2012

Bilder

APPROPRIATION publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2012,
APPROPRIATION
Part III: Socio-cultural Conditioning
BILDER Nr. 265

TANJA BOUKAL (At), JENS KLEIN (DE), SVÄTOPLUK MIKYTA (SK)
PAULA MUHR (RS/DE) ANA TORFS (BE)

Opening: Monday, 17 December at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Petra Noll
Duration: 18 December 2012 – 26 January 2013


In the third exhibition on the subject of APPROPRIATION, with the secondary title Socio-cultural Conditioning, five artists from Western and Eastern Europe will be presenting works  based on found footage material and concerned with questions of social and cultural politics. Their sources are to be found in archives and the media as well as in scientific and literary publications. They not only research and analyse the history of countries and the mechanisms of depiction, classification and representation, but also the closely related issues of their own origins and identities. The imaginative reworking of the basis material does not only allow a re-evaluation of history, but also opens up new aspects for understanding the present and oneself.

Tanja Boukal was born in 1976 in Vienna and lives there. The socially critical series Am seidenen Faden (Hanging by a thread), a work in progress since 2008, is based on newspaper pictures of refugees which have been hand embroidered, pixel-for-pixel. The title refers to both the technique employed and the fate of the migrants whose lives literally hang by a thread during a boat trip that leads to an alleged paradise. Boukal confronts our fleeting attention to images (even those with dramatic contents) with the slowness of embroidery – it is a struggle against time, forgetting and suppression as well as indifference. The large format pictures of the All that Glitter and Gold (2010) series, knitted images mounted in knitted golden frames, deal with the same subject. These too are based on photos – in this instance black and white ones – of migrants in the real context of their refuge. Titles, material and frames stand in contrast to the content which provides an impetus for more visual attentiveness.

Photographer Jens Klein, who was born in 1970 and a resident of Leipzig, is showing works from the Hundewege. Index eines konspirativen Alltags (Dog Tracks. Index of a Conspiratorial Daily Life) (2009 - 2012) series, part of a work group concerned with the construction of history. At the same time it engages with the former GDR, his native country, as well as with his own origins, memories and identity. During research in the Stasi (State Security) archives, Klein ran across photos of alleged regime opponents taken surreptitiously by staff members. These he reorganized into subject-specific picture sequences (moped riders, pedestrians, post boxes) and combined them with fictitious and literary text material. This de-contextualisation and serial reordering shifts the focus onto the everyday human situations. Here, Klein is interested in the question of how suitable these State Security photographs are for a description of everyday life – even though they were not originally intended for this purpose – without losing sight of their original intention (control and surveillance), which apparently did not stop at even the most banal of situations.

Svätopluk Mikyta was born in 1973 in Cadca/Slovakia and lives in Bratislava and Ilja. One of his special foci as an artist is the use of drawing to re-work photographic reproductions from historical illustrated books. He then combines the re-worked photos into series and presents them as installations. Mikyta is concerned with researching, questioning and re-evaluating the history – in particular, examining totalitarian developments, past and present – of his native country, Slovakia, but also including Central Europe. This involves looking at one’s own memory and identity too. In reworking the photos he consciously refers to the suggestive aesthetics of socialist regimes: for this reason he likes to use the expressiveness of the colour red, which stands for political totality, blood, emotion and disturbances. Important themes in his conceptual works are socialist mass gatherings and body culture events as well as Eastern European national and religious symbols which he refashions in a way that allows new connections to be made with the present.

Paula Muhr, born in 1977 in Serbia and presently a resident of Berlin, is showing the audio-visual installation Females under tension (2010/11). It is an examination of the representational practices relating to femininity, sexuality, desire and normality in films, photographs and texts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and their influence on present-day gender discourses. One of the starting points was the book “Abnormal Woman” by Arthur Macdonald (US, 1895), who carried out at times painful measurements on women as part of his research. For a video work Muhr took scenes from the film How a French Nobleman Got a Wife... (Edison Company 1904), in which a hysterical crowd of eleven women pursues a man who inserted a personal advertisement for a wife in a newspaper. She added a soundtrack of statements made by present-day women – as an answer to the old announcement by Macdonald – about their expectations of relationships to men. In addition, Muhr stuck pins into two historical medical depictions of women who had had attacks of hysteria – an analogy to Macdonald’s questionable experiments.

