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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Gisèle Vienne: This Causes Consciousness to Fracture – Haus am Waldsee | 12.9.2024–12.1.2025

Editors’ Choice

This autumn, Haus am Waldsee, in cooperation with the Georg-Kolbe-Museum and the Sophiensælen, is presenting the artistic work of Gisèle Vienne (*1976) for the first time in Berlin. A large-scale solo exhibition will be shown at Haus am Waldsee, extending across the entire building. The exhibition will be avaible from 12 September 2024 until 12 January 2025.

Image above: Gisèle Vienne, L’Etang, 2020, Photo: Estelle Hanania

Over the past 25 years, the French-Austrian artist, choreographer and director has created a complex body of work that questions our patterns of perception and invents artistic languages to pave the way for structural social change. Vienne’s creations, both on stage and in her visual practice, are developed together with dancers and actresses and are often animated by anthropomorphic figures and puppets to explore the sensuality, anger and creativity of countercultures in all their subversive potential. Bringing together her philosophical influences with her wealth of aesthetic experience, her work on stage and elsewhere seeks to overturn prevailing structures and develop new artistic forms that attempt to encode the world differently.

Vienne works predominantly on stage, where she expands her practice by incorporating mainly life-size dolls that mainly represent young people. Her use of dolls, situated in figurative sculpture, unfolds a decidedly political dimension in relation to the body as a place where culturally and socially constructed perceptual dispositives can be questioned, criticised and possibly dissolved.

Gisèle Vienne, L’Etang, 2020, Foto: Estelle Hanania

By staging the longings and fears of a youth in crisis, she recognises the feelings of her protagonists in all their political and social aspects. Vienne’s work is part of a struggle against standardising, authoritarian forces that affect the psyche and the body.

The exhibition brings together the life-size dolls that Vienne has created over the last twenty years in a carefully composed installation alongside a collection of photographs by the artist that illustrate the diverse spectrum of the dolls. The staging of the exhibition in the form of a puppet show was developed specifically for the architecture of the Haus am Waldsee, where overlays of language, sound and movement are contrasted with the stillness and immobility of the dolls on display. Here Vienne creates a field of tension between self-determination and heteronomy and illuminates moments that “cause consciousness to shatter”. The title This Causes Consciousness to Fracture is borrowed from a track from the album Patterns of Consciousness (Important Records, 2017) by Caterina Barbieri, Vienne’s collaborator for the stage play Extra Life (2023).

Gisèle Vienne, L’Etang, 2020, Foto: Estelle Hanania

About the artist

Gisèle Vienne
Gisèle Vienne is a French-Austrian artist, choreographer, theatre and film director. She has been trained in the visual arts since childhood by her mother, Dorothéa Vienne-Pollak. She studied dance and music, philosophy and puppetry. Over the past twenty years, her work has toured Europe, Asia and America, including the productions Showroomdummies (2001/2009/2013/2020), I Apologise (2004), Kindertotenlieder (2007), Jerk (2008), This Is How You Will Disappear (2010), LAST SPRING: A Prequel (2011), The Ventriloquists Convention (2015) in collaboration with Puppentheater Halle, Crowd (2017), L’Etang (2021) and EXTRA LIFE (2023, invited to Theatertreffen 2024).

Vienne’s photographs and installations have been exhibited in numerous museums, including the Whitney Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires and the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva. She has published two books: JERK/Through Their Tears (2011) in collaboration with Jonathan Capdevielle, Dennis Cooper and Peter Rehberg and 40 PORTRAITS (2003-2008) in collaboration with Dennis Cooper and Pierre Dourthe (2012). Their work has led to various publications and the original music from their shows to several albums.

As part of the presentations in Berlin, a new publication dedicated to the joint work of Gisèle Vienne and Estelle Hanania will appear in autumn. With texts by Anna Gritz and Elsa Dorlin. Published by Haus am Waldsee in collaboration with Spector Books.

WHEN?

Opening as part of Berlin Art Week: Wednesday, 11 September 2024, 7 pm

Press conference: Wednesday, 11 September 2024, 11 am

WHERE?

Haus am Waldsee
Argentinische Allee 30,
14163 Berlin

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