New Ways of Doing Nothing


In 2014, the group exhibition New Ways of Doing Nothing opened at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Devoted to showing artistic works that oppose activity, the exhibition also proposed a politics of radical passivity. A major influence for the exhibition was the titular character of Hermann Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street.

This exhibition catalog, produced in black-and-white plus one color, presents itself as both sourcebook and reader. It begins with a traditional display of individual works by over 20 artists—from Karl Holmqvist and the Paris-based collective Claire Fontaine to Robert Breer and Superflex—then breaks into a layered curatorial conversation and collage of reprinted text pages and excerpts introducing those artists and thinkers who, in the words of Bartleby, “prefer not to.”

With texts by Giorgio Agamben, Claire Fontaine, Gilles Deleuze, Julius Gavroche, Paul Lafargue, Vanessa Joan Müller, Cristina Ricupero, Tereza Stejskalová, and Enrique Vila-Matas. 

Featuring work by Robert Breer, Alejandro Cesarco, Étienne Chambaud, Claire Fontaine, Natalie Czech, Oskar Dawicki, Edith Dekyndt, Mathias Delplanque, Heinrich Dunst, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Marina Faust, Ryan Gander, Lasse Schmidt Hansen, Julia Hohenwarter, Karl Holmqvist, Sofia Hultén, Jiří Kovanda, Rivane Neuenschwander, Georges Perec / Bernard Queysanne, Superflex, Mario García Torres

Edited by Vanessa Joan Müller, Cristina Ricupero, and Nicolaus Schafhausen

Designed by Anna Haas

Published by Sternberg Press and Kunsthalle Wien, 2017

Softcover, 144 pages, 39 color & 7 b/w illustrations, 8.25 × 11.75 inches

ISBN: 978-3-95679-233-5