The impossibility of perfectly representing an image via words is a central aspect in the work of Austrian artist Heinrich
Dunst. In the speech performance Der Kübel [The Bucket], Dunst examines possible forms of linguistic representationfor
the first time not alone, but in concert with 20 individual speakersand how various media interlock at the interface
of object (a bucket) and space (the MAK Columned Main Hall).
Amidst the inherent tension of the relationship between object, text (spoken word) and projection, Dunst uses this performance
to develop a form of organization in which not the coherence or closed nature of the whole, but rather the relationships between
these levels of sensation and perceptionthe splitting of visibility and speakabilityare at issue. Heinrich Dunst:
Are the individual parts completed by that which separates them from one another, or are they homogenous and analog,
as the ideology of the grand staging (of the everyday) would suggest? To where does the rest disappearthe gap in the
sentence, the discrepancy in the attempt to identically meld or homogenously inscribe text and image?
Heinrich Dunst draws inspiration for his work from the book The Future of the Image (Le destin des images, 2003) by philosopher
Jacques Rancière, in which a fictitious figure deals with precisely this relationship between language and visuality, between
object, projection and text. Rancière calls the figure the sentence-image, the oscillating relation within these
relations, which modality consists in a dynamically ambivalent changing of symbols and their correspondences; a figure which
actual quality is a sort of non-completability.
Recent artistic practice has seen attempts to bring to the fore a relational order within a specific form of arrangement made
by various artists including Florian Pumhösl and David Majkovich. Specifically, their aim has been to include the translatability
and transformation of medial systems in the core of such an arrangement. Performances by Heinrich Dunst take place at precisely
this interface of medial transformation; they represent a performative way of attempting to stage these relations between
This project was conceived in collaboration with Sabine Aichhorn, Eva Tacha-Breitling (Konservatorium Wien University) and
Published for the exhibition of the same title (220.127.116.11.2012), MAK Wien. German/English 240 pages, numerous coloured illustrations 21 x 26 cm, paperback MAK Wien / Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2012