Dictionary of Imaginary Places

16.12.2022 – 11.2.2023

We borrowed the title for this exhibition from an art work by Vadim Fishkin, who used it referring to the renown anthology The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, a book by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi. That Baedecker of make-believe takes readers on a tour of realms invented by storytellers from Homer’s days to our own. 

A gallery space also becomes a platform of various, individual Imaginary Places, a stage where ideas and artworks are being materialised and being seen.

The artists in the Dictionary of Imaginary Places have never before shown together, nor have they been exhibiting before in the gallery’s former locations like Ljubljana and Berlin, or now in Vienna, with only one exception. 

Whereas the authors of the original, literary, Dictionary decided to restrict themselves to places that one could expect to visit, those located on our own planet, we do expand further and include a work by Markéta Magidová titled Releasing Spell, which takes place on an unknown planet, where the protagonists of her film disembark on. 

Creations of Yuli Yamagata seem to have come from a universe of their own, wildly imaginative and somewhat macabre, dreamscapes populated by beings sewn and glued together from a variety of materials. 

Nomad Carlos Bunga found his purpose through the use of his imagination, without which nothing can be created. He has been building his imaginary places ever since, often examining the idea of accident, or even trauma, and the ways in which we deal with it.

Helene Verhoeven takes a break from exploring the theme of ceremonial gatherings and turns to the realm of domestic isolation. In her new series, Breathless, she portrays solitude assembling images out of a triad well known from art history – Plant, Woman and Feline.

Marieta Chirulescu, whose work previously has been shown in our former space in Berlin, draws from an extensive visual archive while breaking down and erasing the images through a process of technical reproduction and manipulation. What is left, are after-images and echoes of the real world’s places. 

Ann Edholm, using her geometric lexicon of shapes and her reduced color palette, creates room for memories of places, imaginary and not, searching to express the unimaginable and the unspeakable.

Angelika Loderer questions the meaning of classical sculpture and explores the boundaries of the sculptural form. The work Two Soils, Two Planets highlights one of her central subjects making the tension visible between the idea of sculpture and the absence of the body.

For Andrei Roiter, another wanderer in the group, the idea of being on the move is the defining theme. He speaks about himself as an artist-tourist that excavates memories like an archeologist preserving them in his artworks.