Wild Spoerri Rosenstein

Wild Spoerri Rosenstein, curated by Adam Szymczyk 

“Wild Spoerri Rosenstein” is an exhibition of works by students featuring Elisabeth Wild, Daniel Spoerri and Erna Rosenstein presented as part guest lecturer Adam Szymczyk’s open class at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, “Principle of Equality”. The title was borrowed from the eponymous seminar run by Anka Ptaszkowska at the École des Beaux-Arts in Caen, France between 1983 and 2003. The class was inaugurated in March 2019 with a lecture by Anka Ptaszkowska.

Participants include Gleb Amankulov, Bob Schatzi Hausmann, Raúl Itamar, Nestor Janković, Robert Jolly, Julia Karpova, Yul Koh, Anthia Loizou, Dean Maassen, Paul Makowsky, Swarnaly Mitra Rini, Lorena Moreno Vera, Kamryn Pariso, Laura Pirgie, Ursula Pokorny, Michael Reindel, Camila Rhodi, Hanna Schibel, Firas Shehadeh, and Jiří Tomíček.

To proclaim the “principle of equality” within an esteemed educational institution is to open up a space for uninhibited individual and collective practice. As the class has been progressing, attention was given to listening and being listened to, those two states that form reciprocity, as seen in the dual figures of speaker/receiver (as per artist Moyra Davey), writer/reader, artist/viewer. At some point in the process, these distinctions and their attendant hierarchies must give way to new relationships between equals.

The show takes its cues from students’ personal encounters with the lives and works of three outstanding artists whose trajectories intersect in Vienna: Elisabeth Wild, Daniel Spoerri, and Erna Rosenstein. Wild (née Pollak) was born in Vienna in 1922 and went into exile in Argentina in 1938; she currently lives and works in Panajachel, Guatemala. Spoerri (née Feinstein) was born in Galați (Romania) in 1930 and, following his father’s murder by Romanian fascists, fled to Switzerland with his mother and siblings in 1942; he currently lives and works in Vienna. Rosenstein, born in Lemberg (then Austria-Hungary) in 1913, studied at the Frauenakademie in Vienna from 1932 to 1934. She survived the Holocaust and continued to live in Poland until her death in 2004.

Works of art are the fruition of individual lives. Objects and narrations produced by artists tell individual histories. Moments of correspondence can be grasped in the biographies and works of the three artists whose practice sets the tone and opens up an array of possible themes for the exhibition, without necessarily predetermining its varied outcome.

2019, Apartments of Hotel Am Brillantengrund, Vienna