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alien productions [Martin Breindl | Norbert Math | Andrea Sodomka]

The Cadence of Light and Dark.

Heinz Cibulka – The Artwork as Spatial Experience


in: Heinz Cibulka . Im Takt von Hell und Dunkel; 2012

Like hardly any other artist of his generation, Heinz Cibulka has committed himself to the concept of the open work of art. With curiosity and unbiasedness he has appropriated the most diverse media: traditional, such as object, text or performance; and new, such as photography, video and computer graphics, and made them tools of his worldly wisdom. These qualities mirror the open approach with which he traces the phenomena of the world, of life and of creatureliness. 

Unlike his Actionist colleagues (and, in part, role models) who strive to subjugate their oeuvre to the dictates of the Gesamtkunstwerk, Cibulka consciously rejects the grand gesture of explaining the universe. Persistently circum-navigating any nascent virtuosity, he designs artefacts that - despite their formal rigour - do not hide the traces of their fault lines and interfaces, but openly thematize them. The media used by the artist interrelate in a state of oscillating conceptual tension, and this can be interpreted as a reference to his method: investigating according to unconscious rules. Cibulka's Actionist gesture consists more in the manner in which he absorbs the stimuli of his surroundings than in the manner in which he reproduces them. The fact that he often supplements his sensory organs with technical apparatuses, while refusing their 'professional' handling, underlines the experimental character of both his approach and his works. 

Even when the individual works appear clearly and distinctly before our eyes, an uncertain, open residue always remains within them. In this sense they are never finished, just as the world is never to be seen as finished. The decoding demands a personal contribution from the viewer that transcends the individual work. Nonetheless, it again leads back to what the artist also claims for himself and produces: geometry filled with curiosity. 

The present book has been published to accompany the Heinz Cibulka retrospective Im Takt von Hell und Dunkel (The Cadence of Light and Dark) at the MZM Hermann Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach. It is a great pleasure that we were allowed to to curate and design this comprehensive show as well as design this book. Twenty years of mutual esteem connect us with Heinz Cibulka. This reciprocal appreciation has repeatedly led to fruitful collaborations on the basis of our curiosity about one another's artistic positions. We would like to thank him for this - and for the trust it conveys. We are proud to know such a brilliant artistic personality.

Translation: Michael Wetzel

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