Leopold Kessler (A) – Interventions 2002-2005 

The young Austrian artist Leopold Kessler (1976) will show works from 2002-2005 in the Stadtgalerie Schwaz.

opening Saturday the 4th of Febuary 7 pm
opening speech, Matthias Dusini art critic Vienna


Leopold Kessler (1970) intervenes in public spaces, subtly altering or repairing civic property without seeking permission. Like a vigilante janitor, disguised in a blue work-coat, he performs neglected odd-jobs, pruning hedges back from road signs, changing bulbs in Underground signs. More playfully, he raises a bin to basketball hoop-height or flashes messages of support in Morse code onto a statue of Jesus Christ. He personalises public space, providing remote controls for street lamps and, here in London, installing locks in red phone boxes. These slow-burning, minor irregularities seep into the consciousness of local citizens going about their daily routines.

Leopold Kessler works as a dissident engineer to uphold the cultural importance of public maintenance. His interventions are sought in the cracks of what is otherwise hyper-regulated public space. Trash cans are raised to become baskets for some new urban sport. Subway signs are repaired. Public lights get clandestinely connected to a remote control so that they can be switched on and off according to the artist's will. With these gestures and acts of exploitation, Kessler prepares the conditions for a discreet revolution against public authorities. In this way, he questions what he considers to be enforced limitations masquerading as protective measures for the citizenry.

Born 1976 in Munich, Germany. Lives and works in Vienna, Austria