Austrian Cultural Forum, NYC: Under Pain of Death


Exhibition dates: January 22 – May 10 | 2008

Raimund Abraham
Matthew Barney
Bigert & Bergström
Mary Ellen Carroll
Barbara Caspar & Andrew Standen-Raz
Chien-Jen Chen
Steven Cohen
Lucinda Devlin
Manfred Erjautz
Harun Farocki
Barnaby Furnas
Ken Gonzales-Day
Michael Haneke
Mathilde ter Heijne
Glenn Ligon
Thomas Locher
Adam McEwen
Errol Morris
Nick Oberthaler
Werner Reiterer
Constanze Ruhm
Andres Serrano
Andy Warhol
Artur Zmijewski

Curated by Gerald Matt and Abraham Orden
Curatorial Consultant | Ilse Lafer
Commissioned and Produced by Andreas Stadler
Exhibition Coordination | Elisabeth Haider
Exhibition Assistance| Natascha Boojar | Marianne Dobner | Henry Grimm | Sigrid Polster | Marie – Theres Posawetz | Maria Simma

In 2006, 1,591 people were executed around the world. They were hanged, shot, beheaded, poisoned, or tortured to death. In China, the country where most executions were carried out, the bodies of delinquents were often used as organ banks. What some view as justified punishment for the protection of human beings and society, others consider an affront, a sin against humanity and creation or a violation of human rights. The question of the legitimacy and non-legitimacy of the death penalty – its history and practice from the electric chair to lynchings and vigilantism – has been dividing humanity from the very outset. It fascinates and disgusts people, including artists. The exhibition surveys the questions and answers explored by contemporary artists in connection with the death penalty as an existentialist phenomenon involving human feelings ranging between fear, hate, anger, revenge, shame, forgiveness, and mercy.

Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.
The Austrian Cultural Forum is located at 11 East 52nd Street in Manhattan.