mumok Museum moderner Kunst
Stiftung Ludwig Wien
Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien
Exhibition dates
October 4, 2014–January 18, 2015
Press conference
October 2, 2014, 10.30 am
June 3, 2014, 7 pm
Installationsansicht / installation view,
Kunsthaus Bregenz
Maße und Material variable / variable
dimensions and material
Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin /
Cologne, Photo: Markus Tretter
In the fall of 2014 mumok will present the largest exhibition of works by Cosima von
Bonin to date in Austria. Opening on October 4, 2014, this exhibition, HIPPIES USE
SIDE DOOR. THE YEAR 2014 HAS LOST THE PLOT., will include more than 100 works
by von Bonin, who was born in 1962 in Mombasa, Kenya, ranging from her earliest
to completely new works. This retrospective exhibition will also show how von
Bonin’s work has moved more and more in the direction of installations that
increasingly come to take possession of the space they are placed in. Another typical
feature of her work is a complex network of relations between the fine arts and
music that she has established, including longstanding colleagues and friends in her
exhibition projects. At mumok, Tocotronic and Phantom Ghost will accompany the
exhibition with concerts, and two further new formations from von Bonin’s circle of
friends and acquaintances, Die 3 Ypsilons and The Ypsilon Five, will perform at the
exhibition opening on 3 October. The mumok facade will gain a new balcony for this
exhibition, with a vomiting figure standing on it.
On the Exhibition – von Bonin’s Spinning Machine
This show is intended as a retrospective in which von Bonin’s oeuvre can be seen as
a complex system full of allusions and references. In her works, von Bonin turns on a
spinning machine that spits out reference after reference—to pop and high culture,
and also to art history. This machine has quite clearly lost the plot. Very personal
emotions enter via the side door, and—like ghosts—they play their games with the
legacy of other artists. In her very first exhibition back in 1990, held in the exhibition
space in Münzstrasse 10 in Hamburg and presented together with Josef Strau, von
Bonin already asserted her own self-confident position vis à vis the male-dominated
art world. The two artists filled the gallery with balloons on which they traced in felttip pen the names of important conceptual artists, their dates of birth, and dates of
their first solo exhibitions. In this show, von Bonin placed herself very
demonstratively on view—in a shop window.
Press contact
Karin Bellmann
T +43 1 52500-1400
[email protected]
Barbara Wagner
T +43 1 52500-1450
[email protected]
Fax +43 1 52500-1300
[email protected]
The mumok show in Vienna includes a reconstruction of this Hamburg exhibition,
and also further new editions of past shows: parts of von Bonin’s exhibition at the
Cologne Kunstverein ZWEI POSITIONEN AUF EINMAL; a reconstruction of THE
FATIGUE EMPIRE, which was first shown in 2010 at Kunsthaus Bregenz; and a new
version of the last stage of von Bonin’s European tour, THE LAZY SUSAN SERIES
Von Bonin resists the creativity mindsets of contemporary capitalism by cultivating an
art of delegation. She rules over her ruinous empire like a couturier of a lost age.
Press information, July 21, 2014
Humorously paraphrasing Minimal Art, von Bonin had 70 men’s handkerchiefs sewn
together to produce a full-wall tapestry that operated as a kind of protest against the
formal severity of minimalist approaches. This work was first used in 1995 as the
backdrop for the stage for the 1. GRAZER FÄCHERFEST, von Bonin’s first
institutional solo exhibition. She was invited by the Graz Forum Stadtpark to show
her own works, but instead organized a three-day happening together with 15
participants from Cologne.
Von Bonin’s congregation of stuffed animals will march into the Vienna show like her
own entourage. Visitors will encounter a densely populated world of figures, and will
accompany these on imaginary sailing trips. These creatures are brightly colored and
some of them are made of the best designer materials. These squids, hares, and
comic figures are only cute at first sight, and they are always pleasantly lethargic,
lounging around in the museum space. Cosima von Bonin’s works frequently
connote a sense of inability, incapacity, and even pointlessness. Through open
saloon doors, questions and doubts as to identity and authenticity, contexts and
frames of reference swing in. These works stand for the artist’s own decisions about
her art, her “counteraction to the supposed active heroism of the [male] artist” (Oliver
Basciano), and her immunity to all demands for continuous new artistic output.
