Illusionists make things vanish under invisible false floors; acrobats who perform without a safety net relinquish all protection in their daredevil jumps through the air; tricksters are two-faced characters who contrive ever new ways and means, but always with a touch of deviousness, to subvert the established order and with good reason. To disrupt. The notion of a “double bottom” conjures images from the world of stagecraft or mythology and folklore. At Kunstraum Lakeside—since its founding, a crossroads of art, business, and technology—the theme of the 2023 annual program is the slippery underground, the increasingly brittle connecting threads of society.
Playing off one of its most distinctive architectural elements, Kunstraum Lakeside centers its program on contemporary modes of existence. Just as the visible floor surface of the art space, once opened, reveals the underlying technical infrastructure, works by the invited artists uncover the fundamental conditions of life today. Hollow Ground explores performances reshaping reality in both analog and digital space, while interrogating the technological and/or social scripts that prefigure individual lifeworlds in the twenty-first century. If nothing else, it is also about the fragility of the human body, its vulnerability.
Linking exhibitions at a place like Kunstraum Lakeside with funfair spectacles casts a new light on ambivalences around producers of art as well as those who view and show it. All protagonists are entangled with each other, which makes it impossible to imagine Kunstraum Lakeside—like any other space of artistic production—as a site where techno-social phenomena are reflected upon from the outside and thus from a distanced and disembodied position. Rather, it is a stage, an auditorium where actors and audience convene, equally involved in a situation as if in a theatre rehearsal.
The special thing about attending a rehearsal, “whether as director, actor, technician, or prompter”, is that one is essentially “a spectator and an actor at the same time. This reciprocal observation position establishes a relay between production and reflection that allows one to switch between external and self-observation. In this sense, the rehearsal can be conceived as a series of performances that continually provokes new constellations of observation.”* The uncertainties and ambiguous situations, the provisionality and potential for failure as well as experimental action, all these concomitants that distinguish the rehearsal from the real performance in front of an audience will be performed on Hollow Ground.
*Annemarie Matzke, “Proben,” in Künstlerische Forschung. Ein Handbuch, eds. Jens Badura et al. (Zürich and Berlin: Diaphanes, 2015), 189–192, here: 189. Translated for this publication.
Michail Michailov — on the other side
Opening, March 7, 2023, 7 pm
Exhibition, March 8 – April 14, 2023
Opening, April 27, 2023, 7 pm
Exhibition, April 28 – June 2, 2023
Statement #21 | Sven Bergelt — @basjanader_#I’mtstty
Performance, June 13, 2023
Statement #22 | Elke Auer & Daniel Hafner — Modern People
Performance, June 20, 2023
Wörthersee, Wörtersee — Group exhibition, curated by Robin Waart
Opening, July 4, 2023, 7 pm
Exhibition, July 5 – September 22, 2023
Opening, October 3, 2023, 7 pm
Exhibition, October 4 – November 10, 2023
Opening, November 21, 2023, 7 pm
Exhibition, November 22, 2023 – January 12, 2024