The exhibition on/ by the Austrian artist Judith Fegerl has symbiotically merged with and switched on Kunstraum Dornbirn. Electricity flows. For Fegerl’s works, however, the electricity comes not from the socket as usual but from a solar power plant on the south side of the exhibition space that was specially designed and installed for the exhibition – a reference steeped in history, since the former assembly hall of the Rüsch Works built in 1893 constructed turbines for the first hydroelectric power plants.
The rededication of the raw industrial architecture from a production facility to a room for the presentation and communication of visual art resulted in more than a unique exhibition space that makes the creation of site-specific art particularly appealing. Fegerl is fundamentally interested in what is addressed here in a rudimentary way and otherwise given little attention: How does the art and exhibition industry work? What infrastructure is in place and does this infrastructure meet the minimum requirements? How fragile, vulnerable and efficient is it? How does the climate, the position of the sun or darkness affect the exhibited works and their perceptibility?
Fegerl works with the entire building, interweaving its past and present, intervening in its substance and including significant functional elements. Her work critically examines institutions’ efforts to attain sustainability and the possibilities of keeping in touch with the times through infrastructural changes. This approach treats not only the individual institution but also the overarching cultural-political system.