This book is published on occasion of the parallel exhibitions Silke Otto-Knapp presented in two markedly different locations: on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, and at the Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, Vienna. The contrasting influences of place—between rural and urban, new and old world—is evident in the selection of works presented and compiled in this catalogue. The partnering of these exhibitions clearly brings into focus questions about art and its contexts. The tensions between nature and culture provide an appropriate figure for the artwork: a context imagined and devised for the circumstances of its own activation.
Kevin Schmidt’s installation and film EDM House (2013) transforms an abandoned homestead in the interior of British Columbia, Canada, into a meeting place of the urban and rural. His incongruous superimposition of the sounds of EDM (electronic dance music) and coloured Christmas lights onto this remote location, where he also lived for four months, critiques our pioneering expeditions into the natural world. His disorienting camera work recalls Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo, and imbues the scenery with a sense of displacement, at once chilling and exhilarating.
A digital print featuring a scale representation of Seldom Community Hall, the only meeting room within which the Fogo Island foghorn is audible. This hall acts as a container for sounds generated by atmospheric conditions in Rickards’ work Grey light. Left and right back, high up, two small windows (2014), presented at the Fogo Island Gallery from September 24, 2014 to April 12, 2015.
Kosovo Pavilion, Arsenale
Wednesday May 6, 2015