Space, About a Dream Exhibition at Kunstalle Wein and Peter Lindbergh: The Unknown Exhibit

29 Mar


Outer space is not only a physically extending sphere, but also a symbol: for centuries, man’s dreams and visions have been concerned with conquering the “extraterrestrial zone,” with getting to know worlds  beyond Earth, and even with colonizing other planets. “Space is the Place,” proclaimed the musician Sun Ra, and hundreds of science fiction novels and movies testify to this yearning for the other, for the unknown, for the abyss of infinity, which  presents itself as equally tempting and threatening.

Daniel & Geo Fuchs, TOYGIANTS – Spock, 2004, Courtesy of the artists and ARTITLED! 
Contemporary Art, Herpen, The Netherlands © Daniel & Geo Fuchs 

Since the production of rockets in the 20th century provided us for the first time with the possibility of actually conquering the “high frontier”, outer space turned into an emotionally charged scene of geopolitical strategy.

In the Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, the fight for dominance in space had a mass psychological and propagandist impact: after the Sputnik “crisis” of 1957 and the first manned space flight with the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961 – the fiftieth anniversary of which provides the special occasion for this exhibition – the US invested tremendous amounts of money into the project of getting people to the moon. When they succeeded in doing so in 1969, the feat became one of the greatest media events of the twentieth century.

Vladimir Dubossarsky & Alexander Vinogradov: Cosmonaut No.1, 2006, Private collection, Moscow,
Courtesy of the artists © Vladimir Dubossarsky & Alexander Vinogradov

The exhibition reflects the wide range of aesthetic, metaphoric and political dimensions associated with the idea of “outer space” as refracted in the prism of art. Outer space figures as a place of longing and a projection screen for utopias oriented toward alternative forms of life on other planets, but also as a threatening sphere triggering fears of the unknown, of impending meteor strikes, and even of invasions of aliens. The panorama of artistic explorations of the subject spans from figurative renderings of the firmament, rockets, and satellites to works critical of realism that search for ways to convey “cosmic feelings” in the tradition of such artists as Kazimir Malevich (1878–1935).

Andy Warhol, Moonwalk (1, pink), 1987, Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc./VBK, Wien 2011

Focusing on presentday art, the exhibition presents more than fifty artistic perspectives from eighteen nations and five decades. The different media employed go to show the thematic heterogeneity of the works exhibited, from painting, 16mm film, video, and animation film to drawings, prints, photographs, and multimedia installations.

Robert Rauschenberg, Stoned Moon Series, Horn, 1969, Courtesy of Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
© Estate of Robert Rauschenberg/United Press Inc./VBK, Wien 2011

Robert Rauschenberg was one of the privileged artists present at the launch of a rocket in 1969, and in later years Lena Lapschina, and Jane & Louise Wilson were also to witness such an event and reflected upon the experience in their work. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) provided Rauschenberg with detailed maps, charts, and photographs of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969/70, which served as a basis for his work Stoned Moon; this series of lithographs has rarely been presented in Europe to date. Andrei Sokolov was a close friend of the cosmonaut Alexey Leonov (the first human to conduct a space walk in 1965) and began to rely on this biographical background for his work as a painter in 1966.

In addition to about eighty works by such acclaimed artists as Turner Prize winner Keith Tyson and winner of the Vincent van Gogh Biennial Award Wilhelm Sasnal, film makers like Aleksandra Mir, William Kentridge, and Michael Snow, installation artists like Björn Dahlem, and intervention artists like Gianni Motti, Tom Sachs, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, Space. About a Dream also presents numerous surprising perspectives of a younger generation of artists including Julieta Aranda, Loris Gréaud, Jen Liu, Amalia Pica, and Virginie Yassef.

The exhibition opens April 1st and runs through August 15, 2011.


With his iconic black-and-white images of Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and other natural beauties in the pages of Vogue and Stern, world-renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh launched the 1980s global supermodel phenomenon. However it is the inherent tension and cinematic suspense of his work that moves it into the realm of art and propels the photographer into a new chapter of his life and career.

The Unknown is not a Lindbergh retrospective, but rather, a body of work specifically assembled to mark his first exhibition with China. Fifty-two large format images will be pasted directly onto the walls in dialogue with each other forming a gigantic mosaic. The images are not only of the unknown but of everyday adventures of the modern world. This is but the first stage for a new chapter.

Lindbergh then reverses the history of photography and transposes silver prints to filmstrips where images invade the walls and inhabit the space like movie stills from a silent film trailer, like a story in the making. The Unknown can be called a huge remix, a mis-en-scène perpetually renewed, having no chronology and no order.

The exhibit opens April 1 and runs through May 22, 2011.

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Arts is the the first private arts center in Bejing, created  in 2007 by Guy Ullens.

1 Response to Space, About a Dream Exhibition at Kunstalle Wein and Peter Lindbergh: The Unknown Exhibit


November 4th, 2011 at 7:06 am

Wie immer ist es Interessant hier mitzulesen. Vll. hätten Sie ja auch mal Interesse daran sich bei uns umzuschauen.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen

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