Ana Torfs was born in 1963 in Mortsel/Belgium and lives in Brussels. The photographic series Family Plot #1 (2009) relates to the systemic organisation of nature and, in particular, the binary nomenclature of the Swedish natural scientist, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the “father of modern taxonomy”. On the basis of his system of classification, botanical and zoological genera and species were sometimes given the names of their “discoverers” or other important persons – usually Western, white men – and the indigenous names usually ignored. This obviously authoritarian and elitist system of name-giving was the motivator for Torf’s Family Plot #. The work presents a “family tree”-like structure of photographic reproductions of historical portraits of Linnaeus and 24 name-givers plus, on a smaller scale, a picture of the botanist who bestowed the names and a diagram of the name and its position in the taxonomy. Torfs places this “documentation” beneath a black and white silkscreen image (on glass) of the flower or fruit. The contrast of these two visual levels – wonderful, sensual and erotic flowers and fruits in close-up in confrontation with traditional, official portraits and rational schemata – propels the rigid and ideological categorisation beyond Linnaeus into the absurd. geführt.

Petra Noll

RECOMMENDED BY  publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2012,
RECOMMENDED BY 
Aktuelle Tendenzen in der polnischen Foto- und Videoszene
BILDER Nr. 264

in context of Eyes On 2012 - Month of Photography Vienna

Opening: Monday, 12 November at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Jakub Swircz and Krzysztof Candrowicz

Accompanying program: Saturday, 24 November 2012 at 5 p.m.
Filmschool Lodz,
Ania Kazimierczak, Lodz: Film evening THEN AND NOW
Presentation of filmic etudes and videos of students and renowned graduates of this legendary institution.

The collective of the FOTOGALERIE WIEN sincerly thanks the Polish Cultural Institute Vienna for the support.

“The Polish photography scene is booming,” the two curators Krzysztof Candrowicz and Jakub Swircz, whom we asked to contribute brief statements, agree. And we certainly concur, after an opportunity to explore the vibrant Polish arts scene during a study trip last year. “It’s a gold rush,” we marveled. That’s when the idea was born to invite our freshly established contacts—galleries, institutions, curators—to present Polish artists working in photography and new media in Vienna during the Month of Photography. We asked them to each name one artist who, in their view, occupies an important position in the contemporary Polish arts scene. Our exhibition “Recommended by ...” presents the fruits of this inspiring collaboration:

Galeria Czarna, Aga Czarneka, Warschau:Dorota Buczkowska/Przemek Dzienis, JoannaPawlik
Galeria Refleksy, Katarzyna Żebrowska, Warschau:
Mateusz Torbus
Galeria Leto, Marta Kolakowska, Warschau
: Maurycy Gomulicki
Jakub Swircz
, Kurator, Warschau: Michał Jelski
Lodz Art Center, Krzysztof Candrowicz, Lodz
: Anna Orlikowska, Przemysław Pokrycki
Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Joanna Kinowska, Warschau
: Rafał Milach
Marek Grygiel
, Kurator, Warschau: Krzysztof Pijarski

Polish photography is still working to recover its history and its language. Much has been forgotten; a great deal of material was destroyed or lost. Current art photography in Poland is a blank slate; we are now free to place works of art in their proper contexts and have open debates about them. (Jakub Swircz)

The past two decades in Poland have been a period of dramatic change: the economic and political transformation has affected many aspects of everyday life—yet fundamental cultural attitudes and what we call “the spirit,” “the soul,” have remained untouched. Unlike Polish cinema and graphic design, the country’s photography used to draw very little international attention. Today, by contrast, Polish photography artists show their work in prominent museums and galleries, and there are major photography festivals such as Cracow’s Photomonth and the Fotofestiwal in Łódz ́. Some of the most talented and up-and-coming Polish photography artists are presented in the exhibition “Recommended by ...” at Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna.

Krzysztof Candrowicz

Crime Scene: ENVIRONMENT publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
year: 2012,
Crime Scene: ENVIRONMENT
BILDER Nr. 263

MICHAEL GOLDGRUBER (A), LOIS HECHENBLAIKNER, (A), ROBERT KNOTH & ANTOINETTE DE JONG (NL), ERNST LOGAR (A), INA LOITZL (A)

Opening: Monday, 8. October 2012 at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Statements by the artists and Greenpeace representatives
Duration: 9 October - 3 November 2012

Cooperation partner: Greenpeace

Accompanying film programme: EUROPEAN PRE-PREMIERE! 


Thursday, 18 October, at 3 and 7 p.m. (introduced by Greenpeace)
Chasing Ice, Director: Jeff Orlowski, USA 2012, 76 min.                      
 
“National Geographic” photographer James Balog and his team installed forty-three time lapse cameras simultaneously on eighteen glaciers to document the rapid disappearance of the mountains of ice. Chasing Ice provides proof that the consequences of climate change lead to environmental catastrophe.

