press release

The exhibition open spaces | secret places. Works from The SAMMLUNG VERBUND, Vienna brings together artists who use different techniques to depict spaces and places. From the 1960s and 70s increasing numbers of artists turned their backs on the two-dimensional surfaces of painting. They left their studios, went out into the world and set to work with the public space. This period saw the advent of site-specific art, such as Land-Art or interventions in the urban space, which are inseparable from the place in which they were created. Without this radical turnaround a large section of contemporary art would never have seen the light of day.


Curator Gabriele Schor has selected works by 27 artists from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND collection. All of these artists make a photographic exploration of public space and private places. Via the medium of photography the artists appropriate specific spaces. Their artistic interventions and their personal vision influence how we as observers experience environments. The exhibition is divided into four areas: “Historic Places,” “Psychological Places,” “Spaces In Between,” and “Creating Spaces.”

Historic Places: Eleanor Antin, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Tom Burr, Joachim Koester, James Welling, and Nil Yalter record places which no longer exist in this form, thus linking transitoriness and memory.

Psychological Places: Barbara Bloom, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Ursula Meyer and Ernesto Neto create a psychological space that confronts us with our own mental life and explores our yearnings and fears.

Spaces In Between: The works of Vito Acconci, Simryn Gil, Louise Lawler, Tahmineh Monzavi, Sener Özmen and Erkan Özgen tell stories about spaces in between, intermediate spaces that witness to human absence, deconstructions of the aura and an escape from institutional frameworks.

Creating Spaces: Gordon Matta-Clark, Anthony McCall, and Fred Sandback create site-specific interventions and engender space by breaking it up, accentuating it, or recreating it using ephemeral materials such as light and fog.


The SAMMLUNG VERBUND was inaugurated in 2004 by the Austrian energy corporation VERBUND in Vienna. Its Director, Gabriele Schor, has developed two thematic areas. For the Summer of Photography 2014, BOZAR already focused on the feminist Avant-garde of the 1970s. Now it is proud to present the second e component of the collection: “Spaces and Places.”

A lot of the works in open spaces | secret places. Works from The SAMMLUNG VERBUND Collection, Vienna are being exhibited in Brussels for the very first time.