The exhibition and the book entitled 'Der Ficker' are an act of homage. It is part of Franz West's artistic worldview to try and bring forth an imaginative reaction not only in the observers and the users of his artworks (fitted pieces, furniture, etc.). He shares his thinking with those around him, develop artistic ideas while communicating with others. and encourages gallerist, artists and thinkers to become active themselves. And thus this group of people - Clegg & Guttmann, Jörg Heiser, Benedikt Ledebur, Rudolf Polanszky, Johannes Schlebrügge, Klaus Thoman, Franz West - have come together over the space of a year and brought this exhibition.
With the exhibition title and the presentation of the book that will be published on the occasion by Schlebrügge Editor, the artists refer to the Innsbruch writer and publisher Ludwig van Ficker (1880-1967). In 1910 the latter founded 'Der Brenner' magazine which he also edited until 1954. He kept in close contact with many renowned artists and thinkers of his time, such as Karl Kraus, Oskar Kokoschka, Adolf Loos, Rainer Maria Rilke, Else Lasker Schüler and Georg Trakl, artists whose careers he also advanced as a patron. It is well known, for instance, that Ludwig Wittgenstein bequeathed a donation and asked him to distribute the funds. Karl Kraus famously remarked on the magazine: "That the only truly honest Austrian review appears in Innsbruck one should know, if not in Austria, at least in Germany, whose only truly honest review also appears in Innsbruck." The ironical reference to a magazine and its editor may yet contain the grave admonition that a town should remember its cultural achievements in a timely fashion and, wherever possible, surpass them.
This exhibition shall not only give visitors the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with the works presented and the potential space of their mutual connotations, but itself also endeavours to reach out the cultural setting of Innsbruck. Thus it shows a series of portraits by Clegg & Guttmann that were created in Innsbruck and a group of their famous 'Flesh' photographs; a number of large panels from Rudofl Polanszky's 'Reconstructions' series (1996-2004), as well as videos, stills montages, and ensembles from his fundamental investigations (Der musikalische Affe), Franz West contributes objects presenting well-know and more recent aluminium sculptures "collaged" as models and new sculptures.
Franz West, Clegg & Guttmann, Jörg Heiser, Benedikt Ledebur, Rudolf Polanszky, Johannes Schlebrügge and Klaus Thoman