BIOGRAPHY III - YOU publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
BILDER Nr. 281


Opening: Monday, 15 December at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Elke Krasny
Finissage and Catalogue Presentation: Wednesday, 28 January at 7 p.m.
Duration: 16 December 2014 – 15 January 2015

The Gallery is closed from 22 December 2014 to 6 January 2015.

sponsored by: BKA Kunst, MA7-Kultur, Cyberlab, Bezirkskultur Alsergrund    

The contemporary self is under pressure. It has to assert its own capital between he technologically expansive social networks and the self-published performance record demanded by neoliberalism. The self has to be both affective and effective. At the same time there is continuous access to its increasingly de-privatised data. In this year’s special focus, BIOGRAPHY, the FOTOGALERIE WIEN is showing art works that engage with the complex issues of life experience from different perspectives. The curatorial team, working in an intensive dialogue with the participating artists who work with photography, video and film, have developed a tripartite series of exhibitions with the titles ICH, WIR and DU .

The third exhibition, BIOGRAPHY – YOU, is presenting art works that create a biography other than one’s own in a way that is protective, pleasurable, critical, analytic or deconstructive. How can a real-imaginary or documentary-fictive you become the locus of a conceivable biography? ‘I is someone else’ (Car Je est un autre) wrote French poet Arthur Rimbaud in a letter to Paul Demeny in 1871. When the you is treated as an I, and the I has always been someone else, then the you’s complexity is increased. At the same time, this is then used as the imagined site of attainable closeness and unattainable distance, activating both differences and parallels to the artist’s own biography. The art works are characterised by issues of destabilised subjectivity, questionable constructions of identity, postcolonial positioning, transvestism, operative sex changes, transgressive and queer sexuality, infractions of the norms and constructions of whiteness and blackness or speculative, nightmare-like projections

For many years Irene Andessner has been working intensively with the medium of portraiture. Until the mid-1990s her work was focused on self-portraits but from then on she involved many other people to whom she lent her face. Whether it is the renaissance painter, Sofonisba Anguissola, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Austrian photographer Alice Schalek or the Madonna del Arte, they have all been Andessner or the other way around – they have all been embodied by Andessner. Her re-enactments as portraits give women of the past a new face, bringing them back into the present. ‘I draw on an image of women which others make,’ says the artist. The FOTOGALERIE WIEN will be showing individual pictures from various series so that in the exhibition Andessner will be repeatedly appearing as ‘someone else’.

Alessia Bernardini works towards developing life stories from subjective narrative perspectives. The core of Becoming Simone is formed by a narration that unfolds a complex biography using the simple means of both photographs and short texts that might well be found in a family photo album. A video pages through the lovingly made artist’s book that pays attention to every detail. We see Angelina as a child, a young girl. She grows up. At the age of 51 Angelina decides to undergo an operation that will change her into the man she always was. Angelina becomes Simone. As Bernardini emphasises, her project is ‘an examination based on memories, courage, unease, dreams and expectations’. In the artist’s book past and present, discouragement and courage are overlaid in a way that is both simple and subtle.

Eva & Adele refuse to reveal any biographical details. They are the artwork. So biographical details are limited to height, bust, waist and hip measurements (in centimetres). They invented themselves. They invented their time – they are from the future. This began in 1989 and since then they have existed in mutual dependency. They are always together with their YOU, appearing together at openings, for example. The documentation of their lifes’ art work often take over others; in the studio those photos become part of the art work  that is Eva & Adele. They are always identical in appearance – closely shaved heads, colourful make up, often dressed in pink. They emphasise that: ‘we combine both genders in ourselves. We work for the right of every person to determine their gender for themselves without having to be operated on’. The exhibition will be presenting the Polaroid diary – the original is 15 meters long. Each Polaroid is the first photo before they go out in public after make up and close shave. It serves the artists as reassurance.

FOURDUMMIES is a fictitious performance collective that has been in existence for a number of years and is concerned with issues of authorship and linear historiography as well as the possibilities of situational and participatory performance. Because the entire picture archive of their work was misplaced, FOURDUMMIES took the loss of their own past or, rather, the liberation from the documentary evidence of their artist past, as the starting point for a collective reconstruction. A retrospective with the title A Haptic Avatar of Visual Perfection was to have been shown at the Imagetanz Festival 2014. Now passers-by were asked for help in rediscovering the history of previous performances. The photographs of the series, Image Recovery, are the result of this process. A selection of them will be shown in the exhibition.