Reservations please under: fotogalerie-wien@wuk.at
sponsored by: BMUKK; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab, Wiener Linien; Filmladen Wien; Submarine Deluxe, N.Y.

The threat to our environment by humanity’s massively destructive and exploitative interventions in nature has reached such proportions that many artists feel driven to make clear and critical statements. Crime Scene: ENVIRONMENT is the name of the October exhibition at the FOTOGALERIE WIEN with photographic and filmic positions in which socio-political commitment and art come together. Without being superficially didactic, purely documentary or asserting moral superiority, six artists visualize the serious consequences of global environmental destruction. The works are aimed—over and above the purely ecological message they contain—at asking philosophical questions about our basic understanding of what life is about. Parallel with the art works, Greenpeace, the organization concerned with environmental issues,  will be showing videos in the exhibition space. These documentaries relate to actions in which they were involved and to relevant environmental subjects though there are also artistic contributions. There will be a supplementary film programme in the cinema which includes recent films on the subject. With the exhibition Crime Scene: Environment, the FOTOGALERIE WIEN intends to fulfil its role as a public, discursive institution and take a clear position, actively promoting an intense discussion.


Michael Goldgruber is showing the video Monoculture (2012). There is also a photo series of the same name. He is concerned here with the negative consequences of monoculture in both agriculture and forestry and, in particular, with the spruce monoculture that covers vast expanses of Central Europe. The reduction to a single species of tree in order to maximize profit and have the possibility of easier control, added to the fact that the trees are often planted too close together, leads to their death and landscape degradation.
Goldgruber’s images show these dark, monotone and eerie situations accompanied by a soundtrack—which increases in volume—of the wind and the cracking of branches. The images not only signal the artist’s dismay at the financialized forest but also at the clichéd images of nature propagated by the media and the culture in general. On the other hand, they have a strong aesthetic attraction without engaging in romantic glorification.
In numerous photo series—including the BergWerk series being shown here—Tyrolean native Lois Hechenblaikner has been concerned with the destructive repercussions of mass tourism in the Alps. Massive invasive operations such as land filling or levelling, rock blasting etc. have been carried out and turned formerly idyllic landscapes of mountain farms into desolate “industrial zones” (Bernhard Kathan) in order to build ski slopes, cable lifts, access roads and the varied architecture necessary for recreational sport. In the BergWerk series Hechenblaikner photographed, inter alia, a landscape of piled-up cables and pipes—preparation for building entertainment architecture—against the background of a powerful mountain excavator engaged in grading work. There is not only protest or personal dismay embedded in the photographs which are usually without people but, as the building machines burrow their way into the landscape like ravenous animals, also a portion of resignation.

Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong’
s work generally examines the complex implications of social, economic and political catastrophes for human lives. This is also the case in the photo series Shadowlands, the Fukushima nuclear accident. In autumn of 2011 the artist duo visited Iitate and Namie, two places in Japan forty kilometres from Fukushima, in order to get an impression of the consequences of the devastating reactor accident. The work presents quiet, poetic, natural and cultural landscapes where the contamination is invisible — the uncanny beauty of a deserted region being re-conquered by nature over which hovers a life-threatening but invisible shadow. The untroubled gaze is broken by the information accompanying each photo: the degree of contamination given in microsieverts. The second work, the black and white video, Certificat no. 000358/ (2008), also describes the drastic consequences of atomic pollution. Here the concern is with the numerous nuclear tests and accidents that have taken place in out-of-the-way places in the former Soviet Union of which Chernobyl is just one example. Underlined by sad, melancholy, but also threatening music, portraits of deserted places, interiors etc. are presented along with people and the details of the illnesses they suffer from caused by exposure to high levels of radiation.

Ernst Logar
is showing photo works from his series Oil Rigs which is part of the larger research project Invisible Oil (2008) and featured in the award-winning book which was published in 2011. The project confronts us with the all-embracing dependence of our modern society on oil as a raw material and intends to bring to foreground the processes and places that are the oil industry’s centres of power although they normally remain invisible and outside the public gaze. The project is based on extensive research in Aberdeen, the Scottish oil capital of Europe. For the photo series Logar collected plastic objects—made from oil—that were washed up on the beaches around Aberdeen. He made temporary Arte Povera sculptures from the rubbish produced by our throw-away society in the form of oil drilling platforms, naming them after five socially disadvantaged areas of the city — a piece of work which, because of the scurrility of the sculptures, ironically opens up the problem.

