Mark Wallinger, Ecce Homo, Secession 2000
When Mark Wallinger erected his sculpture Ecce Homo, the image of a suffering Christ being presented to the multitude by Pontius Pilate, in Trafalgar Square in London last year the work caused a stir in the daily newspapers and the art world: not only did the figure caste doubt on the square itself as a center of British national pride with its monuments of naval and military heroes, but its religious subject matter also seemed to have little in common with the "Englishness" that has so often been attested to Wallinger's work. The work actually does represent the crossing point of many different lines of conflict and in spite of its heaviness and melancholy, it is not with a certain amount of irony. Wallinger will set up a modified version of this figure in the Main Hall of the Secession and will be showing the video Threshold to the Kingdom in the Ver Sacrum Room.

Mark Wallinger, Ecce Homo, Secession 2000
Wallinger had already produced some works before Ecce Homo that pointed in a similar direction. He is interested in religious themes, because they have become almost over-saturated with meaning down through the centuries and the fractures and alienation that can arise from such interpretations form a focal point of his own artistic work. The artist realized his alter ego Blind Faith Verse from the Book of Exodus at the foot of a subway escalator in the midst of hurrying passers-by. Made up of set pieces from various contexts, the figure of a false prophet must remain ineffective reading as he does at the wrong place from the wrong book, although he is subject to an admittedly quite different reception in the context of an art work.
The significance of such a change of contexts is also evident in the Ecce Homo installation in the Secession. When a figure is presented in an art space rather than in a pubic space, the documentary reference to the figure in London is unmistakable on the one hand and on the other the questions that arose there about the relationship between power and ethics, between the individual and society and not least between the possibility of interference and the topicality of art retain their validity.



44 pages, 26 colored illustrations, 21 b/w photos
authors: Michael Bulgakow, Adrian Searle
Secession 2000, ISBN 3-901926-24-0


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Mark Wallinger was born in 1959 and now lives and works in London. His exhibitions include: Serpentine Gallery (1995); God, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London (1997); 5th Biennale in Istanbul (1997); Wounds, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1998); Prometheus, Portikus, Frankfurt (1999); Ecce Homo, The Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London (1999); Lost Horizon, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basle (1999); The Sultan's Pool, Jerusalem (1999); Tate Gallery, Liverpool (2000); British Pavilion, Biennale Venice (2001).

For further information and photographic material please contact:
Katharina Schniebs
Secession, Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-5875307-21, Fax: +43-1-5875307-34