In her art work Sara-Lena Maierhofer combines the methods of investigative journalism employed in tabloid press exposures with those of scientific research. Fictional documentarism determines the form of the work which focuses on a biography that borders on the unbelievable. Dear Clark traces the life of an impostor and marriage swindler who lived many lives. He is the most famous con man that ever lived. Born as Christian Karl Gebhartsreiter, the names he chose to use – such as Christopher Crowe or Clark Rockefeller – seem more important. The 2010 television film, Who is Clark Rockefeller? took up his spoor and unravelled the life story of the FBI’s most wanted impostor who claimed to be a descendent of Rockefeller. In her work Maierhofer uses fiction, deception and speculation in order to question facticity as a whole. The exhibition will be presenting a photobook and selected photos.

In 2012 Anja Teske published a book, Zuckerpuppe, with her own photos and texts. The subtitle of the book is Stefan und Juwelia. They are one person and two I’s. They are familiar with Anja Teske and her camera, they are friends. For eight years the four of them, Stefan, Juwelia, Anja Teske and the camera have been working on recording their existence. ‘Photographs made and text material collected by Anja Teske’ is printed on the cover of the book. It contains an essay by Wolfgang Müller who published the 1982 manifesto of the West Berlin scene, Geniale Dilettanten, dedicated to the transvestite scene and its history. Anja Teske’s photographs show Juwelia at home in ornamental opulence, imposing colour and vulnerable transgression ‘If I achieve what I want, then I am 1000 years old writes Stefan/Juwelia. ‘He gives her the space that she needs,’ Anja Teske points out.

Stacey Tyrell uses the conventions and means of portrait photography in order to critically expose the conventional stereotypical gaze of ethnic ascription of ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’. The title of her work, Backra Bluid, is a linguistic combination that expresses the ambiguity and hybridisation of her photographs. Backra Bluid links the Caribbean with Scotland. Backra, white master or white person, is archaic Caribbean slang with West African roots. Bluid, blood or kinship, is a Scottish word. The Afro-Canadian Stacey Tyrell slips into the role of white, middle class women, taking on their poses, dressing in the appropriate clothes in order to underline the palpable reality of the women and girls she depicts. By incorporating the historical conventions of painted portraits in her project Western imperialism undergoes a subtle clarification.

In her work – drawings, installations and videos – Stephanie Winter is concerned with questions of fiction, memory and consciousness. The title of her work, Der Doppelgänger, is a reference to Heinrich Heine’s poem of the same name that was published in 1827. This was included in the book of songs part three, Die Heimkehr and one year later was set to music by Franz Schubert in Der Schwanengesang. Stephanie Winter’s Doppelgänger, a 14 minute film shot on 35mm film, was made in 2009. ‘Upon seeing his face, I am terrified. / The moon shows me my own form! / O you Doppelgänger! you pale comrade! / Why do you ape the pain of my love.’ (Heine) Winter’s protagonist is a traveller who, although he just manages to get a seat in the train at the last minute, only journeys towards his own inner turmoil. His introspection leads to dreamlike faces, dark forebodings and fantasies. There is no escape.

Petra Noll and Elke Krasny, for the collective 

AFTERMATH – TOPOGRAPHIES publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
Changing Cultural Landscape: Tendencies of post-Yugoslav contemporary photography
BILDER Nr. 280


Qëndrëse Deda (KOS), Majlinda Hoxha (KOS), Amer Kapetanović (BiH), Borut Krajnc (SLO), Nenad Malešević (BiH), Goran Micevski (SER), Duško Miljanić (MNE), Bojan Mrđenović (CRO), Vigan Nimani (KOS), Ana Opalić (CRO), Darije Petković (CRO), Mirjana Stojadinović (SER), Dejan Vekić (BiH), Sandra Vitaljić (CRO), Antonio Živkovič (SLO)

Opening: Monday, 10 November at 7 p.m.
: Dejan Sluga
 11 November – 6 December 2014

Cooperation of FOTOGALERIE WIEN and Photon Ljubljana /Wien
: Miha Colner, Dejan Sluga
Associate curators: Mirjana Dabović, Albert Heta & Vala Osmani, Saša Janjić, Ana Opalić & Sandra Vitaljić, Zoran Petrovski and Branka Vujanović.

sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab

Aftermath. Changing Cultural Landscape is a group exhibition that brings together the principal protagonists from the field of contemporary photography active in the territory of the former Yugoslavia following its disintegration. Moreover, it is the first regional research and curatorial platform established in order to identify and articulate principal tendencies within the field of contemporary photography in relation to its immediate environment. With the participation of partner organizations throughout the former Yugoslavia, the exhibition displays the results of an extensive investigation of the far-reaching effects of large-scale social shifts reflected in the physical and mental environment. Due to its temporal span, Aftermath provides an interesting confrontation of artistic reflections and expressions of various generations that either experienced the period before the disintegration of the common state or originate from a completely new social context.

The exhibition is displayed in two sections titled Topographies and Insights in FOTOGALERIE WIEN and Galerie Photon Wien.

Fotogalerie Wien: Topographies

Qëndrëse Deda (KOS), Majlinda Hoxha (KOS), Amer Kapetanović (BiH), Borut Krajnc (SLO),Nenad Malešević (BiH), Goran Micevski (SER), Duško Miljanić (MNE), Bojan Mrđenović (CRO), Vigan Nimani (KOS), Ana Opalić (CRO), Darije Petković (CRO), Mirjana Stojadinović (SER), Dejan Vekić (BiH), Sandra Vitaljić (CRO), Antonio Živkovič (SLO)

The section of the Aftermath exhibition displayed at Fotogalerie Wien shows photographic works with strong topographic features and an analytical approach. These artists are (usually) dedicated to long-term working processes in order to explore their immediate surroundings and the diverse social, cultural and economic phenomena induced by turbulent structural changes in the area of former Yugoslavia. The works display a topography of people and places and visible changes in the environment that reflect the general atmosphere of discontent regarding the collapse of social welfare and lack of perspective.


We are happy to announce two further exhibitions:

1. In the context of our art exchange with the Photon Gallery Ljubljana,
Poljanska 1, 1000 Ljubljana/Slovenia

Markus Guschelbauer, our SOLO-artist 2013
Opening: Tuesday, 28 October 2014 at 7 p.m.
Duration: 29 October – 5 December 2014
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday

2. In the context of our cooperation with Photon Gallery Vienna,
Absberggasse 27/ 9, 1100 Vienna:
Part II of the exhibition Aftermath with the subtitle Insights,
also in the context of "eyes-on"

Opening: Thursday, 6 November 2014 at 7 p.m.
Duration: 7 November – 23 December 2014
Opening hours: We–Su 12 a.m.– 6 p.m.


Irene Andessner (AT), Alessia Bernardini (IT), Eva & Adele (DE),
Four Dummies (AT), Sara-Lena Maierhofer (DE), Anja Teske (DE),
Stacey Tyrell (CA/USA), Stephanie Winter (AT)

Opening: Monday, 15 December at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Elke Krasny
Duration: 16 December 2014 – end of January 2015

NERVOUS SYSTEM publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
BILDER Nr. 279

Opening: Monday, 6 October at 7 p.m.

Introduction: Andreas Müller

sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab, Wiener Linien

As with the production of art itself, the lives of artists are largely determined by economic circumstances. This is not only expressed by the artist´s individual presence in the art market system but also often becomes part of the critical reflection in the works themselves. The show will be presenting the positions of young artists who have only recently graduated but also those of artists who are already an integral part of the system which the exhibition intends to question.

Isabel Czerwenka-Wenkstettens project KÜNSTLERMILCH / ARTIST'S MILK, an excerpt of which will be presented in photographs, shows the artist with her child in an artificial setting which inscribes the work into prevailing sociological conditions: she not only throws light on the delicate relationship between the family and the production of art – and especially the radical break caused by her becoming a mother – but simultaneously renders visible strategies within the closed system of the art business by both drinking expressed breast milk and filling glasses with it.

The Polish art collective, Grupa Azorro, has been concerned with the subject of the art business for some considerable time. In the work, Portrait with a Curator, the group places itself in galleries and other art spaces which, because of their layout, facilitates the filming of a group portrait which includes a completely unaware curator. In this playful way a further discursive meta level of the art business is pointed out – in addition to the formal quality of art production – and manifested in the reality of contemporary understanding of the artistic representation in networks.

