September 5th 2021 – November 14th 2021


Fiction? Better than Reality!

Opening: Sunday, 05 September 2021, 11 am

Jacqueline Forzelius, Gabriela Friðriksdóttir, Rachel Maclean, Laurel Nakadate, Lucy Pawlak, Laure Prouvost, Mika Rottenberg, Sabrina Torelli and others


The exhibition ‘Fiction? Better than Reality!’ presents various positions of contemporary art exploring the dynamic field between reality and the symbolic worlds of the divergent and the foreign. The selected works focus on transitions, metamorphoses, transcendence and threshold experiences. What narrative means are employed to describe the unknown? What contradictory relationship exists between everyday experiences and fictitious, narrational contents? What attempts are made to undermine customary patterns of storytelling? Disrupting habitual narrative structures is turned into a veritable discipline. The artistic productions on display resist linear interpretations and are replete with breaks, fragments and contradictions. Through a multiplicity of artistic approaches ranging from surreal staging past thematisation of the interpersonal realm all the way to spiritual activities, a broad spectrum is opened up for an investigation of these areas.

The works thereby unfold their poetical character and indicate a path into another world. The selected works include videos, performance, drawings and spatial installations; they give contentual expression to the borders between fiction and reality, between the visible and the invisible. How much reality is actually contained in fiction? Does there exist in this context a function whereby we are easily disposed to give ourselves over to utopias and dystopias? The selected works of art point to borders as well as to transitions between fiction and reality, between what we can see and what remains hidden from view.

Lucy Pawlak, We Eat the Earth / The Earth Eats Us, 2016, VideostillLaurel Nakadate, Exorcism in January, 2009, Videostill, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Tanja Wagner, BerlinGabríela Friðriksdóttir,Crepusculum, 2011, Installation und VideoarbeitGabríela Friðriksdóttir,Crepusculum, 2011, Installation und VideoarbeitSabrina Torelli, Durante il giorno non vediamo le stelle, 2012Rachel Maclean, It's What's Inside That Counts, 2016

Postponed to February 2022



Freezing Point - Kunst unter Null Grad Celsius
(Art Below Zero Degrees Celsius)


Valentino Biagio Berndt and Marlon Lanziner, Marja Helander, Sally Kindberg, Anastasia Mityukova, Carsten Nicolai, Emma Stibbon, Fridolin Walcher, Jun Yang and others

Upon dropping below the temperature threshold of zero degrees Celsius, water changes from a liquid state to the solid form of ice or snow. It is a matter of nothing other than the natural course of things. Nevertheless frozen water is simultaneously a fascinating phenomenon in all its facets and even has the potential to cast a spell on the observer. For centuries, depictions of ice and snow have had an established place in the visual arts. The group exhibition brings together contemporary positions on the theme.


From scientific aggregate state to landscape of romantic yearning past the forces of nature and expeditions by adventurers all the way to the history of ice cream, there exists a wide spectrum of themes which present themselves for discussion in the works on display. The theme, however, acquires a new and disconcerting impact in view of climate change and the world’s ever more apparent dependency on the disappearing ice at the North and South Poles.

As a prelude to the group exhibition, a one cubic meter block of ice was already buried on November 24, 2020 in a first event entitled "The Ice of the Emperors of China" in Merkelpark.


The 1,000 litre block of ice was packed in a wooden crate, insulated with straw, sunk into the ground and covered with soil. In spring 2021, the ice block will be dug up again as part of a spring festival. The burial was accompanied by video documentation and reports on social media channels.


It is an event initiated by the Austrian-Chinese artist Jun Yang. It is based on the myth that Marco Polo had brought back to Europe the knowledge of how to make ice cream for consumption and how to preserve it until the summer.


Curator: Anka Wenzel

Fridolin Walcher, Bifertengletscher Glarner Alpen Schweiz, 2011Valentino Biagio Berndt & Marlon Lanziner, Neuproduktion, 2020Carsten Nicolai, snow noise, 2001