Robert Gabris's precise drawings, expansive installations, and performative works are captivating due to their complex nature. The exhibition by the Belvedere Art Award winner focuses on his exploration of the body, both in its concrete and abstracted, political forms.
Gabris examines the human body primarily through the medium of drawing, scrutinizing its condition, boundaries, and forms in connection with queerness and various forms of marginalization. In his works, he places bodies in precisely delineated relationships to one another, conceived in postcolonial and institutional-critical terms.
On view is his early series of copperplate engravings The Blue Heart (2014), along with a series created specifically for the exhibition titled This Space Is Too Small For Our Bodies, as well as the room-sized installation ERROR – ROMA CORPOREALITY AND THEIR NON-BINARY SPACES (2021), which was developed in collaboration with queer individuals in Slovakia and is being exhibited in Austria for the first time. The latter installation's purpose is to prompt reflection on the concept of white privilege, to ensure that the Romnja queer, trans, and non-binary community not only symbolically exists within the exhibition space but also has the opportunity to occupy discursive space. Thus Robert Gabris also addresses voids left by institutional exclusion by naming the mechanisms of discrimination prevalent in the art industry.
Curated by Christiane Erharter.
Belvedere Art Award
This exhibition has been made possible in cooperation with Vendome Projects.
Born in 1986 in Hnúšťa, Slovakia, Gabris studied costume and stage design at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (2006–10) and stage design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (2010–14). Selected solo exhibitions include Strabag Kunstform, Vienna, AT (2021); Villa Romana, Florence, IT (2021); Bunker del Castello di Udine, Udine, IT (2017); and Collective by Pure, Shanghai, CN (2015). In group exhibitions, his work has been shown at documenta fifteen in Kassel (as part of the Off Biennale Budapest), DE; at rotor in Graz, AT; Künstlerhaus Vienna, AT; Tent Rotterdam, NL; Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart, DE; the Bergen Assembly, NO; transit in Bratislava, SK; Landesgalerie Eisenstadt, AT; and Wien Museum, AT, among others. He has been an artist-in-residence at MeetFactory, Prague, CZ (2022); at K.A.I.R., Košice Artist in Residence, SK (2021); and at Villa Romana, Florence, IT (2020), among others. He has been awarded the following prizes: Jindřich Chalupecký Award, Brno, CZ (2021); Recognition Award, Strabag Art Award, Vienna, AT (2021), Belvedere Art Award, Vienna, AT (2022).
Robert Gabris. This Space Is Too Small For Our Bodies (Part 1)