Ina Loitzl made her three-part video, PARADOXON, using cut-out animation techniques. The work is based on extensive research carried out in environmental organizations, supermarket chains, social institutions and energy companies and makes use of found footage material from magazines, internet, advertisements. It is concerned with the serious destructive behaviour of our society with regard to production, consumption and waste disposal in the energy, food and product industries. The images move in a loop, sometimes at breakneck speed, like a perpetuum mobile and symbolize the cycle of the frequently paradoxical consequences of our actions. Loitzl works with elements of slapstick comedy and shrill, colourful images - a loud, wake-up plea for a world with more social justice, one that is more economic and environmentally friendly and less driven by consumer greed.

Petra Noll, on behalf of the collective

ANEIGNUNG publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2012,
ANEIGNUNG
Teil II: Re-enactment - Neukontextualisierung
BILDER Nr. 262

Because of the current noticeable affinity towards the use and recontextualization of found material in the work of many artists active in international art discourse the curatorial team of the FOTOGALERIE WIEN, together with art historian and curator Petra Noll, has developed APPROPRIATION as the special focus for this year. The conceptual basis is provided by the Appropriation Art of the 1970s and 1980s in which artists conceptually appropriated pre-existing art works. The tripartite series of exhibitions takes the subject a little further and presents photo and video artists who are involved with found footage material from very different contexts or employ strategies of re-enactment in order to open up new perspectives and pictorial realities.  Over and above the central themes of Appropriation Art – authorship and originality – the concern here is with issues of representation and perception, with the politics of social and cultural confrontations as well as with history, memory and identity. In the context of APPROPRIATION the mediums of photography and film which, per se, point in the direction of the past, offer an additional level for reflection.
 
The second exhibition in the series dealing with APPROPRIATION is presenting art projects based on the strategy of re-enactment. The artists represented in the show transcend the traditional concept of re-enacting stagings that already exist – e.g. in historical paintings/Tableaux Vivants – as authentically as possible. They appropriate their material from the visual arts but also, for example, from film, theatre, language and the print media in order to transfer them into the mediums of photography and film by means of action, role playing or physically putting themselves in the other’s place. Their art work is the research, analysis and, finally, transformation, recontextualization and redefinition. This modus operandi is often playful, ironic, cheeky – the whole complex spectrum of this subject. The concern is with reflecting on media, perception, narrative structures, on reality and fiction, ‘originals’ and ‘reproductions’ and, in the final analysis, with considerations of identity and social standardization.
 
Tableau Vivant / Project Work / Academy: Bettina Henkel, artist and member of the teaching staff of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with special responsibility for media, is showing the filmic work Tableau Vivant as the group’s representative. It is a collaborative work made in 2009 by the students of the academy together with Patrice Blaser, Friedemann Derschmidt, Ludwig Löckinger und Katharina Cibulka (assistance) of the teaching staff. The group accurately re-staged in historical costumes Dutch artist, Hendrick Pot’s painting, “Scene from a theatre play” (1640). The scene goes much further than the classical "Tableau Vivant" because it extends the narrative using film, and thus locates it in the present day. The group of actors/actresses is scanned by the camera in a slow travelling shot. Finally, the extras become active actors: they get up, start up a relaxed conversation and leave the frame in order to make contact with their “contemporaries”. It is a work that engages with the processes of group dynamics of the "Tableau Vivant" and the expanded potential of the moving image.
 
The artist Gerda Lampalzer, a resident of Vienna and Lower Austria, is involved with the relationship of image, text and language. In her experimental video, Transformation (2009), which is divided into four chapters (re-montage / conversion / substance / demonstration), oral texts from five persons in their mother tongue (Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Slovene, Italian) are used as material for a transformation into German words, writing and images. Using specially situated cuts Lampalzer re-built their texts in a way that has them finally speaking German words. The meaning of these newly-created German texts is independent of the originals and is based on the connections made by the artist’s audio and visual associations (Audiovision). It is a video which engages in a light-hearted and poetic way, à la Ernst Jandl – an Austrian experimental poet – with linguistic research and problems of communication.
 
Sissa Micheli, who was born in 1975 in Bruneck/I and lives in Vienna, was inspired to restage reports from the New York Times with friends. The resulting photographic work complex, Remind me - Rewind me (2007), comprises a number of series. The photographs bear the title of the headlines e.g. Victim of Apartment Fire Is Mourned by Neighbors. The works are located between reality and fiction: the actual newspaper reports only deal with part of reality and do so interpretively; Micheli supplements with her own subjective associations and emotions, staging the people in space in a way that is puzzling or surreal, sometimes dramatic or even rather prosaic, so as to produce very differing atmospheres. Exactly what has happened remains unclear and this enables Micheli to build up a tension. Viewers become investigators into the background of these ambiguous and mysterious stories. Micheli’s pictorial narratives are confrontational, they ask after the sense and “truth” of texts and photographs. They also address issues of time and space as well as (one’s own) identity.
                                                                                                                                            Rita Nowak, who was born in 1979 in Wels/A and lives in Vienna, produces photo works which are usually re-enactments of specific masterpieces from art history. The process of re-staging is, however, not literal and sometimes the only referential information is provided by the title. Nowak abstains from all historicizing elements. She stages her (artist) friends in everyday clothes with contemporary props in normal places that indicate the protagonists’ surroundings. Her apparently playful and light-hearted arrangements are a result of the actions of those in the room. Nowak examines how the meaning of statements shifts when a re-contextualization takes place. In addition the work considers issues about the relationship between photography and painting/sculpture, as well as with identity and/or gender roles.
 
