Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria
Heimo Zobernig constructs platforms, fabricates sculptures, whitewashes temporary exhibition walls, paints canvases, shoots videos, and appears in performances. He is continually involved in questions of how simplicity can be extracted from complexity. He has been highly influential not only within his native art scene but also in international discourses on art and the wider world of exhibitions. Zobernig began his career with small-scale paintings and black lacquered cardboard objects. His paintings were reactions to neoexpressionism and responses to the utopian, which since modernism has been associated with the austerely formal. Likewise in his sculptures, he utilizes simple methods of disclosure to make visible the historical charge within objects, which often adopt the appearance of initial models, simple prototypes, or cheap placeholders. He also modifies the rarely visible apparatus of exhibitions such as plinths, walling, platforms, and podiums.
In his exhibition at Kunsthaus Bregenz Heimo Zobernig is showing a variety of empty shelving on the first floor. For Zobernig shelves exhibit a relationship to human scale, never merely functional but always also becoming, as he expresses it, a »counterpart.« The second floor is divided by a black curtain that enters into a symbiosis with KUB’s architecture. Visitors entering are faced with the decision of whether to experience the newly created space surrounded by fabric, or peer behind the curtain.