“My work wants me dead, I know. It is all it ever talks about,” writes Steve Reinke in a correspondence on the occasion of his exhibition at mumok. Death and life, empathy and cruelty, sex and intimacy—but also the uneasy relationship between the author and his work—are the kind of topics that Reinke engages with in his work. In the best Nietzschean manner, however, he considers human beings not political or moral entities but puppets of microbiotic agendas: instead of the Freudian ego and id, it is bacteria, placentae, and plankton that rule the world in his more recent videos, and “culture” designates not humanistic achievement but life in a petri dish. Butter, Reinke’s first ever solo museum show, presents his new video, An Arrow Pointing to a Hole, as well as a selection of his sinister text images and absentminded needlepoints, all of which, in a paradoxically precise manner, tell stories of loss of control, formlessness, and self-abandon.
Curated by Manuela Ammer