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Domestic Drama
Larry Achiampong, Ayo Akingbade, Aram Bartholl, Camille Blatrix, Oscar Enberg, Vera Frenkel, Nigel Gavus & İlkin Beste Çırak, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Kaarel Kurismaa, Nicola L., Bertrand Lavier, Olu Ogunnaike, Laura Põld, Bruno Zhu



The ongoing global crisis, triggered by the Corona Pandemic, continues to test everyday life such as living and working to this day. Domestic Drama, a group exhibition conceived for the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, focuses on the interior, i.e. the architecture of the home and the objects that often exist in passing within it, and creates a specific narrative about the home that is currently being put to the test.


Nicola L., Red Lip Lamp, 1969

Plexiglass, steel
129.5 × 17.1 × 7.6 cm

Courtesy Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive


But can there be a story of the interior itself, or the mechanisms by which space is constructed as interior?”
(Beatriz Colomina) 

The ongoing global crisis, triggered by the Corona pandemic, continues to put constants of everyday life such as living and working to the test. The home is being transformed from a place of retreat to a permanent production site in which, among other things, the boundaries between paid and care work are disappearing and the conflicts that formerly took place outside are being fought out inside the private sphere. Long before the crisis described above, the home was already a contested bastion in which many conflicts intrinsic to culture, such as gender issues, came to light. Domestic Drama, a group exhibition conceived for HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark and presenting works by different generations of artists, creates a specific narrative about that increasingly relevant image of the home and places the interior, i.e. the architecture of the home and the objects that often casually exist within it, at the center of attention.

The exhibition is composed of new productions, site-specific works, and pre-existing works located in the field of sculpture that transform the building’s great hall into a stage-like setting. The term Domestic Drama, which lends the exhibition its title, was first used by architectural theorist Beatriz Colomina in the essay The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism, published in 1992. In this essay, Colomina devotes herself to architectural concepts of the living space, which in their design create stage-like situations and equally allow the subjects and objects within them to become the protagonists of a domestic drama.” In relation to the exhibition, the psychological dimension resonating in the term interior is particularly interesting, since the interior of a house is often perceived as a symbol of the characters living in it. Thus, thinking about the term interior offers the opportunity to reflect on economic, social, and ideological mechanisms that shape our private sphere. Not only Beatriz Colomina’s reflections play an important role here, but also the theories of the feminist scientist and theorist Sara Ahmed, who, among other things, has decisively influenced the discourse around the so-called affective turn,” which deals with emotionality from a cultural and gender-theoretical perspective.

Within a comprehensive framework and mediation program, ephemeral formats such as discussions, film screenings, readings, and performances will contextualize and expand the exhibition’s various thematic focuses. Here, the home will be placed in a larger, political context and, among other things, the explosively discussed concept of the homeland” will be reflected upon. The exhibition project Domestic Drama, which is relevant beyond the current situation, will be accompanied journalistically in the form of a reader consisting of text and image material.

Curated by Cathrin Mayer


Participating artists

Larry Achiampong

*1984 London, lives and works in Essex

makes use of various means of expression, such as moving images, sculptural installations, photographic-painted collages, sound documents and compositions. His repetitive content often explores postcolonial themes.

Exhibitions, performances, and projects have been shown or taken place at the following institutions, among others: Tate Britain/​Tate Modern, London, The Institute For Creative Arts, Cape Town, The British Film Institute, London, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 57th Venice Biennale, Venice.

Ayo Akingbade

*1994 London, lives in London

is an artist, writer, and director who works primarily with moving images and explores concepts such as power, urbanity, and attitude. Her interest lies in what films can evoke in terms of emotion, how it makes you pause in a moment rather than convince you of a point of view.

She has had film screenings and exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York City, MoMA Doc Fortnight, New York City or the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Oberhausen.

Aram Bartholl

*1972 Bremen, lives and works in Berlin

points with his sculptural interventions and installations to topics such as surveillance, data security or dependence on technology, which is related to our current media behavior, social networks and online platforms.

The artist gives numerous lectures and workshops. His exhibitions range from MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), Palais de Tokyo, Hamburger Bahnhof, Seoul Museum of Art, Thailand Biennale, Venice Biennale, to ZKM in Karlsruhe.

Camille Blatrix

*1984 Paris, lives in Paris

makes sculptures which present themselves as artifacts from a near future, emulating the forms of everyday objects while obscuring their own purpose.

Blatrix‘s work will be shown in the upcoming solo exhibition at Centre d‘art contemporain la synagogue de Delme (2021), his recent solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Basel in, Basel; Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris; CCA Wattis, San Francisco and Mostyn Museum, Wales. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St Gallen; Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg; Furosia, Monaco; Villa Medici, Rome; Fondation Lafayette, Paris; Hessel Museum of Art and the CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, and MRAC, Serigan. Blatrix participated in the 2015 Lyon Biennale, Lyon.

Oscar Enberg

*1988 Christchurch, lives in Berlin

works mainly sculpturally, his pieces are a compilation of diverse forms and materials that reference film, literature, art and society.

Recent solo exhibitions include the Stadium, Berlin; St. Joseph, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland; The Agamemnon, Frankfurt am Main; and the Sculpture Terrace, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki; Artspace, Auckland. In 2017, Enberg was on show at Art Basel Statements and awarded the German ars viva 2018 Prize, which included exhibitions at Kunstverein Munich and S.M.A.K in Ghent, Belgium. He is currently a fellow of the Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin.

Vera Frenkel

*1938 Bratislava, lives and works in Toronto

After initially working with prints, drawings, collages, and written texts, Frenkel turned to video art in the late 1970s. Her installations, videos, and essays are reflective, transdisciplinary works, addressing migration, cultural memory, and the increasing bureaucratization of memories in a subtle way, yet with a clear point of view.

