Press Release

With her artistic oeuvre and curatorial practice, Katrin Hornek playfully engages with the strange paradoxes of living in the age of the Anthropocene, that is, the new geologic epoch where the effects of capitalism, colonialism, and extractivism are written into the body of the earth. She asserts a more complex understanding of the entwinement of so-called nature and culture that recognizes that our bodies and cultures are substantially and spiritually connected with other creatures and the elements that make up our world. As an artistic strategy, Hornek follows the stories and traces of the material world into their countless networks to create narratives.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Katrin Hornek, testing groungs

Secession, Vienna (Austria)

08.03 - 02.06.2025




Image: Katrin Hornek.

testing grounds is a new, immersive live installation conceived by Katrin Hornek and developed in a collaborative process involving artists as well as researchers and scientists from different fields. The collaboration with Karin Pauer, Sabina Holzer, and Zosia Hołubowska lays a foundation for the work, which addresses a sensitive urgent matter: At stake is the measurable evidence of radioactive radiation around the world as a result of the testing and use of nuclear weapons in hundreds of above-ground tests since 1945. A local soil sample at Karlsplatz, in which plutonium was detected, as its starting point, testing grounds follows the permanent imprints left by nuclear fallout in our bodies, in plants and earth archives.

Embedded in an installation that evokes images of decaying landscapes, twice a week three dancers perform a score choreographed by Pauer. A recent scan of the “aker”crater on the seabed of the former US nuclear bomb test site in Bikini Atoll spreads across the ceiling. On handheld devices shaped like turtles and tortoises, so-called “essengers” texts created by Sabina Holzer and Katrin Hornek provide multi-layered narratives on the subject matter, which enter a subtle, intimate dialogue with specially composed soundscapes by Zosia Hołubowska, while with their movements, the dancers delve into the depths of body archives. Together, the elements of the live installation create a sensual, immersive experience, a test set-up of the embodiment of the unspeakable.

Katrin Hornek (b. 1983, Austria) studied performative art and sculpture in Vienna and Copenhagen. She is a member of the Anthropocene Commons network and teaches at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Department of Site-Specific Art).

The exhibition is sponsored by Arbeiterkammer Wien. Co-produced by Secession with Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF). In collaboration with Tanzquartier Wien.

Programmed by the board of the Secession. Curated by Jeanette Pacher.

Image: Katrin Hornek.

Exhibition 08 March - 02 June2024. Secession, Friedrichstraße 12 . 1010 Vienna (Austria). T +43 1 587530710. Hours: Tuesday–unday 10am–pm.





Katrin Hornek, testing groungs, Secession Vienna, Austria

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved