Peter Friedl’s multifaceted and stylistically heterogeneous works and projects in various media are meant to propose exemplary solutions to aesthetic problems related to our political and historical consciousness.
Charting novel narrative models, they probe the construction and limitations of representation, employing conceptual strategies such as contextual transfers or the reinterpretation of genres from the history of modernism.
The exhibition Teatro at Kunsthalle Wien focuses on a series of recurrent themes in Friedl’s œuvre: model, language, history, translation, theatricality. Video pieces such as Report (2016), a film inspired by Franz Kafka’s Report for an Academy that premiered at documenta 14 (2017), appear side by side with the series Rehousing (2012–2018), in which architectural models serve as case studies for a mental geography of different forms and modalities of modernism. Works such as The Dramatist (Black Hamlet, Crazy Henry, Giulia, Toussaint) (2013) and Teatro Popular (2016–2017) likewise exemplify Friedl’s study of models as a register that allows for an abstract engagement with and critical response to society and its political and historical dimensions.
Peter Friedl (b. 1960 in Austria) is an artist based in Berlin. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; and Hamburger Kunsthalle. He has participated in documenta X, 12, and 14 (1997, 2007, 2017); the 48th and 56th Venice Biennale (1999, 2015); the 3rd Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2004); Manifesta 7, Trento (2008); the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); the 28th Bienal de São Paulo (2008); La Triennale, Paris (2012); the Taipei Biennial (2012, 2016); the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014); the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale (2015); and the 1st Anren Biennale (2017). He takes part in the Sharjah Biennial 14 (March – June 2019). Selected solo exhibitions include OUT OF THE SHADOWS, Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2004); Work 1964–2006, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Miami Art Central; Musée d’Art Contemporain; Marseille (2006–07); Blow Job, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp (2008); Working, Kunsthalle Basel (2008); Peter Friedl, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2010); The Dramatist, Artspace, Auckland, (2014); The Diaries, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2016), and Teatro Popular, Lumiar Cité, Lisbon (2017).
Curators: Anne Faucheret, Vanessa Joan MüllerPeter Friedl, Report, 2016 (videostill), single-channel HD video installation, colour, sound, 33:03 min., loop, produced by documenta 14, Athens and Kassel, 2017, Courtesy the artist; Galerie Erna Hécey, Luxembourg; Guido Costa Projects, Turin; and Nicola