Die Fünfte Säule, Exhibition view, Secession 2011, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler

Die fünfte Säule

Luz Broto, Peter Downsbrough, Dora Garcia, Guillaume Leblon, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Cerith Wyn Evans, Heimo Zobernig as well as Adolf Krischanitz, Moritz Küng, Ferdinand Schmatz, Margherita Spiluttini

Curated by Moritz Küng

September 9 – November 20, 2011

The group exhibition The Fifth Column is featuring work by seven international artists from three generations. They include: Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans, who presented the new safety curtain at the Vienna State Opera in the fall of 2011; Spanish artist Dora Garcia whose pavilion “The Inadequate” at this year’s Venice Biennial divided critical opinion; and Peter Downsbrough, an American conceptual artist of the first generation, whose work has only recently begun to receive the attention its deserves.

With the deliberately enigmatic title The Fifth Column, the show’s curator, Barcelona-based Swiss Moritz Küng, alludes to the complete renovation of the Secession in 1986, and more specifically to the four central columns of the Hauptraum designed by architect Adolf Krischanitz. Originally, they were clad in chrome steel and brass, but three years later the distinctive presence of this ambiguous reference to Otto Wagner was neutralized and covered over on the occasion of the exhibition entitled Das Spiel des Unsagbaren: Ludwig Wittgenstein (The Play of The Unsayable). For 20 years now, since 1991, these four columns have been painted over, their striking impact concealed.


Luz Broto, born in 1982, lives in Barcelona.
Peter Downsbrough, born in 1940, lives in Brussels.
Dora García, born in 1965, lives in Barcelona.
Guillaume Leblon, born in 1971, lives in Paris.
Joëlle Tuerlinckx, born in 1958, lives in Brussels.
Cerith Wyn Evans, born in 1958, lives in London.
Heimo Zobernig, born in 1958, lives in Vienna.