Unterspiel Patrick Baumüller & Severin Hofmann, Catrin Bolt, Marlene Haring, monochrom and Hans Schabus

January 18 - February 25, 2007

Curated by Séamus Kealy

Works from the exhibition.
Special Events

Opening Reception
Wednesday, January 17, 2007 from 6 - 9 pm
Featuring a participatory performance, Secret Service, by Marlene Haring.


Experience the Experience of Being Buried Alive!!
Wednesday February 7, 2007: 4 - 6pm, 7 - 9pm
The Austrian collective monochrom invites you to be buried alive in a private graveyard at the Blackwood Gallery.

Will you chose to be buried alive or stand idly by?
Premature Burial as a Field Trial for Near Death Activities will offer participants an opportunity to be buried alive in a coffin for up to fifteen minutes. Volunteers will be able to experience a semi-traumatic situation and possibly get in close contact with various gods and/or afterlives. People buried alive not only populate the horror stories of past centuries, but also countless reports in specialized medical literature. The theme of unintentional resurrection by grave robbers also runs through forensic protocols. Even in the 19th century it was said that every tenth person was buried alive.

The "International Year of Polytheism" (powered by monochrom) is an attempt at conquering the self-destructive monotheistic world-view (and its derivatives such as "The West" and "The Arab World") through the reconstruction of a polytheistic multiplicity in which countless gods and goddesses are free to neutralize each other. Polytheism is democracy, Monotheism a dictatorship, even in its pseudo-secular form.

Exhibition Statement

Featuring the work of five contemporary Viennese artists/artist groups, Unterspiel explored the problematics of contemporary art production in Vienna. The works in the exhibition demonstrated a specific, sometimes belated relation to a tradition of avant-gardism that has its origins in fin de siecle Vienna. At the same time, they sometimes paradoxically took issue with the provocative actions of the Viennese Actionists (1960s). In the wake of the Actionists' inherently political and violent work, contemporary Viennese art often engages in socio-political issues concerning notions of Austrian identity, or in confrontation to political and/or art institutions.

Installation Views

This exhibition was generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Gladestone Hotel, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Ottawa and Simple Alternative Funeral Centres.