Tag Archives: curators’ water

Of battery-powered chainsaws, Franz Kafka, curating, and the Art-Free Territory

I’ve sent an image scientist through my latest exhib in Austria, “Home Alone”. Here is what she brought back from the tour:

“Home Alone” is a fifty meter wide media installation, staged at the “Ausstellungsbrücke” (english: “Exhibition Bridge”) in Sankt Pölten, Lower Austria. It involves a “fitness zone”, a “living room”, a “museum”, and a “bar”. Each of these areas provide different levels of involvement to the visitors.

The show starts with a huge wall painting, depicting the exhibition’s intro text and a dozen company logos. Next to it resides the participatory video work “Get Fit With Dr. Lapschina”, which asks the visitors to work out. Stuff for engaging in the vigorous physical exercises is provided – as well as a bunch of museum benches, for people who prefer the lean-back mode.

The living room part of “Home Alone” has a comfy sofa suite, a large screen, several framed pictures on the walls, three lightboxes, a couple of books and catalogues on a coffee table, a hammock, and a bottle of wine to offer. The pictures don’t show anything though. They are only reminders. Also these aren’t regular lightboxes. Their role is to provide a distinct atmosphere to the place. And while the TV presents a 3′ loop version of Lena Lapschina’s video piece “Runtime”, it’s just the camo jacket for the smart home components everywhere in the room.

So, why not spend some time in the museum? Meticulously arranged vitrines give an impression of life in Lower Austria, in Manhattan or in Brooklyn, or elsewhere on this planet. It’s about dreams and nightmares, art and artists, battery-powered chainsaws and Franz Kafka, curating and the “Art-Free Territory”. It’s not immediately clear if the assemblage should be entertaining or disturbing. Like all museum stuff, in the first place it is educating, and that is what visitors find out during extended conversations in the bar and kitchen areas built into the flow of the “Home Alone” installation.