“Mlenek prefers to combine the magic of a place and its design with history. The self-referential artwork alone doesn’t interest him.” - Dieter Ronte
Polestar Art SpaceArtistic Intervention
(with Kunsthaus Wiesinger, Vienna)
“It started with a point and a universe opened up for me.” Accompanied by Ravel's "Bolero" and Silvie Aigners (Parnass) introduction, Hannes Mlenek created an art installation of six meters at Pole Star Art Space in Vienna’s city centre. The intervention took place in the scope of Art Austria 2023 Art Fair and was supported by Kunsthaus Wiesinger, AT.
Photo © Polestar/Oscar Baumgartner
PROJEKT ARCHE - EINE ÜBERLEBENSSTRATEGIE(PROJECT ARK - A SURVIVAL STRATEGY)
2018 - ongoing
Since 2016, Hannes Mlenek is working in the “Praterateliers”, an ensemble built for the World Exposition in 1873. To this day, the generousity of the venue allows artists to work in expansive ways. Mlenek’s multi-story studio is located in the sole preserved historic pavilion and serves as an exhibition space for the artist’s large-scale works and the development of his installations. The transdisciplinary project “PROJEKT ARCHE - EINE ÜBERLEBENSSTRATEGIE (PROJECT ARK - A SURVIVAL STRATEGY)” is one of the artist’s latest works with the intention to enhance public awarness for this area. The highlight of the installation consists of two “Gender Towers”, each a total of 10 metres high - a monumental manifestation of Mlenek’s vision of the corporeality and the parity of the sexes.
Photo © Patrick Langwallner for Polestar, 2023
MEDUSA*EXPEDIT - MEDUSA*ODEONPerformances in cooperation with Bert Gstettner, Tanz*Hotel
Vienna/New York, US
In cooperation with performance artist and choreographer Bert Gstettner (Tanz*Hotel), Hannes Mlenek realised two multifaceted stage projects, “MEDUSA*EXPEDIT” and “MEDUSA*ODE, which were inspired by the painting “The Raft of the Medusa” by French artist Théodore Géricault. In the fashion of the tattered sails of the bursting Medusa, Mlenek ravaged and dissected his own works during the performances. Initially a commentator, drawing and painting in the background, Hannes Mlenek became an actor and performer, moving above, underneath and around his canvases to once more express his primary focus: the human body.
SEISMOGRAMM DER ERREGUNG(Seismogram of Excitation)
Installation for the exhibition “Line & Shape”
Leopold Museum, Vienna
Works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka were exhibited in "Line & Shape" at Leopold Museum in 2014. Abstract works by Oswald Oberhuber and Karl Anton Fleck lead to the artist statement of Hannes Mlenek, who engaged the exhibition walls into the site-specific intervention “Seismogram of Excitation". The artist referred to the motif of the nude, which frequently recurred in the exhibition. The wall drawings were accompanied by an object, depicting a hand and measuring 4.30 x 2.10 metres. “The master's main tool is not the pen or the chalk, but the human hand”, stated Hannes Mlenek, or as art historian and curator Peter Weiermair put it: "With Mlenek the line does not end with the arm, but where the thought leaves the line.”
Photos © Alexandra Mitsche | Leopold Museum, 2014
︎ youtube | Video Hannes Mlenek, Projects 2020-2018
WHERE THE THOUGHT LEAVES THE LINEArt-in-Public-Space Installation
Votivkirche (Votive Church), Vienna
Feb - Dez 2013
In 2013, Mlenek involved the large billboard of Megaboard Soravia at Votivkirche, Vienna, into his art: 375 square metres of an expressive painting in black and white invited passersby to take notice of the location‘s uniqueness. The artist intented to create irritations in a place, which is not primarily intended for art. Elements of the painting (printed on vinyl mesh) suggested some figurative content, while the dynamics of the brushstroke dominated the scenery. “Where the thought leaves the line” presented as a graphic and highly minimalist work which could be seen throughout the entire year.