Her works have been shown at documenta IX in Kassel, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York, Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo or the Venice Biennale, among others.

Nigel Gavus & İlkin Beste Çırak

*1992 Graz, lives in Vienna and Graz / *1994 Izmir, lives in Vienna

Nigel Gavus is a filmmaker and visual artist. He graduated from the Friedl Kubelka School for Independent Film and is currently studying at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In his work he deals with time, memory, identity and the relationship between poetry and cinema. He lives and works in Vienna and Graz.

İlkin Beste Çırak is a visual artist and poet. She is a graduate of the University of Applied Arts (Social Design) and is currently studying Sculpture & Spatial Strategies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Starting from public spaces as the core of coexistence, she deals with localities, identity, cultural production and participation. She lives and works in Graz and Vienna.

Antony Gormley

*1950 London, lives in London

first studied archaeology, anthropology and art history and is now known for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that focus on the relationship of the human body to space. In a critical examination of both his own and other people’s bodies, his works address fundamental questions about man’s position in relation to nature and the cosmos. His intention conceives the space of art as his place of becoming, of emergence, in which new behaviors, thoughts and feelings germinate.
In Austria he inspired in 2010 – 2012 by his project called Horizon Field”, in which he distributed 100 iron figures made of solid cast iron over 8 sites and over an area of 150 km², from Mellau to Dalaas (Vorarlberg), in the Alpine region.
Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and since being knighted in 2014 he has been allowed to use the title Sir”.

His numerous exhibitions range from the National Gallery, Singapore, Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Hayward Gallery, London to Malmö Konsthall, Sweden.

Mona Hatoum

*1952 Beirut, lives in London

Through her poetic and radical oeuvre, the Palestinian-British artist explores themes of home and displacement, gender and differences, and exposes the contradictions and conflicts of our world today. Recent solo exhibitions include the Tate Modern, London; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha.

She was part of the documenta 14, Kassel; other selected group exhibitions took place at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; MoMA, New York; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, a.o.


Kaarel Kurismaa

*1939 Pärnu, lives in Tallinn

is a multidisciplinary artist from Estonia, who works in the field of Soundinstallation, Kinetic Art, Sculpture, Painting and Design. His works were displayed in solo exhibitions at Tartu Art House, Tartu; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn; the Retretti Art Museum, Punkaharju, Finnland; and at Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Tallinn. He was also included in several group shows, for example at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Academy of Arts, Berlin; the Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey; and at SALT Galata Gallery, Istanbul. 

Nicola L.

*1932 Morocco, †2018 in Los Angeles

developed a multidisciplinary practice that playfully merged the principles of art and design.

Her work will be shown in the upcoming solo exhibition at Alison Jacques Gallery, London (2021); her recent solo exhibitions include Sculpture Center, New York; Elga Wimmer PCC, New York; and the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool.

Selected group exhibitions are at the Hammer Museum and The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMAC), Nice; Friedman Benda, New York; Elga Wimmer PCC, New York; Arsenal Contemporary, New York; Palazzo Pisani, Piano Nobile, Venice Biennial, Venice; Hauser & Wirth, New York; Tate Modern, London; Beaux-arts Buxerolles, Buxerolles, France; and SECCA (Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art), Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Bertrand Lavier

*1949 Châtillon-sur-Seine, lives and works in Aignay-le-Duc und Paris

disrupts our traditional habits of seeing with his visually appealing works, questioning our intellect, but always with a sensitive wink. He gained international fame for painting pictures and objects, but especially for his Superpositions,” the juxtaposition of two different objects from the world of commodities that are absurdly related.

Lavier has had exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Schirn-Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Biennale di Venezia, Venice; documenta 7 and documenta 8, Kassel; and the 18th São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo.

Olu Ogunnaike

*1986 London, lives in London

is an artist whose practice is positioned between experiments in sculpture, drawing, performance and installation.

Ogunnaike is currently exhibiting at Cell Space, London (2021). Recent projects took place at Villa Lontana, Rome; and at Tate Modern, London as part of ELC TV Dinner Episode III, at Jupiter Woods, London; and at Greatorex, London with selected group exhibitions including, Espace Arlaud, Lausanne; Sophie Tappeiner, Vienna; Doc, Paris and PS120, Berlin. Ogunnaike participated in the residency program at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge in 2018 and South London Gallery in 2017.

Laura Põld

*1984 Tallinn, lives in Tallinn and Vienna

is an interdisciplinary artist from Estonia, who has been awarded with a number of prizes and scholarships like the Eduard Wiiralt scholarship, Ado Vabbe scholarship, annual prize of The Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Köler Prize grand prix, and the grand prize of The Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

She has recently exhibited at Kunstraum Memphis, Linz; Vienna Art Week Open Studios program, Vienna; Gallery Vaal, Tallinn; ARS Showroom, Tallinn; Tartu Art House, Tartu; Gallery Hobusepea, Tallinn; Kunda Cement Museum, Kunda; Atelierhaus Höherweg e. V., Düsseldorf; Gallery Maebashi Works, Japan; Christianshavn, Copenhagen; Tartu Art Museum, Tartu; and the Gallery Chemin du Bonheur, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi.

Bruno Zhu

*1991, Porto, lives in Amsterdam und Viseu (PRT)

Recent projects include presentations at Fri Art Kunsthalle in Fribourg, UKS in Oslo, and Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, Antenna Space in Shanghai, and Kunsthalle Lissabon in Lisbon. Zhu is a member of A Maior, a curatorial program set in a home furnishings and clothing store in Viseu, Portugal.


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