15/7 – 2/8 2020
Thomas Geiger Festival of Minimal Actions
Reumannplatz, 1100 Vienna
The practice of Thomas Geiger (b. Lörrach (Germany) in 1983, lives and works in Vienna) makes use of performance, sculpture, and language in manifold combinations. Creating stage-like situations and playfully mediating between inanimate objects, deceased personalities, and historically charged places, he often suspends classical delineations of public, private, and institutional space. His works also deliberate on distribution strategies outside of the traditional art market and economic systems.
As part of KISS, Thomas Geiger realizes a new edition of his Festival of Minimal Actions (previously staged in Brussels, 2014; Paris, 2015; and San José (Costa Rica), 2018). In what could be considered a reawakening of performative works, Geiger creates situations that deal with the possibilities and impossibilities of physical interaction, affection, intimacy, and romance in public space during periods of pandemic.
Is a kiss through glass still a kiss? Or through a digital network, for that matter? And if you can’t leave your apartment, can you at least leave your body? Is a genuine interpersonal exchange possible if you are paid for it? Who are we forgetting to thank? Will a statue kiss me back? And what if life were a romantic movie?
The festival – the main premise of which is a belief in the independence of performative works from their authors – brings together a concise selection of works by other artists that Geiger reperforms at Reumannplatz located in Vienna’s 10th district. Through the changed social, political, and temporal contexts between their original performances and this one, the works gain additional facets and shed some of their original aspects. Their reinterpretation also allows for the discovery of artworks that might have been conceived for a different audience and distribution mode, stretching the boundaries of accessibility, reproducibility, and authorship. In light of these particularly limiting times – be it in regard to gatherings or traveling – such a strategy gains yet another complexifying dimension.
Through the Festival of Minimal Actions, Geiger allows Viennese audiences to see performances from multiple geographies, from various points in history, and by a variety of authors, which they can take part in without the need to travel, cross borders, or get tested for a virus.