Christopher Richmond (born in 1986 in La Jolla/USA, lives and works in Los Angeles) is showing two films that engage with the narrative structures, dramaturgy and editing techniques of Hollywood films. The Yellow Eye Without Its Way Twice-Told refers to the collective concept of the Western genre while simultaneously breaking with its traditional habits of viewing. Richmond rejects conventional linear narrative structures – he picks out a single filmic scene and re-stages it: A young man observes and older one cleaning his rifle while in the background a snorting horse runs backward and forward in a fenced enclosure. Richmond imbues the situation with so much atmosphere that a sense of anticipation, a tension, is produced which is never fulfilled, in contrast to Westerns. He then attaches to this scene a sequence showing the flight of a falcon taken from an old film. This makes the story even more enigmatic but that much more associative too.
 
Benjamin Tomasi/ Bernhard Garnicnig (born in 1978 in Bozen and 1983 in Bregenz, both live in Vienna) are showing a cross-media installation centred on the video Soundscape Synthesis for John Smith's Girl Chewing Gum (1976). The work is a component of the work complex Ast fällt auf Tonspur (Branch falls on soundtrack) which has been on-going for a number of years. In it, the artists are concerned with strategies of depiction and visualization in pop music and experimental sound design. Smith’s short film classic, the basis of the work, is given a new soundtrack by the two artists. Just as John Smith recorded the voice-over afterwards, while standing in the countryside, the video shows the artists in the sound studio with everyday equipment recording a new soundtrack for Smith’s film while watching the film which, however, remains invisible for the viewer. The sounds derived from this curious performance are not translated so that, in the final analysis and as far as the viewer is concerned, sound and story remain open (for associations).Petra Noll, on behalf of the collective

WERKSCHAU XVII publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
year: 2012,
WERKSCHAU XVII
Works 1981 - 2011
BILDER Nr. 261

WERKSCHAU XVII is the continuation of the annual series of exhibitions in the FOTOGALERIE WIEN which has been going on for the last seventeen years. They present contemporary artists who have significantly contributed to the development of art photography and the new media in Austria. To date there has been a cross section of work by Jana Wisniewski, Manfred Willmann, VALIE EXPORT, Leo Kandl, Elfriede Mejchar, Heinz Cibulka, Renate Bertlmann, Josef Wais, Horáková + Maurer, Gottfried Bechtold, Friedl Kubelka, Branko Lenart, INTAKT – Die Pionierinnen (Renate Bertlmann, Moucle Blackout, Linda Christanell, Lotte Hendrich-Hassmann, Karin Mack, Margot Pilz, Jana Wisniewski), Inge Dick, Lisl Ponger and Hans Kupelwieser.

For this year’s Werkschau FOTOGALERIE WIEN has been able to win over Robert Zahornicky. The involvement with the subjects of “intervening in reality” or “playing with perception and reality” run through this retrospective of the artist’s work like a guiding thread. A catalogue and a Werkschau Photo Edition (No. 11) supplement the exhibition.


Robert Zahornicky was born in Vienna in 1952  and lives in Pressbaum. The WERKSCHAU covers a wide-ranging cross section of his artistic activity which began in the 1980s. Together with “experimental” Polaroids, photograms (including Polaroid photograms), aquagrams and various other photographic techniques he will also be showing sculptural works such as the Sarkophage [Sarcophagi]–compacted, shredded books and magazines – the video Communication Breakdown as well as documentation material of his early actions such as Die letzte Reise der Venus von Willendorf [The Last Journey of the Venus of Willendorf]  or Carnuntum Camac. The Zeit  – Spuren [Time – Traces] series is concerned with changes in the physical photo material as well as the people depicted over a one year time period. 

