June 5 - 19, 2000

To date, the project on the façade of the Vienna Secession has shown artists living outside of Austria, in other European countries or the United States; the current artwork on show is by Marcus Geiger, an artist working in Vienna. (Open letter to the Austrian president by the board of the Secession).
Marcus Geiger, born in the canton of Aargau, Switzerland, has been living in Vienna for more than twenty years. After a brief stint as a student of architecture he studied stage decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts until 1982. In the paintings created in these surroundings he engaged with coloured surfaces and spaces. Nevertheless, or precisely for this reason, he is not a painter: "There is no colour that I like better than any other." In 1990 he published the artist's book "Ich rufe morgen an" (I'll phone tomorrow) which consisted of that one sentence repeated on all the pages of the book. In the late eighties and early nineties he was mainly known for his terry-cloth works. In his solo exhibition at the Secession, which took place in 1998, he referred to the motif of the "hostile powers" in the Klimt Frieze in a rug covering the entire floor of the Main Hall, thus continuing his artistic engagement with the notion of the 'artwork'. Shortly afterwards, he caused a scandal reported in the media in Austria and abroad when he painted the building red on the occasion of the 100th anniversary exhibition. "My theme is space in its confrontation with art." (Marcus Geiger).

The coloured surface developed by Marcus Geiger for the façade project refers to two spaces the public space of society and the actual space wherein the work is located. The monochromatic surface is based on the commercial range of colours available in shops; they are numbered and hence encoded. However, the basic colours, which are clearly distinguishable and standardised, were carefully mixed and thus turned into an abstract area of colour defying any way of being loaded with meaning, any risk of didactic reference as well as the danger of having a 'profile'. Geiger presents something of a "non-colour" one that is not symbolically defined, one that does not trigger off pre-formed associations on the spot. The work thus also stands for an extreme contrast with the symbolically charged architecture of the Secession building and its architectural decoration. This statement on the political situation in Austria confronts us with a surface layer the message of which cannot be immediately and unambiguously expressed in language.
Other artists include: Monica Bonvicini, Louise Bourgeois, Renée Green, Joseph Kosuth, Paul McCarthy, David Shrigley, Milica Tomic, Werner Reiterer, Heimo Zobernig.
For updated information please contact Matthias Herrmann, Sylvie Liska and Eleonora Louis at the Vienna Secession on +43- 1- 587 53 07.