press release

«TONSPUR 76_expanded: Karen Werner’s HAUS, Plus A Group Of Works Circling About Holocaust Postmemory And The Stranger.»

Sonic diptych by

and corresponding exhibition with works by Simone BADER
Zsuzsi FLOHR
Paul Albert LEITNER

and with sound contributions by Shmuel BARZILAI
Elisabeth KELVIN


MAG3, Schiffamtsgasse 17, 1020 Vienna
23 Feb—23 Mar 2018
Opening hours: Tue–Fri 5–8 pm


Opening Thu 22 Feb 2018, 7:30 pm: In the presence of the artists
Introductory words: Gue Schmidt (MAG3) & Georg Weckwerth (TONSPUR Kunstverein Wien)
On “HAUS” (TONSPUR 76_parts I + II): Dr. Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek
Opening of the exhibition: Uschi Lichtenegger, borough mayor Leopoldstadt


Save the dates:
Wed 7 March, 5:30–7 pm: guided tour with Karen Werner and Georg Weckwerth (meeting point Novaragasse 40, walk to MAG3 gallery, tour through the exhibition).
Wed 7 March, 7:30 pm: performance by chief cantor Shmuel Barzilai (vocals) and Benjy Fox-Rosen (contrabass, vocals).
Tue 13 March, 5–8 pm: “Dem Vertreiber der Jüdinnen und Juden aus Wien” (To the Expeller of the Jews from Vienna); workshop with participating artist Eduard Freudmann.

Thu 15 March, 7–8 pm: Karen Werner’s “Radio Autoethnography” workshop on RADIO ORANGE 94.0.
Sun 22 April, 11 pm: Karen Werner’s “HAUS” on Ö1 Radiokunst – Kunstradio.


The past is meaningless to many people. Their focus is on the now and what is coming. This is accompanied by ignorance; the forgetting of history and its falsification are becoming increasingly socially acceptable again. However it is the past that shapes us. The lived moment is immediately a moment in the past. The bat of an eyelid, and it has happened. At the same time, though, it is what has just happened that plays a role in the now—at least in the subconscious mind. The past and the present are inseparably one. There is no today and no tomorrow without a yesterday. The past accompanies each day for people who are curious, people without prejudice, people who are reflective and thoughtful. Their actions are responsible, drawing on personal and passed-on experience. Artists are special among this group of people because, for them, these characteristics are inherent. They draw strength from the above for a particular capacity to pursue truthfulness.
Karen Werner's two-part TONSPUR 76, “HAUS” (house), has truthfulness inscribed in it in a special way. She undertook an intensive search to achieve this. She best describes this search herself. Now, in Vienna—the hometown of her family, which meant first-hand experience of repression and deportation along with mass murder motivated by racism under the Nazis, for them and innumerable others—she has found an artistic vocabulary for the inconceivable in the past, which will be and must always be present, while being simultaneously both truthful and liberating.
The sound work that stands at the center of the exhibition is framed by the contributions of 13 artists. They react and respond to the sound diptych in their own way and in their own formal language. The latter ranges from drawing, collage, object, photography and video, textile art, conceptual art and poster art, to text, literature, soundart and composition. The result is a space for free interpretation and free association, for an experience circling around genocide, exile, migration and the stranger—on the illuminating side and the shadow side of humanity.
In times of alarming nationalist tendencies in Austria, Germany and many other countries in Europe and the world, it is important to adopt a responsible attitude, to be truthful and to take a stand together.
—Georg Weckwerth