The thematic focus of Robert Zahornicky’s work is nature in which he takes not only an artistic interest but also a philosophical and scientific one. The basis for his photograms is formed by leaves, twigs and plants which he moves over the photo paper as they are being exposed. These movements stand for growth and change. The last work group in the Wildnis [Wilderness] series, from 2005, will be on show for the first time and consists of ferns at various stages of growth which the artist has removed from their natural surroundings and placed in front of a neutral white background. These, too, stand for the passing of time, for life’s natural cycles. The works in the Shredder series, in which Zahornicky fed all kinds of textual material into a shredder, leads on to the new Double Vision series in which newspaper and magazine pages are photographed whilst being illuminated from the back. The two sides merge to form new and irritating pictures. The question being posed here is one about the meaning and significance of photographic images and their truth. In his works Zahornicky is concerned with shifts in context and thus with the question of reality: he is a master of feints and the destabilization of habits of seeing. Petra Noll, for the collective

Sponsored by: BMUKK; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab; Sammlung Volpinum, Wien; NÖ-Landesmuseum; FOTORAUM, Wien

ANEIGNUNG publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2012,
ANEIGNUNG
Teil I: Bildbefragung
BILDER Nr. 260

CLAUDIA ANGELMAIER (G),  ANNA ARTAKER (A),  NATALIE CZECH (G), 
MISHKA HENNER (B/GB),TATIANA LECOMTE (F/A),  A.D. MARTINZ (A),
ABIGAIL REYNOLDS (GB),  JULIAN TAPPRICH (S/A)

Because of the current noticeable affinity towards the use and recontextualization of found material in the work of many artists active in international art discourse the curatorial team of the FOTOGALERIE WIEN, together with art historian and curator Petra Noll, has developed APPROPRIATION as the special focus for this year. The conceptual basis is provided by the Appropriation Art of the 1970s and 1980s in which artists conceptually appropriated pre-existing art works. The tripartite series of exhibitions takes the subject a little further and presents photo and video artists who are involved with found footage material from very different contexts or employ strategies of re-enactment in order to open up new perspectives and pictorial realities. Over and above the central themes of Appropriation Art – authorship and originality – the concern here is with issues of representation and perception, with the politics of social and cultural confrontations as well as with history, memory and identity. In the context of APPROPRIATION the mediums of photography and film which, per se, point in the direction of the past, offer an additional level for reflection.

“What do pictures represent?” is the central question of the first exhibition, QUESTIONING THE IMAGE, with eight international artists who work with found footage material. These found photographic and filmic images are no longer treated as documents of their time but, using visual, textual and audio manipulation are so removed from their origins and changed by recontextualization that their meaning and aesthetic representation is called into question and new meanings made possible. This entails grappling with the authenticity of photographic and filmic images, with reality and fiction as well as with issues of perception and the status of reproductions


In her large format, analogue colour photographs Claudia Angelmaier examines the relationship of original to copy, picture to text. A collection of art postcards showing female Rückenfiguren (figures from behind) provides the starting point for her series Works on Paper. Angelmaier concentrates on the obverse of the postcards. She photographs and enlarges them in such a way that by shining through the Rückenfigur on the front becomes sketchily visible. The focus of the series is the image caption, i.e. the context of the individual image. Claudia Angelmaier is interested in questions relating to the representation of art, the original and, at the same time, the work is always about probing the limitations of the photographic image.

Anna Artaker
is concerned with questioning the representational function of photography as well as examining photography as a historical document. For her work, Unbekannte Avantgarde (Unknown Avantgarde), she appropriated documentary photos of twentieth-century artist groups and subjected them to an examination. The photos show only male artists – exept for one female artist in each photo – a statement which appears believable considering the assumed fidelity of photography. In order to correct this perception Anna Artaker combines the photos, newly enlarged on baryta paper, with drawings that function as captions. They show the outlines of those depicted to which she has attached the names of women artists – an indication that, alongside the official history, other images and texts exist.

Natalie Czech
works with found footage text and image material from the print media. In her work she reflects on a subjective process of reading and finding which, without forcing a specific reading, demonstrates the poetic sensations of daily life. The work group Hidden Poems consists of photographs of fragmentarily cited texts and images: In the texts letters and/or words are formally highlighted, either using colour or by deletion in such a way that a poem – written by a poet – disentangles itself from the original, factual text, frequently having a surreal correspondence with the original text or image. The artistic act consists of a recontextualization, putting issues of originality and authenticity up for discussion.

For his series, Dutch Landscapes, Mishka Henner used aerial shots of areas obtained from Google Earth. Because of their strategic importance they have been rendered indecipherable by large scale pixilation. Henner composes his images by selection, creating new landscapes that are almost abstract compositions. He is concerned with the unrestricted availability of images in the web that is taken for granted, with showing and concealing, with the content that the pictures (do not) represent. This also applies to Henner’s book, Less Américains a transformed remake of Robert Frank’s classic photo book, "The Americans". Here the artist went beyond the selection principle: he digitally deleted a large part of Frank’s pictorial data: “less Americans” – an ironic confrontation with content, form and authorship.

