ikono On Air Festival presents Hans Schabus

Posted July 10th, 2013 under Austria, Contemporary Art, Festival, Ikono, Installations, Video Art

Hans Schabus
The ikono On Air Festival presents a choice of films by Hans Schabus, an outstanding artist from Austria, who was our artist of the month not too long ago and already represented his home country at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Schabus works with spaces and their perception, transforming them to his own liking in a very precise way: He flooded a gallery, transported a bridge from Austria to Germany, and his seemingly pointless film journeys and mind-boggling tunneling works have received praise and attention from all over the world.

Born in Watschig/Kaernten in 1970, Hans Schabus studied under sculptor Bruno Gironcoli at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he is still living and working. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Europe as well as in the USA, Mexiko and Sri Lanka. For his films he often works together with his brother, the filmmaker Robert Schabus.

Hans Schabus on ikonoTV

The films of Hans Schabus selected by ikono cover the artist’s highlights from 2000 until today, representing three of his main artistic aspects:

The artist’s sedulous effort and failure is addressed in Atelier (2010) and Echo (2009). In Atelier Hans Schabus works with his own studio space, which played a role in his earlier works already, restaging the finale of Sam Peckinpah’s western classic The Wild Bunch (1969). Echo is observing a man on the run through the mucky wetlands of the Danube. The protagonist keeps falling into the mud, but continues trying to escape from something or someone the viewer never gets to see.

 Hans Schabus

Phantasmagoric journeys through the secret places of everyday life are the themes of Passagier (2000), Western (2002) and Astronaut (2003). For Passagier Schabus built an elaborate railway for a toy train with a camera being led through the hidden spaces behind the walls of the studio. In Western Schabus is rowing a sailing boat through the same dirty Viennese sewer seen in the film classic The Third Man (1949), while in Astronaut he is digging a shaft in the floor of his studio, filling up the room with soil before exploring the dark world he has created with his own hands.


Laßnitz (2012), with 78 minutes the longest of Schabus’ films to be on view on ikono, deals with the aesthetic transformation of a certain object by decontextualizing and displacing it. The original proposal simply read: »The work’s title is the name of the river, which was originally crossed by the railway bridge.«This abandoned bridge is sent on a 1000 miles long journey from Austria to the village Ohne in Germany, where Schabus declared it to be a sculpture from now on. (There is a video with photos from behind the scenes over here by the way)

-> Hans Schabus at Kerstin Engholm Gallery


Hans Schabus, “Nichts geht mehr”, à l’Institut d’art contemporain (2011)

(English audio with french subs)
Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes

Montage de l’exposition Hans Schabus,”NICHTS GEHT MEHR”

Belvedere Podcast “Hans Schabus”

(English subtitles)

Hans Schabus – Portscapes (2009)

Hans Schabus project was the next chapter in his ongoing series of arrival photographs featuring the sailing boat Forlorn. The artist produced a new photograph, titled ‘Europahaven, Rotterdam, 17 juni 2009′ which can be seen on a 5 by 9m roadside billboard on the way to Maasvlakte, and was also distributed as a postcard, which was available during a small exhibition of Schabus’ work at Futureland. In the new image the sailor navigates towards the huge container terminals of the Port of Rotterdam and a vast cargo ship. Sailing at a point which will become the new entrance to Maasvlakte 2, the simplest of water vehicles and a single man appear in stark contrast to an overwhelmingly modern manifestation of seafaring trade. Despite the speed, scale and efficiency of the port, the image seems to indicate that on a human scale the vastness of maritime space nevertheless remains a vulnerable and mythologically rich territory.

Hans Schabus, Next Time I’m Here, I’ll Be There (2008)

Hans Schabus’ installation in the curve gallery at the Barbican, up until 1 June. Schabus took chairs from various parts of the Barbican and arranged in the configuration of an aeroplane – a cuvred one, on its side…

Big Art: Hans Schabus – Flight of Stairs (2012)

An ‘Art for Buildings’ project by Hans Schabus on the Korneuburg Centre of Justice, Landesgerichtsplatz 1, 2100 Korneuburg, commissioned by BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (the Austrian Federal Real Estate Company).