Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
+43-699-19207778 -

Patrick Baumüller, Hans Kotter, Sinisa Labrović, Marko Marković, Vlado Martek, Giovanni Morbin, Lilo Nein, Pınar Öğrenci, Peter Riss, Ivan Šuković, Slaven Tolj, Alexander Viscio, Marko Zink

Opening: Saturday, 19th November, 8 pm
performance | Sinisa Labrovic | Light of the book | 19.11., 9 pm


You are cordially invited to join us on Tuesday, January 17, 2016, at 6 pm for the official closing reception with the artists.



Encountering light is one of the fundamental human experiences. However, the light perceived stands in tension with the concept itself. Perception is influenced by individual feelings, thoughts, experiences and values. Using light objects, performance, video and photography, the exhibition examines how light becomes visible and is perceived in different historic contexts.

Based on its cultural connotation and impressive symbolism, Pınar Öğrenci, Siniša Labrović, Marko Marković and Slaven Tolj use it on a verbal content level.

The Croatian artist Slaven Tolj uses light not only as a metaphor for the pursuit of enlightenment but also, in its paler shades, to convey entropy and melancholy. Linija by Slaven Tolj was a site-specific intervention with light in Dubrovnik's Old Harbour in February 2003. In the ruined city port, Tolj added a short 60m line of plastic light cable in the sea to the existing set of the holiday light decorations of the town of Dubrovnik. In his characteristic way, without notice, without any audience, quietly, discreetly, Slaven Tolj reflects from a new point of view the changing situation in his home town – making noise that severely eroded escapist idyll, produces harsh irony and criticism, which – in the most noble intention – evokes reality and reason. In the performance untitled Tolj used the same material, a cable of 39 lights, corresponding to his age, which he wrapped around his body. Unwinding the cable, he extinguished the bulbs one by one as they burned his skin, so that in the end he remained in darkness and silence. The artist describes the action as a reversal of the narrative of his life, exploring ideas of disappearance and suicide while also ridding himself of the restrictions of the closed circle of the festively illuminated walls of the city.

Pinar Öğrenci explores the use of electricity and sensor technology in public and private spaces, and questions their relationship to body and space. The video Awaiting the onset of the sense of life shows the bathrooms of a bar. The light in the bathroom turns on automatically with an electrical sensor, and so does her body that moves in the tiny, claustrophobic bathroom of the bar. The electricity and the light in the videos become part of the body. The position of the body makes the electricity and the space visible, while activating its components at the same time.

The second artwork is the multi-screen video installation Led Light City. It is composed of scrolling LED signs which constantly change the city imagery in Istanbul. The videos were shot in the busy business districts of Yusufpaşa, Fatih, Laleli, Taksim, Tarlabaşı, Nişantaşı, Karaköy, Üsküdar and Mecidiyeköy, where Arab communities in the city are most visible. The installation, in which each screen represents one of these districts, explores apparent relationships between the demographic changes and architecture, as well as local use of language and text.

Marko Marković is a performance artist and social activist whose work highlights the political problems of the times. Growing up against the backdrop of a revolutionary political situation in Croatia, his performances are informed by the memory of having lived through a disruptive moment in European history. His work reflects and questions the positions of inferiority and superiority. In one of his latest performances named CANDLE he is looking down on a candle and the lightning evokes intimacy and illuminates the face like in a painting of Georges de la Tour. The silent statement is questioning who is in charge of the power and what is not acceptable anymore. Looking down on something is different to looking up at something, and lightning and blowing out a candle is changing according to the observer's perspective and point of view.

Siniša Labrović from Croatia is a professor of literature and took up his artistic career in 2000. His work is often socially engaged and major themes are the position of man in these times of the domination of the economy and politics, the relationship of the private and the public and the influence of the media culture, often accompanied by a wry sense of humor and irony. The power of his conceptual performances often lies in a slightly uncomfortable definition of the relationship between the audience and the artist, where the audience is in a way forced to "walk" the thin line between ethically acceptable and unacceptable. As a performer he naturally centers his artistic practice on his body, which becomes his tool, medium and artwork at the same time. Using his body to express ideas, he does not restrain himself from often drastic moments or interventions into his own body. The performance flame by the artist can be interpreted as an example of reflection of the painful process to entrench a new social identity responding the political changes in the world.

The young artist Ivan Šuković from Montenegro is dealing with dreams that become reality – transforming the internal into the external world and the past into the future. The Pile of the Past (1928-1977) highlights seven photographic portraits of family-level memory system that are reminiscent of botanical nomenclature and include a diagram of the process. The "documentation" is positioned in black and white print, our view oscillates between tradition dealing with the characters, as an expression of power, recognition, or importance, and the poetically stylized translucent beauty of nature. Up close observation or "intimacy" with photo works exploring the charisma that lies between the subtle intimacy of fine detail and sharpness of detail is almost abstract in nature.

Mirror images are archieved by the reflection of light: This can be seen through works by artists like Vlado Martek, Lilo Nein and Alexander Viscio.

