The event series Rehearsals of (...), taking place in three iterations, explores the potential of embodied and situated artistic critique. Kevin Space invites artists and writers to site-specifically think and work through ways of shaping the frameworks within which they operate – including the respective relationships to bodies, places, knowledges, and histories that these infrastructures allow for – and to push their material and ideological boundaries. After six years of exhibition making, Kevin Space furthermore aims at critically reflecting on our own involvements, desires and motivations.
In today’s landscape of contemporary art, conditions that are seemingly criticised–through claims to diversity or capitalist critique–are often structurally reproduced, sedimenting in recognisable and consumable codes, images and language, as currencies in exchanges of “difference.” Well-intended measures of transformation can easily ossify the structures of inequality that are meant to be targeted and oppose the lived experiences within the walls of the same spaces. These institutional walls are here not understood necessarily in an architectural sense but as sets of beliefs, affects and desires, perpetuated by bodies participating in the field of art.
For the second iteration of the three part series Rehearsals of (...), Kevin Space, together with the invited artists and guests, focuses on various delineations of the spaces of contemporary art and the subjectivities it creates, as well as the structural and lived relationships to its socio-spatial surroundings. While special attention is given to Kevin Space’s ambivalent position at Volkertmarkt, Rehearsals of Porosity is a general inquiry into the creation of permeability within the membranes of a semi-autonomous field by means of visceral-somatic, dialogical, formal and research-based methods and embodiments.
Veza Fernández hold me so I can hear you think
hold me so I can hear you think is a performative essay by Veza Fernández that explores, together with the audience, different forms of being together in a space. Where does one body end and the next begin? Conceived as an acoustic-visual exercise, hold me so I can hear you think explores the aural experience beyond the limits of our sense of hearing, as a somatic experience and resonant chamber for those bodies, spaces, and walls in which we speak, move, and express ourselves. Fernández explores queer, embodied methods, as sites of abstraction and application and asks the audience to share a space where we are not usually encouraged to make intimate connections intimately.
Veza Fernández is a dance, voice and performance artist based in Vienna. Her work deals with the realms of the poetics and politics of vocal expression as a place of relation, imagination and transformation. She entangles singing, writing, dancing and speaking practices as bodily forms of study, experimentation and performance. She holds a Masters in Choreography from the DAS Graduate school (Amsterdam Academy for Theatre and Dance). Her work has been shown amongst other in brut Vienna, Tanzquartier Vienna, Sophiensaele Berlin, Gesnerallee Zürich, de Singel Antwerp, Frascati Amsterdam, La Casa Encendida Madrid, Kunsthaus Graz, ARTENA Art Foundation Düsseldorf, Gropius Bau Berlin.
Ülkü Süngun Gemeingut Jungbusch
Artist talk moderated by Petja Dimitrova
The work Gemeingut Jungbusch (2019-2020) by Ülkü Süngün was created over a period of two years and deals with the social conditions of residents and local entrepreneurs in the migrant neighborhood of the same name in Mannheim. It thereby brings together questions about the individual experiences of the residents, the social conditions of the neighborhood and the community with investigations of gentrification and the associated racially motivated violence against the residents of the neighborhood. In a conversation with Petja Dimitrova, Süngün also introduces the Institut für Künstlerische Post-Migrationsforschung (Institute for Artistic Post-Migration Research) as well as artistic-activist protocols that counteract the utilization, aestheticization, and depoliticization of these very tactics within the often biased logics of exhibition spaces and the structures associated with them.
Ülkü Süngün is a visual artist and activist. She studied sculpture at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart. Using different media such as photography, installation, sculpture and lecture performances, her work critically engages with migration and identity (politics) as well as memory and conducts artistic research with her process-oriented and collaborative approaches. Süngün’s works were most recently presented in the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. She currently teaches sculpture as professor i.V. at ABK Stuttgart.
Petja Dimitrova is a Vienna-based artist and activist. Her artistic practice is situated between fine arts and political and participatory cultural work. She teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. From 2011-2014 she was one of the artistic directors of WIENWOCHE festival (together with Can Gülcü and Radostina Patulova), and was a member of the board of IG Bildende Kunst (Artists’ Union) from 2005–2014. She is a member of "Netzwerk Kritische Migrationsforschung und Grenzregime" and associate Editor of Migrationsskizzen: Postkoloniale Verstrickungen, antirassistische Baustellen.
Niloufar Emamifar and Benjamin Hirte in conversation with Andreas Rumpfhuber
Based on their common interest in socio-political, legal and ideological processes in urban developments, the two artists Niloufar Emamifar and Benjamin Hirte invite the architectural theorist Andreas Rumpfhuber to a joint conversation on questions of social housing, public space and the function and role of art in it. In particular, they will discuss the differences and similarities between the cities of Vienna, New York, and Tehran. The conversation also functions as an instigator and open research for the joint exhibition project, which will open at Kevin Space in June 2023.
Niloufar Emamifar's sculptural and conceptual works often focus on architecture as a means to consider property contracts, notions of ownership, and the law in general. She is interested in the genealogy of spaces and territories and how the interplay between material facts and the fictions that underlie real estate shapes the history of buildings. Her work has been presented at MoMA PS1, New York; Essex Street, New York; the Hammer Museum, LA; and Sculpture Center, NY, among others. In 2023, her solo exhibition opens at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.
Benjamin Hirte lives and works in Vienna. He studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Heimo Zobernig. Hirte uses a combination of objects and text in his work to explore themes of semiotics within cultural history and the construction of public and private space. He has exhibited at MMK Frankfurt, the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Emanuel Layr, Vienna; MAK Center, Los Angeles; and Sydney,Sydney, among others.
Andreas Rumpfhuber is an architect and architectural theorist. His work focuses on new forms of working and living. He studied architecture at the TU Graz, the Bartlett School of Architecture (London) and SCI-ARC (Los Angeles). He has held visiting professorships at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, the Staatliche Akademie der Künste Stuttgart and the Technische Universität Wien, among others.