Toni Schmale


Toni Schmale



13 Mar –9 Apr 2015


12 Mar 19:00

Curated by

Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein


Hochhaus Herrengasse 6–8, 1010 Wien

Thanks to

Hochhaus Herrengasse Wien


© Neuer Kunstverein Wien

With ‘Feuerbock’ the Neue Wiener Kunstverein is showing a site-specific sculptural installation by the artist Toni Schmale, which relates to the use of the Andreaskeuz (St. Andrew’s cross*) in the context of SM practices. In the sense of a fetish term, as a socially critical tool, the installation negotiates, in situ, aesthetic explosiveness, projection, withdrawal, desire, and the associated power constellations, based on the utopia of a supposedly consensual place. In this way, Toni Schmale manifests a warped summit cross in the spirit of Franceso Petrarca's ‘Ascent of Mont Ventoux’ in the high-rise at Herrengasse 6, the first and, in 1932, tallest high-rise in Vienna.

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‘Feuerbock’ is the latest work in Toni Schmale's series ‘Fahrpark’, in which the artist consistently explores the playing field of desire.

‘(...) the machines are show-offs and offer a framework for a playing field of desire and power. they give the possibility of a sporty negotiation between tangible polarizing positions (top/bottom) that can switch. The basis is a mutual agreement in practice. Expenditure is the code word. It is machines that desire. They do not invite because their function is not revealed. You do not make an easy offer and follow an idiosyncratic internal logic that disguises itself. If no inner logic is revealed, they remain abstract. Unlike fitness equipment, they are not tied to a specific action, to a defined discipline of the body. There is no targeted function that promises a result.’ (Toni Schmale)

* The St. Andrew's Cross (Latin ‘crux’, decussata to Latin decusso from decem u. Asses: ten aces, tens, in the shape of an X) is a cross with two diagonally crossing bars. The name refers to the apostle Andrew, who is said to have died a martyr on such a cross. The shape of the St. Andrew's cross appears in very different contexts. Here are some examples of the use of this symbol: in half-timbered buildings, as a hazard symbol, in flags and coats of arms, as traffic signs, and in the context of BDSM.

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