KUNSTHALLE Wien: The Circus as a Parallel Universe

Rona Yefman, Girl on Her Elephant (Detail), 2002 © Rona Yefman, Courtesy Rona Yefman und/and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv

The Circus as a Parallel Universe
KUNSTHALLE Wien, hall 1,
May 04th – September 02nd, 2012

Clear the ring for the world of acrobats, clowns, and exotic animals! Presenting a number of contemporary works of art, the exhibition The Circus as a Parallel Universe offers an introduction into the universe of the circus and highlights a wondrous place full of knowledge of the world, surprises and sensations, a place of poetry, but also of excitement, confusion, and unease.

The circus as a parallel world has become a projection surface in film and literature, but also in the fine arts. fascinated with the circus, its forms, and its practice, Peter Blake has created his own personal company of acrobats and fabulous circus creatures, for example. Federico Fellini has made the circus the subject of numerous films, and Charlie Chaplin’s figure of the tramp transcends the norms of social life. Ulrike Ottinger’s works confront us with the circus as a metaphor of an utopian perspective in which its sphere features as the gentle twin of revolution. Besides animals and acrobats, it is primarily the figure of the clown whose complexity oscillating between good and bad, funny and sad has always inspired the arts. Reaching far beyond the actual fringes of the circus’s ring, the exhibition assembles international artistic positions that thematize the world of the circus outside the big top and draw on its figures, forms, and metaphors.

Participating Artists:
Diane Arbus, Matthew Barney, Julien Bismuth, Rhona Bitner, Peter Blake, Olaf Breuning, Bernhard Buhmann, Alexander Calder/Carlos Vilardebo, Charlie Chaplin, Clifton Childree, Charles & Ray Eames, Federico Fellini, Daniel Firman, Thilo Frank, Jeppe Hein, Roni Horn, Anna Jermolaewa, Anna Kolodziejska, Tomasz Kowalski, Patricia Leite, Zilla Leutenegger, Ulrike Lienbacher, Jonathan Monk, Bruce Nauman, Ulrike Ottinger, Marion Peck, Ugo Rondinone, Julian Rosefeldt, Joe Scanlan, Elisabeth Schmirl, Deborah Sengl, Cindy Sherman, Simmons & Burke, Kristian Sverdrup, Javier Téllez, Joe Wagner, Martin Walde, William Wegman, Nives Widauer, Erwin Wurm, Rona Yefman

Curators: Gerald Matt, Verena Konrad
 

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