Pictograms are highly ambivalent communicators: beyond transmitting their intended informational content, they always function as ordering systems and instruments of power as well. In his many layered spatial installation, Nikolaus Gansterer casts a critical gaze on the the ambiguity of signs. Against “the Vienna Method's” logic of the pictogram and its immediate readability (proposed by the Austrian philosopher and economist Otto Neurath), Gansterer condenses the vocabulary of contemporary informational graphics into a complex referential system of open figures of thought. Wall charts, diagrammatic blackboard drawings and models make visible the point at which the armamentarium of visual education collapses into its opposite.
Nikolaus Gansterer, Otto's Nightmare, 2012, mixed-media installation, drawings on various blackboards, various paper models, videoloop.
Exhibited in the framework of the exhibition Zeit(lose) Zeichen, Kuenstlerhaus, Vienna in 2012/13
The project was published in:
– Zeit(lose) Zeichen / Time(less) signs, Maria Christine Holter, Barbara Höller Künstlerhaus Vienna (Eds.) with texts by Peter Bogner, Christopher Burke and Maria Christine Holter, Hardcover, 176 pages, Deutsch/ English, Kerber Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86678-792-6
Review: – Fluchtfigur als Sozialtransporter. Brigitte Borchhardt-Birbaumer, in: Wiener Zeitung, 07.01.2013