A Balcony for mumok – Outside Installation
Anyone who has known the monolithic black basalt block of the mumok building
since it was erected is in for a big surprise in October. During von Bonin’s exhibition,
there will be a new balcony below the only window on the front facade of the
museum. The artist’s first idea was to place a rocket ridden by a retching baby
chicken on the museum roof, but in the meantime she has decided for a simple
balcony of the kind often seen on single and multi-apartment dwellings. When we
asked why she abandoned the very visible rocket for a sun balcony that might be
overlooked at first sight, she answered in her typically restrained way, refusing to
interpret her own work: “I have always thought that the museum needed a balcony.”
On this new mumok balcony stands a rather clumsy and tense looking figure that von
Bonin calls DER ITALIENER (THE ITALIAN). This figure has no resemblance to all the
many other creatures behind the window and behind the DER ITALIENER that have
occupied the museum, lounging on high seats and other items of furniture, drooping
in exhaustion and sloth. This ITALIENER is a thin creature, standing there in a mix of
bold grandezza and introverted introspection, and he is primarily an uncomfortable
critic or a kind of agent provocateur. He is feeling unwell, and is retching. Whether
this is because he has had enough of his toil and of himself, or he wishes to rebel
against Cosima von Bonin and therefore stands with his back to her exhibition, or
just because the height at which he is standing is too much for him, can only be
decided by each visitor alone.
Press information, July 21, 2014
Concerts and Performances by Tocotronic, Phantom Ghost, The Ypsilon Five, and
Die 3 Ypsilons
Cosima von Bonin has been working for nearly 20 years with a handful of good
friends. All of them are experts in their own field, masters in their own terrains. Von
Bonin calls this way of working “I am many,” or sometimes also “We are many.” For
the accompanying program of events in Vienna, von Bonin has made ample use of
this collaborative principle: concerts by Tocotronic on October 4 and Phantom Ghost
on November 18, and Moritz von Oswald’s electronic beats that were produced
especially for the exhibitions FATIGUE EMPIRE and THE LAZY SUSAN SERIES. The
exhibition will open on October 3 with performances by a number of von Bonin’s
friends who repeatedly form performance groups under new names and thus
confuse their audiences—and often von Bonin too. In Vienna Doc Nancy, Proddy, and
Mary Messhausen will perform as Die 3 Ypsilons. The other group performing at the
opening is The Ypsilon Five, an offshoot of the legendary Da Group, with Oliver
Husain, Sergej Jensen, Simone Junker, Stefan Müller, and Claus Richter.
Film Program
The exhibition includes films by Jacques Tati, video clips by Tocotronic, a
documentary about George A. Romero and his zombie films, and films about Vogue
Dance Battles in Philadelphia—all wonderful works that have helped and still help to
set von Bonin’s own artistic production in motion. The film program also includes
films made by von Bonin and her friends during the “early years,” very basic Super 8
films and videos. In line with both her collaborative and conspirative approach, von
Bonin will include works from the mumok collection in her exhibition—by artists she
herself admires like André Cadere and Mike Kelley and also loans by Isa Genzken,
Okka-Esther Hungerbühler, Martin Kippenberger, Cady Noland, and Christophe
Curated by Karola Kraus
For supporting this exhibition, we would like to thank the sponsors Dorotheum, UNIQA, the
partners of the concert FM4 and Halle E + G, and our media partners Der Standard, Ö1, Falter, and
Wien live.
Press information, July 21, 2014
Fact Sheet
October 4, 2014 to January 18, 2015
Press conference
October 2, 2014, 10.30 am
October 3, 2014, 7 pm, with performances by Die 3 Ypsilons and The Ypsilon Five
October 4, 2014, 8.30 pm, Tocotronic, Halle E in the MuseumsQuartier
November 18, 2014, Phantom Ghost, 7 pm, mumok
mumok, MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, Levels 0–4
Karola Kraus
Curatorial assistance
Kristina Schrei
Exhibition production
Claudia Dohr, Sibylle Kulterer, Dagmar Steyrer
Artist’s book
Edited by Karola Kraus. With a foreword by Karola Kraus and texts by Diedrich
Diederichsen, Clara Drechsler, and Manfred Hermes.
German / English, app. 224 pages. Numerous colored illustrations and installation
views, 24x 32 cm, softcover
German: ISBN 978-3-902947-14-7, English: ISBN 978-3-902947-15-4
Opening hours
Mondays: 2 – 7 pm
Tuesdays to Sundays: 10 am – 7 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm
Normal € 10
Concessions € 8 or € 7
Press contact
Karin Bellmann
T +43 1 52500-1400
[email protected]
Barbara Wagner
T +43 1 52500-1450
[email protected]
[email protected],
Press information, July 21, 2014