Matthias Krinzinger’s work, € 92.000.- (Große Kinigat) connects the inherently subversive interaction generally present in his work with the art market by photographing the red (sold) dot – emblematic of the commercialisation that takes place in the art market – that he attached to Große Kinigat mountain in Eastern Tyrol. The sale of the mountain staged in the picture is based on real events: its actual sale. By equating it with the field of art the singular assertion of private ownership is confronted by a public – and thus general – cultural treasure and therefore renegotiated. The work will be supplemented by further installative interventions related to the subject.

The photo series, Experimental Sets, by Sigrid Kurz takes her oeuvre in the area of institutional criticism one step further by making the structures of exhibitions the core of her work instead of the exhibitions themselves. Her focus consists of shots of lighting systems which are to be found in use in exhibition spaces, displays and shows. These are given the limelight by changing their position – the original view of the ceiling is turned into a floor. This turns the spotlights themselves into an exhibition installation and the systemically implicit notions of production and presentation are thus also transformed into subject matter to be examined.

With its self-imposed drill, the video installation, 100 Days of Mad Rush by Hyo Lee, engages with the pressure to perform inherent in the art business. The artist, with no previous knowledge, undertook to learn the piano piece of the same name by Philip Glass in just 100 days and meticulously documented the process in text and images. The video, which at the end shows her playing, is supplemented by original film material of pianists engaged in the never-ending process of fragmentary and collage-like repetitions thus critically drawing our attention to the ‘schooling’ that art imposes until it is a perfectly adapted exercise.

The three channel video installation, The Connection of Three Spaces by Suzie Léger is a translation of her performance with the same title in which the artist appropriates the language of a well-known conceptual artist. By describing a room concept using it, the interchangeable empty phrases she employs  are applied  an art system which has become so highly self-referential that the process unmasks it.

As is customary in his work, Roman Pfeffer’s video piece, Waiting, makes use of a word game (waiting/waiter) which conflates waiting and serving. He holds two wine glass in his hands which are hit by streams of water. The fact that he is unable to serve them without moving away from the feed flow describes the equation of an overflowing artistic potential that is still insisting on its implementation. Thus reflects in a paradigmatic way   the social image of an ‘artist-on-call’ whose wealth of ideals and creativity seems to be solely determined by economic demand.

Angelika Wischermann’s video, Oneironaut, shows the artist engaged in an underwater parcours between balloons. As she wanders from one balloon to another loaded down with weights, drawing air from each in turn so that she can continue to breath underwater, the life threatening setting in which she has voluntarily placed herself can be read as a metaphorical interrogation of the artist’s existence.

F O T O G A L E R I E    W I E N
Andreas Müller and Petra Noll,  for the collective

BIOGRAFIE II publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
BILDER Nr. 278


Opening: Monday, 1 September 2014 at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Elke Krasny
Duration: 2 – 27 September 2014

Accompanying program / Film presentation in our cinema:
Dariusz Kowalski, Toward Nowa Huta, AT 2012
Tuesday, 23 September at 7.p.m.  
 sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab; "KULTUR im alsergrund"

The contemporary self is under pressure. It has to assert its own capital between he technologically expansive social networks and the self-published performance record demanded by neoliberalism. The self has to be both affective and effective. At the same time there is continuous access to its increasingly de-privatised data. In this year’s special focus, BIOGRAPHY, the FOTOGALERIE WIEN is showing art works that engage with the complex issues of life experience from different perspectives. The curatorial team, working in an intensive dialogue with the participating artists who work with photography, video and film, have developed a tripartite series of exhibitions with the titles ICH, WIR and DU .

The second exhibition, BIOGRAPHY – WE, reflects on the self within the wider surroundings of family, society and country. The show concerns the influences and imprintings of sociocultural, political and geographical realities on individual biographies in various societies with their differing traditions, life conditions, patterns of behaviour, ordering and discipline. Questions about one’s origins lead to research into the past and to a confrontation with the effects of the consequences on the life of the individual. Examining personal and collective memory as well as the customs and traditions of one’s country of origin are also relevant here. What has persisted, what was documented, what suppressed, what ‘enhanced’? And how do contemporary individuals deal with these testimonies, what place do they take within a wider context and where do they situate themselves?

