principle in stage-based performative models. Karner‘s pieces function in the context of a gallery or a museum as static objects, whilst their stage-bound performative character reaches out to the dimension of theatre space and audience. Commensurabilities proper of everyday always have an intrinsic bond with social interaction in public space. They are unmasked as banalities and transformed into playful gestures so as to bring the alienation of sense and purpose into play as an artistic chain of arguments that address the matter of objectuality.

– Walter Seidl

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna

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