Photos © Robert Zahornicky
DER FALL PARSIFAL Paulus Manker - “Wagnerdämmerung”
(“Parsifal” | Paulus Manker - “Wagner’s Twilight”)
Installation in the scope of the theatre production,
Former Imperial & Royal Post Office, Vienna
In “Wagnerdämmerung” Austrian impresario Paulus Manker staged his idea of Wagner’s life and oeuvre as an ironic and multi-sensory theater production. In addition, a contemporary art exhibition lead visitors into further dimensions. Mlenek’s “Parsifal”, a site-specific installation, opened three levels of experience: The recipients were simultaneously beneath, on and in the artwork. Three art works on the ceiling and three paintings on the floor measured a total of 320 square metres. Wagner's oeuvre is of gigantic expressiveness - with “Parsifal” Mlenek engaged himself in a similar approach: In order to reflect the spaciousness of the work, not only in terms of form but also in terms of content, the body of a hermaphrodite was represented. In this way, the artist achieved both, an erotic and irritating ambiguity within the installation. The artwork was accompanied by Karlheinz Essl's Sound Environment ' »Parsifal Crystal« (2013).
Photos © Peter Kainz, Faksimilie Digitial
AIRFIELD - TRANSBOUNDARYLand Art Installation
Dobersberg, Lower Austria
Referring to the Nasca scratching pictures in Peru, Hannes Mlenek shifted the way one can look at his paintings in “AIRFIELD-TRANSBOUNDARY”. Five art works on canvas and vinyl mesh - some with a size of over 700m2 - could only be grasped in their entirety from a bird's eye view. Visitors could take off in small-engine airplanes, crossing the border between Austria and the Czech Republic and between art and nature. “AIRFIELD-TRANSBOUNDARY” was initiated to create a space without borders by forcing a change of perspective through mere dimension.- Text (excerpt): Silvie Aigner / ArtMagazine 07/10/2010
Photos © Jürgen Moors
AIRFIELD - TRANSBOUNDARYProject preparations & Exhibition
Expedithalle Brotfabrik, Vienna
Project preperations, exhibition and book-presentation in the context of “AIRFIELD-TRANSBOUNDARY” at Vienna’s Brotfabrik, Expedithalle.
Photos © Gerald Plattner, 2009
NASCA, ALL OVER THE PLACEMuseum Installation & exhibition
For Nasca, all over the place Hannes Mlenek lined the 600m2 first floor of the Künstlerhaus Vienna with molino, a raw cotton fabric, as surface for his expressive paintings. The art works disrupted the anticipated reception and clearly demanded to be read as an installation that related to its specific location. Hannes Mlenek even went one step further by forcing the beholder to actually walk across his works. - Text (excerpt): Silvie Aigner
Photos: Peter Kainz, Faksimilie Digital
Karlskirche (St. Charles Church), Vienna
As a postulation of freedom in belief, Hannes Mlenek placed “Palimpset” underneath the baroque dome of Karlskirche in Vienna. Allthough the art installation moved within an ornate scenery, Mlenek did not enter into any iconographic bonds. The background of the painting showed abstract female forms, expressing sensuality and gentleness. Attached to this background one could recognize a reference to the book of all books. Mlenek’s interpretation of the Bible dominated the architectural setting, but was pierced by large nails. In a metaphorical sense, the artist covered all that is ambiguous with paint, nailed down the dogmatic and redirected the Bible’s significance in a process that is reminiscent of its history and its many controversies, adaptations and revised editions.
Photos © Peter Kainz, Faksimilie Digital, 2009
quartier21, Museumsquartier, Vienna
“Transforming Wall” was created in the process of "Initiations", a work serie of around 200 paintings and drawings, characterized by an impulsive painting style and a reduction of the color palette to black and white. The installation can be described as the artist's key work, although the tendency to extend the long drawn-out lines into space was already evident in Mlenek’s wall paintings of the 90ties. The installation consisted of two canvases measuring 18 x 4 meters. By offering two possible passageways, Hannes Mlenek defined “Transforming Wall” as a spatial body in architectural terms. Painting and its support merged into a total composition.
Photos © Peter Kainz, Faksimilie Digital, 2009