Michael Gumhold, Flora Hauser, Gerhard Veismann
curated by Siggi Hofer

May 25th - June 23rd, 2019


© Michael Strasser / Kunstverein Schattendorf

After there have been three exhibitions with two artists each, now there are three of the latter. While their ways of working are basically very different, the artists get really close in the Daily Show!, here and now.

It seems that, with every step, they are approaching the same issue in a wondrous way, and at the same time, with each of these steps, their works get more autonomous and distinguish themselves from each other.

“A lived day lies behind us when it is called an evening. A day which has left his traces, again. And now, a lot of things are said which weren’t meant to be because they were not destined for the public. Has one been taken by surprise or has it been just the dead right moment? Did one want to impress a beautiful women? Did one want to show off and did drink too much? We were high, over-worked, overstrained and we were lured into a trap, in the worst case there were knockout drops involved. Even if one gets out of this story injured, it was good anyway because the public was dying for it. Actually, it did only want to be entertained, but now it stays behind deeply moved, and everything stays as it has been, like when we were alone with ourselves — very intimate.” 1

Gerhard Veismann’s presentation of his diaries has the most apparent connection to the title of the exhibition. His diaries fit perfectly in his oeuvre, but originally have not been conceived as a piece of art, however, now they are adapted for the show as such. The utterly open-hearted entries are not easily accessible due to their minuscule writing. Suitably, he calls the work “Snow Pagoda”. A title that doesn’t give a clue to the content, but works as a password and refers again to the dichotomy between private and public as well as between wanting to scream it out loud and silence.

“The password ‘Snow Pagoda’ leads back to an entry from the 6th of February 2015. “To draw until the bones break. At my Japanese restaurant that I visit every Friday, I saw a picture of a pagoda in the snow and I lost myself in it (I plunged deeply into it).” It is only one of many observations that became cypher-like words. One that, however, persistently got stuck in me, so that it stood up to all the others and became the access code.” 2

In an almost, but not exclusively pleasant way, the work of Michael Gumhold is very close to the curating artist who grew up as a tavern’s child and who, back then, did the most unlikely things with collected crown caps. After all, the work directly acts on his own biography, plays with it, and this proximity could easily lead to a misunderstanding of the work. Because, in the first place, it is not about the object, but about the volume that it symbolises. It’s not the stories from the past, but the experiment in the here and now. His huge and virtually daily growing collection again and again opens up new possibilities in form and content. In the former ballroom of the Kunstverein Schattendorf, he acted freely in his typical impartiality that never lacks in precision. So to speak, the room is dissected, and architectonical peculiarities of it are emphasised. Like that, he marks his territory, and at the same time, sails round the works of his two colleges. His intervention in the room, then again, unmistakably leads back to the theme “volume”. Volume is something existential. Volume as a big black space.

“Basically, these works of crown caps are a hybrid, a hermaphrodite, sculpture and object in one. Over the years, on the one hand, volumes are amassed almost in a manic way, on the other hand, this constantly growing collection symbolises the transition from one state of matter to the other.” 3

Flora Hauser was permanently travelling, and virtually conceived her work here and there. That is why her work has this elusiveness and, yet, at the same time, a certain density that maybe only results from travelling or movement. As it were, a kind of diary came into being. Also, very gently, a narrative pops up, and after the discovering, immediately takes a back seat again. “It’s not a diary in a typical sense because it’s neither chronologic nor constant.” 4

Sometimes it seems as if Hauser would only leave traces accidentally, and as a consequence it seems that you can also only discover something by accident. The outlines or writings, which elusively appear, have partially been supplemented by people whom Hauser met on the plane back home. They leave an impression as if they were capable of jumping from one picture to another.

“I already worked with the American 4x5 inch photo format in the United States. I undercoated canvases and cut them in the size of this board, so that, perfect for travelling, I had only those canvases and one board with me. Last year, I extended that way of working with magnets which I’m also now using when hanging the works. For me, this system stands for flexibility, and for the possibility to take the canvas (almost performative) and to simply hang it on the next best spot.” 5

Also, this “almost performance” connects the works in this exhibition, called Daily Show!. Viennese Actionism floats in the room, resonates, and step by step hanging and positioning became important and indispensable parts of this exhibition. They emphasise their underlying philosophy. In this game, in this show, the curating artist is a good deal more the moderator and carefully tries to weave a thread between the positions, so that the works can complement and support, but also can sabotage each other.

words: Siggi Hofer
translation: Stefan Thyri

1 Siggi Hofer
2 discussion between Gerhard Veismann and Siggi Hofer, may 2019
3 discussion between Michael Gumhold and Siggi Hofer, may 2019
4 discussion between Flora Hauser and Siggi Hofer, may 2019
5 discussion between Flora Hauser and Siggi Hofer, may 2019