Statement #08 | Stefan Riebel — Performing an Artspace

Performance, January 16, 2020, 2 pm – 8 pm
With students of the Academy of Fine Art Leipzig
Leon Galli, Frida Zack, Franziska Pätzold, Shuangshuang Liao, SeungLok Paik, Felix Almes, Yannick Harter, Lydia Marx, Lisa Kirchhoff, Tobias Fabek

The Kunstraum Lakeside is designed to be a place of production and presentation of contemporary international art with the aim of promoting critical discussion of socially relevant aspects of the economy. The space operates within the fascinating triangle of business, academic and cultural forms of discourse. What happens to the imagination of viewers when there is an intervention within existing systems of order and institutional expectations like those of the Kunstraum Lakeside? How can relationships be reflected in such a context and individual perspectives changed? The aim of Stefan Riebel’s Performing an Artspace is to question the wider context and construct of general social realities via artistic-spatial practices.

Is a chair within the Kunstraum an object of art? Is window cleaning a performance? Does painting a wall have anything to do with painting as an art form? Does inclusion of a video projector amount to technological mediation work? Does entering the Kunstraum constitute a performative act? In collaboration with students of the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts), Stefan Riebel explores the project rooms and puts their operation and underlying operating system up for discussion as artistic activity. As part of his research work Project Space Practice, Stefan Riebel in Klagenfurt puts the Kunstraum Lakeside under the microscope in order to draw attention to the special nature of the setting of this artspace within a Science and Technology Park. The interplay of audience, intervention and context is the starting point of the artistic event, which is a temporary arrangement and thus as ephemeral as it is unique.

Through a series of performative acts, fleeting interventions and marginal installations, the space is tested in its specific capacity as a “Kunstraum” (an “Artspace”). The joint focus of attention is on the people working at the Kunstraum Lakeside in their role as employees and equally on the function of furniture and fittings, or the infrastructure of Lakeside Park itself. A laboratory situation within the Kunstraum provides an opportunity to pursue such specific institutional questions on site and in dialogue with the public. All of the processes involved are documented by Stefan Riebel and the students and put up for discussion at an open work meeting.

Stefan Riebel (b. 1982 in the former GDR) lives and works in Berlin and Leipzig.


Stefan Riebel, Performing an Artspace, 2019