Tatiana Lecomte uses found images in her works such as Auflösung (Dissolutio),, which consists of a number of coloured shots each of which depicts a radically enlarged section of a photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto in flames in 1943. Lecomte reproduced this photo in sections, intentionally avoiding exactness and completeness. Using enlargement, fragmentation, doubling up or omitting subject matter as well as a recontextualization in the form of shifts and overlaps the images lose the unequivocal character of narration. With this rejection of rendering things visible Lecomte calls into question the veracity and informational content of photographic images.

A.D. Martinz used a key scene in the horror film, "Possession"(1981), by Andrzej Zulawski with the actress Isabella Adjani as the starting point for the audiovisual composition The rate of change over time. This nightmare, seemingly irrational scene from Zulawski’s film shows Adjani in an underground pedestrian underpass as she laughs wildly and becomes increasingly insane. Martinz´ interest lies in the interrelationship of image, sound and emotions. By instigating visual and acoustic changes by manipulating time, repetition, superimposition, displacement, out of focus images, amplification etc. the composer and artist has compressed the scene into an overall mood that gets under your skin even more than the original film “Possession”.

Abigail Reynolds works with photographs from second-hand tour guides. The Transposed series shows historical rooms used for ceremonial occasions which, from the architectural point of view, appear to be strangely – even grotesquely – constructed. This is the result of Reynolds’ picture processing: usually she cuts them in the middle of the page, exchanging the two halves. As a matter of principle she neither adds to, nor subtracts from, the pictorial information in the process. Reynolds is concerned with questioning fixed habits of seeing and perceiving. The works engage with the possibilities and optical illusions of the human eye and the limits of the camera’s “eye”.

Julian Tapprich’s video work Coming Soon is based on the trailer for Michael Haneke’s film, “La pianiste (The Piano Teacher)”. Tapprich examines the referentiality of trailers. The trailer to "La pianiste" does not only refer to a story but also contains a self-referential element. In a scene with a Schubert soundtrack the pianist (Isabelle Huppert) announces a letter which arrives immediately and is once again read out to her. Tapprich picks up this closed circuit: the letter is repeatedly announced and continually extended by new literary texts. By mixing the literary texts with those of the trailer the mood and tone of voice of the narrator are in a state of permanent change – a form of disassociation that refers to the abbreviated nature of image, text and sound in trailers.

Petra Noll, on behalf of the collective
 

SOLO III Katharina Cibulka year: 2012,
SOLO III Katharina Cibulka
BILDER Nr. 259

Since 2010 one of the eight annual exhibitions which the FOTOGALERIE WIEN puts on is a solo show dedicated to a young, up-coming artist. The SOLO series serves as a platform and springboard for artists at the beginning of their career who already have an extensive amount of work available to present to a wider public. The aim is to achieve a lasting presence for the artists selected by making contacts with cooperation partners and facilitating touring shows. We are happy to announce that for SOLO III we have been able to bring Katharina Cibulka on board, a multi-media artist who lives in Innsbruck. An edition of the Fotogalerie Wien’s BILDER will be produced for the exhibition with a text by art critic Manisha Jothady.

For her SOLO exhibition in the FOTOGALERIE WIEN Katharina Cibulka has decided to concentrate on works related to the position of women and women artists in society. Numerous works ­– photographs, films, performances and texts ­– approach the issues of women/artists at the beginning of the twenty-first century who are engaged in an intense effort to achieve a balance between social expectations and demands and their own conception of happiness using poetics and irony, but also taking a position of critical distance.
 
The process also involves the quest for her own identity in the multiple roles of woman, artist and mother. Am In Contemporary? she asks in one work, if these days I still express my wish for equality. Stressed Out is a powerful video that illustrates that from birth to death life – particularly for women – is accompanied by fluctuations in identity and recurring fears about living up to expectations  –   those of society and, more particularly, one’s own.
 
In her engagement with the complex issues involved, Katharina Cibulka not only examines the notions of happiness, mental states, dreams and the survival strategies of contemporary women (and artists in particular) such as in the videos fireflies & GETTING MY NAME UP THERE or the poetic photo works Kralya Petra Prvog 10 A, in which a woman self-confidently “occupies” a space in Belgrade by planting flowers in a pothole in the street, she also reinterprets historical myths and stories about women’s fates as in the two photo works ÜBERLEBENDE (SURVIVORS) # 1+2 where she highlights the woman as a strong personality in the midst of tragic events.
 
