Project 10 – As part of the Vienna Art Week
curated by Marcello Farabegoli
10 November 2021 – 25 February 2022
Stadtraum Vienna

Every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. the artist will be in the exhibition space working on his new processual piece “Table”. Visitors are particularly welcome.

“Smash!” – Talk about the history, background and concerns of the Riot Design project by Pablo Chiereghin on Thursday, November 18th, 2021, 7 p.m. (in German)
Lisa Ortner-Kreil, curator Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien
Pablo Chiereghin, artist
Marcello Farabegoli, curator Sammlung Friedrichshof

Detailed exhibition text in German:

As part of his project RIOT DESIGN Pablo Chiereghin (b. 1977 in Adria, Italy, lives and works in Vienna) in autumn 2020 showed a multimedia presentation in the tresor of the Bank Austria Kunstforum curated by Lisa Ortner-Kreil. A continuation of the project curated by Marcello Farabegoli will now take place in the Viennese branch “Stadtraum” of the Friedrichshof Collection. The artist will deal with the peculiarities of the organic space, which extends upwards on two levels, and create new site-specific actions and objects.

Objects are a consistent part of our life; every day we are an active and passive part of the flow of buying and throwing away. Objects are made to be consumed and their durability of style or function is always getting shorter. The buying and possession process of objects has a dual aspect: gratification and time-space costs of belonging/storing/using. Focusing on this dualism, Riot Design is a process which involves concept art, performance, video, sculpture, design and restoration and focuses on furniture and daily use objects. One object is placed in a neutral space and violently attacked by the artist, damaged and destroyed with riot tools like an iron bar, chain, cobblestone, axe, hammer, or spray. The liberating act of destroying becomes a release of possession stress and a statement of independence from a need for objects. Violence has an innate appeal for human beings; it stimulates an innate instinct that could develop into defending or reacting, helping, freezing or running away. In Riot Design the violence has been removed from a real context and used as a “cultural ready-made” tool of design. The destruction of the object in this process activates multilayered connections: damage, hedonistic liberation, reaction against the status quo. The act of destroying is based on research on “riot history” and refers to iconic episodes of urban riots in the context of urban decay, in connection with discrimination, poverty, unemployment and police brutality.

Normally, destroying implies a loss of value, but in this project (like in the Gross Domestic Product where car accidents or catastrophes contribute to its growth) it creates an enrichment of the product value. The violence, as an idiosyncratic and uncontrolled act, breaks apart and transforms the object into something unique, non-serial, handcrafted.

At this very point, another part of the process starts: when, in a rush of anger, someone destroys something and then cleans up, or, as it happened after street riots, things are restored, rebuilt and brought back to functionality. The Japanese art of Kintsugi uses gold to repair porcelain, in a spiritual process which curates the wounds of the objects and the sense of loss. In Riot Design the restoration is as spontaneous as the destruction and uses materials that are normally hidden behind our walls and pavements as a tribute to manual labour and workers. These ready-made materials, construction and industrial products, insulation panels, paste, foam and resins, are used to fill, but not cover or eliminate, the destruction signs. The restoration process twists the destruction into creation, highlighting the signs of violence, making style out of brutality, redesigning an everyday object into a unique design piece which is re-inserted into the market.

Further information:

As part of the VIENNA ART WEEK

Sammlung Friedrichshof & Estate Otto Muehl
Schleifmühlgasse 6 / entrance through the courtyard, 1040, Vienna, Austria
Tue – Fr  2 p.m. – 6 p.m. and by appointment
Mobile +43 664 918 37 80 or +43 660 143 52 54

Please note the applicable Corona and/or Lockdown rules.


© Exhibition views by Pablo Chiereghin