August 28 - September 11, 2000
During the coming two weeks, the Secession will show a work by David
who has also accepted the invitation to give an artistic comment on the
political situation in Austria.. (Open letter to the Austrian president by the board of the Secession).
In Glasgow, where Shrigley is based, he runs "Armpit Press" where he
several books of his drawings, including "Enquiry Within" (1995) and
Done Whilst on Phone to Idiot" (1996). "Err" (1996) was one of the first
in the New Writing series published by Book Works in London. David
works in particular his drawings, but also his plasticine sculptures
to come from the world of cartoons but they are more than just slapstick
comedy. The humour in his works is much too black for that, but laughter
the motif or the scene can turn it into something positive: "... Shrigley's
comedy appears to confirm the belief of great humorists (from Laurence
to Woody Allen) that laughter is synonymous with hope." (Michael
Many of his drawings and sculptures deal with the little tragedies of
life or the limits of daily routines. Shrigley presents a world of pure
coincidence, absurdities and a devil who, in numerous appearances, is
fun for the sake of fun alone. His presence reduces life to a struggle
good and evil.
In the work created for the Secession, the silhouette of a black-clad
takes a central position a man in a cloak, with a hat and pipe is
amidst a desolate snow-covered landscape with a forest in the background. A
threatening faceless figure, his own uncanniness undermined by the pipe.
Associations with scarecrows or the bogeyman, who is a "man in black" in
game played by Austrian children, come to mind. Both cause fear which is
allayed once you find out that the threatening figure is actually a kind of
life-size doll or once you react fast enough in the game. But what about
pipe? Does it cause you to underestimate the danger or is the figure
but the shadow of ourselves which Shrigley equips with the attribute of
Further artists include: Monica Bonvicini, Paul McCarthy, Milica Tomic, Heimo
For updated information please contact Matthias Herrmann, Sylvie Liska and
Eleonora Louis at the Vienna Secession on +43- 1- 587 53 07.