For the opening there will be a performance (peek a corner) with the artist together with Verena Brückner, Almut Mölk, Margarete Straka und Tina Themel – five women from very different areas who talk about what affects them.

Petra Noll for the collective

MUSHROOMING publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
year: 2012,
MUSHROOMING
BILDER Nr. 258

In der ersten Ausstellung der FOTOGALERIE WIEN 2012 werden unter dem Titel Mushrooming fotografische und installative Arbeiten von vier jungen österreichischen KünstlerInnen gezeigt, die sich mit (Bild)Räumen beschäftigen, in diese eingreifen, sie erweitern, aufbrechen oder neu konstruieren. Durch diese künstlerischen Eingriffe wird der Raum über seine Bestimmung als architektonisches, festes Konstrukt hinaus als "lebendiger", wandelbarer Raum spürbar. Die Bildresultate haben mitunter skurrilen, surrealen oder auch unheimlichen Charakter; in allen Arbeiten geht es um eine Irritation der üblichen Wahrnehmung von Raum und Architektur bzw. um das Verhältnis von Raum und Mensch.

Elisabeth Czihak zeigt eine installative Arbeit, bestehend aus Farbfotografien und einer großformatigen Schwarz-Weiß-Tapete. Hierbei handelt es sich um eine irritierende Verschränkung verschiedener Raumsituationen und -ebenen. Das Motiv der Tapete ist eine von Czihak 2009 ausgeführte, über die Wände eines leerstehenden Industriegebäudes auswuchernde abstrakte Zeichnung. Darauf und daneben platziert sie Farbfotografien der Serie Otto S. Hierbei handelt es sich um Darstellungen uninszenierter, menschenleerer Innenräume, um einen verlassenen Ort, der nur noch die Spuren seines ehemaligen Bewohners Otto S. aufweist; durch diese "Leere" eröffnet sich viel Spielraum für mögliche Geschichten.

Die Fotoarbeiten der Serie Galerie-Raum von Catharina Freuis sind im vorletzten Jahr entstanden. Zugrunde liegen keine realen Räumen, sondern frei erfundene, aber auf kollektiven Gedächtnisbildern basierende Raummodelle. Diese künstlichen Räume sind so minutiös gefertigt, dass sie täuschend echt wirken. In der Bildabfolge der Serie geschieht eine Steigerung vereinnahmender, wuchernder Gebilde, die den Raum letztendlich zur Gänze in Beschlag nehmen und ins Surreale transferieren. Durch die Eingriffe der Künstlerin gerät der Raum zunehmend "in Bewegung", verformt sich von innen heraus und verliert die Starrheit seiner architektonischen Konstruktion. Die Arbeit ist eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Definition von Raum, Wahrnehmung, Wirklichkeit und Fiktion und somit auch mit dem Medium Fotografie.

Markus Guschelbauers künstlerisches Hauptanliegen ist die Beschäftigung mit dem Thema Landschaft sowie mit den Gegensätzen von Kultur- und Naturraum, Zivilisation und Idylle. Er greift mit naturfernen Materialien wie Plastikfolien, Stoffen und anderen Materialien installativ in die Landschaft ein und erzeugt damit optische Widersprüche bzw. surreale Bildkonstellationen, die er filmisch und fotografisch festhält: "Die Plastikfolie ist ein wichtiger Bestandteil meiner Arbeiten, die sich, eingefügt in die Landschaft, in ein eigenständiges, fast natürlich anmutendes Lebewesen verwandelt." (M.G.) Seine Eingriffe versteht Guschelbauer als Formung, Kultivierung und Ordnen von Natur, aber auch als Abstraktion, um eine neue Definition von Landschaft zu erstellen.

Michael Strassers künstlerische Arbeit changiert zwischen Fotografie, Installation, Skulptur und Performance. Der Schwerpunkt seines Interesses liegt in der Untersuchung der Beziehung zwischen Mensch, Raum und Architektur sowie in der Analyse des Verhältnisses von Repräsentation und Wirklichkeit. Mit surreal anmutenden Settings, die er ausschließlich für seine Foto- und Videoarbeiten konzipiert, greift er in reale Räume ein und transformiert sie. Die Fotoserie Domestic Sculpture Garden ist in verlassenen Wohnräumen, Häusern und Hotels entstanden. Aus dort vorgefundenen Materialien - wie beispielsweise Teppichen oder Parkettbodenelementen - hat Strasser skurrile Skulpturen oder Installationen gebaut und fotografisch und filmisch festgehalten. Diese temporären Konstruktionen verändern nicht nur die Räume, sondern auch die Beziehung zwischen Raum und Mensch.

Petra Noll, im Namen des Kollektivs