Austrian artists Paul Renner and Richard Hoeck’s new exhibition, HOUSTON, SIE HABEN EIN PROBLEM!, presents art objects, nose-to-tail cooking, and a temporary social club. Together, they exclaim “HOUSTON, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!”—both needling and raising a glass to our belovedly sprawling and unexpected city. Encompassing unconventional ideas about food, humor, performance art, and the social potential inherent in coming together for a meal, their work offers intimate and joyous experiences of art, eating, and community. This will be the first major solo presentation of the artists’ work in an American institution. In this strangely post-pandemic, yet perhaps mid-endemic moment, CAMH welcomes you to join us physically and metaphysically to directly engage the myriad ways artists can awaken the public, reinvigorate our social relations, and craft new futures for cultural institutions.
About the Artists
Paul Renner (b. 1957, Bregenz, Austria) is a singularly bold artist whose activities span painting, performance art, jubilant social theater, and hyper-adventurous cuisine. He creates ecstatic feasts that present food as sculpture and paintings as mythic backdrops, set within environments that transform the experience of his guest-eaters into art. He has presented major projects at institutions such as Kunsthaus Bregenz and Kunsthalle Wien, as well as at the Leo Koenig Gallery, New York. Renner has also collaborated with several notable figures including Hermann Nitsch, Ferran Adrià, Medlar Lucan, and Durian Gray.
Richard Hoeck (b. 1965, Hall in Tirol, Austria) is a Vienna-based conceptual artist working in installation, sculpture, performance, photography, and video. Hoeck’s work explores worldviews, social conditions, and the possibilities of perception. In recent years, Hoeck has increasingly devoted his attention to the changing relationship between haptics and optics, between body and image. Together with his long-time collaborator John Miller, they use the inherent materiality of mannequins to explore bodies, surfaces, and transformation as displacement grows due to more of our life happening in the digital space. Living in New York City from 1993–1998, Hoeck received the MoMA/PS1 stipend. He has presented numerous exhibitions in both his home country and abroad, at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, (Leipzig, Germany) as winner of the Blinky-Palermo stipend; at Meyer Riegger (Karlsruhe, Germany) as well as at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK) (Vienna, Austria) among others. Further notable shows include his presentations at the third Istanbul Biennial and the Bienal de São Paulo in 2018. Recent group exhibitions include ERSCHRECKEND AKTUELL / FRIGHTENINGLY TOPICAL at Gabriele Senn Galerie (Vienna, Austria) in 2021, COMEDY at Gabriele Senn Galerie (Vienna, Austria), Richard Hoeck & Rudolf Polanszky at Galerie Johann Widauer (Innsbruck, Austria); and Franz West – ARTISTCLUB at Belvedere 21 (Vienna, Austria). Hoeck is represented by Meliksetian | Briggs in Los Angeles, California.
Image caption: HOUSTON, SIE HABEN EIN PROBLEM! installation view at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2022. Photo by Sean Fleming.
HOUSTON, SIE HABEN EIN PROBLEM! was produced in collaboration with Phileas – A Fund for Contemporary Art. Exhibition support is provided by the Federal Ministry of the Republic of Austria: Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport; and the Vorarlberg Cultural Service.
Additional support is provided by Sherry and Larry Davis, Leigh and Reggie Smith, and Highway Vodka.