The Reflecting Barricades by Lilo Nein point to the topic of the exhibition through their playful surfaces, while at the same time blocking the view when looking in from the street. The surfaces in the works of Lilo Nein play with the visual recognition of the self. They draw the visitors' attention to their own presence in the room. However, they only seemingly fulfill narcissistic desires because the reflections used never let us see a perfect picture. The representation is always refracted, matte or distorted. The surfaces entail their own structures. They not only showcase the viewers, but also address their own materiality and presence.

Vlado Martek is a conceptual artist, poet and writer. His work can be seen as avant-garde poetry. In the materiality of Martek's poetry, the surface he uses to write it certainly has an important role. He frequently uses mirrors, both as a symbol and as a surface pliant for poetry, which reflects an elusive image. The speculum is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, a reflection of light and reality. The mirror is a receiver where the face of the reader is included into the space of the poem, transforming the viewer into an engaged participant. In Hamlet the substance of the play is not its content, but its materiality and appearance.

Laika was a Soviet space dog and became the first space animal launched into orbit, paving the way for human spaceflight. Made from over 2300 glass mirror tiles, Laika by Alexander Viscio weighs 21 kilos. Each tile is hand cut and affixed with silicone to heavy white denim overalls. This garment is designed to reflect light in dark, cramped spaces and is worn by the artist when he enters his own "Sputnik", a hexagonal sculpture from Six ways from Sunday makes for a full week. Made from wood, it will rotate as the artist traverse through its 6 narrow corridors wearing "Laika", roaming the abysses of alternate landscapes.

Hans Kotter, Patrick Baumüller, Giovanni Morbin, Peter Riss and Marko Zink work with the chromatic appearance of light, seeking to raise the viewer's awareness and perception of its optical-physical properties.

Hans Kotter is known for creating light installations and plays with our calculating approach to and our desire to perfect our environment and our lives. On the level of content, the purity and reduction of materials, colours and form, which results in cool and distant appearances but is nevertheless appealing to the viewer, entails a complex and profound concern. The light in this piece appears to erase the boundary of the wall and hint at a transcendent space beyond. Hans Kotter doesn't just play with the way our eyes work, he exploits how our mind processes images to reveal that at a fundamental level everything we see is an illusion. What is left is nothing more than the magic of light, its atmospheric and manipulative power.

Giovanni Morbin uses neon for the simple and handwritten word Genova. We recognize eight times the letter G, it looks aggressive and chasing other letters, it looks like a sort of Pac-Man that runs fast and voraciously... eight darkest G and the rest lighted. The Gs that do not light up are the indelible scar that changes the city's name to enova. Maybe it is a technical fault which cuts a word, or a misspelling. In the dark, a strong impression of something incomplete remains. The work is a subtle reference to the G8 summit 2001 in Genoa. It is remembered as the peak of the worldwide anti-globalization movement as well as for human crimes against demonstrators.

Patrick Baumüller opens the window to observing the plasma generated in the gas discharge in arc lamps. The artificially generated light is usually perceived in the form reflections on objects in the room. Taking a direct look at the light source is often not even possible because of very high luminance levels. Nevertheless, Baumüller's apparatus allows an analytical encounter with this experience (with the help of measures protecting the retina).

At a first glance, the installation "Lost" by Peter Riss appears to be sending a simple message: In bright pink lettering, the viewer reads the word "Lost" behind a gently moving black curtain. The moving black cloth irritates the viewer, covers up possible ways out, potentially misleading them. The irritation is caused by the combination of the selection of the lettering in the color pink, with its harmless connotation, and the meaning of the lettering, which intuitively evokes irritation and fear. "Lost" is not harmless, not recognizable at first sight, the way out is not always visible, often covered up. The pink letting creates a tension between "naïve" hope and dark uncertainty.

The first artist to explore the technique of light painting was Man Ray. Marko Zink's contribution to light painting photography came in his series "im körper". Analogue not digital is his way. He opened the shutter of his camera and used a light to create his self-portrait. It's just a blink of an eye, a fleeting moment in time between the present and the past, between now and then. It is this metamorphosis, the ephemeral quality of things that Marko Zink captures with his cool look, in pictures that provoke, intrigue, disturb even, but which always retain a respectful distance. His images offer a duplex perception. Marko Zink leaves it to the observer to sink into it, or to pick the perception of the person they like.


In context of the VIENNA ART WEEK
Where: Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Wien

press release : LUMINOS PERCEPTION

press photo 1: Siniša Labrović, Flame, 2013, Video performance, Loop, Camera: Boris Cvjetanović
press photo 2: Giovanni Morbin, GGGGGGGGenova, 2010, White light Neon partially screen with black paint, 180 x 35 cm
press photo 3: Slaven Tolj, Linija, 2003, performance, Dubrovnik, series of 5 photographies, 1 + 2 AP, 80 x 60 cm / 36 x 26 cm

Go to top