Lecture - Josef Dabernig: Repetition Compulsion


Lecture - Josef Dabernig: Repetition Compulsion

07.03.2023 - 07.03.2023 / Dvorana Gorgona

Accompanying programme to the exhibition “Body and Territory: Art and Borders in Today's Austria”

Gorgona Hall, March 7 2023 at 7 pm

We are pleased to announce the return of Josef Dabernig, esteemed Austrian artist and filmmaker, whose anthology short films our audience had the opportunity to see in 2017 at the Tuškanac cinema, as part of the "Kratki utorak" (Short Tuesday) programme and at an exhibition at Gallery Nova that same year as part of the “My sweet little lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise)” project.

In a lecture titled “Repetition Compulsion”, Josef Dabernig will touch upon a specific aspect of his work, the obsessive approach he takes in regards to processes of appropriation, copying, translation and transformation.

More than a hundred pages from the book “Beauty and digestion, or the rejuvenation of man only through proper maintenance of the bowels” by dr. Franz Xaver Mayr from 1920 are on display at the “Body and Territory” exhibition which Dabernig has obsessively transcribed by hand in a progressively thicker and smaller font. Dabernig's almost dematerialized sculpture has always cultivated a repetitive element, be it in spatial concepts, the fetishization of numbers and text or in film as a synthesis of its media diversity.

As part of the lecture, his latest short film “Pastry Friday” (2022) will be shown, about which film critic and director Ivan Ramljak wrote:

“For almost 30 years Josef Dabernig has been creating his black-and-white, shot on film odes to minimalism, exploring the relationship between quotidian human habits and natural or urban spaces where they are performed. This time he focuses on a pâtisserie in a small South Moravian town, frequented by unrestrained kids and adults alike. Subtle, funny, cynical, yet deeply human, this is another classic from the Austrian master.”


Josef Dabernig (b. 1956) is an Austrian visual artist and filmmaker. He graduated sculpture in 1981 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where he lives and works today. Among numerous exhibitions in museums and galleries across the world, he has exhibited at the Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana (2000), the 49th and 50th Venice Biennale (2001, 2003), 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012) and Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg (2014). His short films were part of many festivals such as the Locarno International Film Festival, the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival.