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Leon Höllhumer:
The Feast



Styrian artist, choreographer and filmmaker Leon Höllhumer creates live performance events, films and exhibition projects. His practice plays with elements of the performative and the theatrical exploring questions of identity, body and power. In intricate settings, Höllhumer develops situational plots and scenic images that allow him to interact with various protagonists, such as the choreographer Florentina Holzinger, the musicians PUKE PUDDLE and the writer Ferdinand Schmalz. Aesthetically, his works refer to punk and horror films as well as various analogue and digital DIY techniques. Above all, his worlds are wild, if not rough and very direct.


Leon Höllhummer, VIRTUAL STREAM CRUNCH, 2020

with Alexandru Cosarca, Leo Riegler, Sophie Schabhüttl, Chin Tsao; Music by Karolina Preuschl
Performance view, Kunsthalle Exnergasse

Photo: Rania Moslam


For his project at HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Höllhumer will develop a new installative performance. Combining performative live elements with set pieces from film, installation and stage design, The Feast will evolve into a so-called Gesamtkunstwerk. Building on previous works and installations, Höllhumer creates a complex multimedia project, resulting in an immersive exhibition and a performance that merge their situational immediacy. Reminiscent of a cinematic set, the viewer suddenly finds oneself at the work’s filmic center. It is precisely the nexus between object and action that can be found in many facets of recent art history. Ever since performance made its way into contemporary art, it has been used by generations of artists.

The medium of film plays a central role in Höllhumer’s work, which draws on prominent representatives of the Austrian context, such as Wiener Aktionismus (Viennese Actionism), and international figures like Mike Kelley or Paul McCarthy from the US West Coast – some of whom produced extensive and laborious sets and backdrops in order to perform bizarre, mostly sexualized acts, – both for the camera and for a live audience. In his work, Höllhumer emphasizes both the function of stage design and its quality as an installation often posing systemic questions dealing with capitalist logics, the environment and the limits of the human condition, using emotions such as grief as a vehicle for expression.

The title The Feast describes both the basic setting and mood of the work on display, in which various elements blur the lines between intoxication and reality, audience and performance. The project builds on elements and themes developed in Höllhumer’s performance and exhibition projects Virtual Steam Crunch (2020) and The Sacrifice (2022). Currently, the artist is particularly interested in the concept of techno-chauvinism” and questions surrounding our complicated relationships with technologies, which oscillate between rejection, material use, fetishization and bodily extension. In addition, the phenomenon of ecological grief” comes into play in the presented work, with question of how grieving can evolve into a political act. What does it mean to grieve for more-than-human ecologies?

In the sense of a sustainable economy, HALLE FÜR KUNST will be used as a place of art production, as an exhibition and a performance space. Props, backdrops and photographs created and produced in this context will not be invalidated after their presentation, but enter into a new cycle of work. In the spirit of punk, the entire work is overdriven and interspersed with grotesque figures, actions and settings. Through the interplay of sculpture, video, performance and installation, the unfolding work captivates, and swallows its viewers, turning them into accomplices.

Curator: Jan Tappe


Participating artists

Leon Höllhumer

*1986, grew up in Graz, lives in Wien

Solo exhibitions & Performances (u.a.): Efes42, Linz (2022), TQW Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (2021), Perspektiven, Attersee (2021), WAF-Gallery, Vienna (2021), Daihatsu Rooftop Gallery, Vienna (2020), OEVERwerk, KiöR, Graz (2020), Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2020), EXILE, Wien (2019), Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna (with Karl Karner, 2019), Mauve, Vienna (2018), Milieu, Bern (2017), MUSA, Vienna (2016)


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