Miriam Bajtala is presenting the work Erster Preis in which she translates the sport successes of her own biography as a former competitive gymnast into the machinations of the art system. Since 2011 Bajtala has awarded or received 20 prizes generated from the sports trophies she won. “Starting from the desire to win one, I asked myself what the symbols of recognition were within the art system: an exhibition in an important art institution, art prizes or a spacious studio inflate the value of the work on the exhibition market. In Erster Preis I reverse this principle of dependence: until the age of 17 I was an apparatus gymnast and won many trophies. But what does one do with these signs of recognition many years later? I gave first prizes to institutions, art critics, curators based on their estimation of my art work’. (Sabine Winkler, in: exhibition catalogue In meinem Namen, Secession 2013). Among other things, she will present photographs of the ‘barter transactions’ to date.

In the multimedia project, Covergirl, Tina Bara & Alba D'Urbano are concerned with the ascription of meanings, conditions of circulation, reception and context of photographic images in relation to social systems as well as with memory and the reconstruction of history. The starting point of this extensive and largely biographical work was a collection of private black-and-white photographs taken at a women’s nudist meeting in 1983 in the GDR and an artist book published in 2007 by the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig on the cover of which Tina Bara discovered herself depicted naked as cover girl – with a black bar across her eyes and with a line indicating its confiscation by the state security apparatus. This idiosyncratic path from private to political documentation and to art photography does not only raise questions about art and media practice, but also, and decidedly, about personally experienced history.

The video To Destruct / To Lose / To Extinguish, by Tiago Casanova deals with personal and collective memory. A Super-8 film from the 1970s that the artist found at a flea market in Barcelona provides the found footage raw material. It shows what for many people is a typical holiday by the side of a swimming pool in Spain. The film brought to mind Casanova’s memories of similar experiences. Running the film through his grandfather’s broken projector, slowly destroyed the film material. The video shows the destruction of the film in real time to the accompaniment of the projector’s chatter. Here, the disappearance of memory is the central subject – a feeling of loss and the irrecoverability of past experiences becomes palpable.

Ahu Dural pursues questions of origins and identity in her video, Birlikte I Zusammen. The parents of the Turco-German artist emigrated to Germany very early. She and her sisters were born there. Today the artist lives mainly in Vienna. The wedding of a relative in Ankara provides the occasion for researching into her own family and reflecting on its customs and behaviours i.e. on what Eastern and Western cultures have in common and where they differ. The film is a portrait of her parents as well as a consideration of migration – her mother and father decided to return to the  country from which they came.

In the collaborative video work, Familienidylle, (digitalised Super 8-film) Christian Kurz, Maria Porsch, Bastian Schwind and Flo Staffelmayr appropriated the style and characteristics of Super-8 film. Beginning in 1960s, this was the filmic medium that first allowed mass documentation of annual celebrations and the upsurge in holiday and excursion tourism. The video tells the fictitious story of a young couple from an Austrian middle class milieu in the 1960s and 1970s in a series of scenes separated by leaps of time. They meet, make excursions together – among other destinations, to the atomic reactor in Zwentendorf (showing the enthusiasm for technical developments of the time) – and become involved in the classic clichés of the period.

Born in 1949 in the Ukraine, Evgeniy Pavlov was an underground artist in Kharkov for many years. His photo project, Home Life Book – Dairy of a Photographer's Life, with texts by his wife, Tatiyana Pavlova, allows us profound insight into life in his homeland. The black-and-white photos and texts reflect the situation in the former Soviet Union together with the radical changes in living conditions and survival strategies resulting from the fall of the Iron Curtain and the associated dissolution of the USSR. Private, social and political life are mixed together with personal and collective emotions. The photos, showing landscapes, still lifes, family and self-portraits, interiors and street scenes, take on a defined profile and particular poetry from his wife’s texts.

Eva Thebert’s film Vom Reden und Schweigen is based on a confrontation with her own origins. She tells the story of her grandparents, a narrative which becomes, as she says, ‘the telling of my own story’. Torn between admiration  and feeling terrified, Thebert, when conducting interviews with her grandmother, tried to also ask herself questions that went beyond the conversation itself.It was a return to the Nazi period and the story of the German cultural minority in former Yugoslavia of which her grandmother was a member. The silence with which she was met in answer to some of the questions about the Nazi period shocked her. At the same time she was impressed by the private life of her grandparents and touched by their tale of war and flight. The question as to how she herself would have lived hangs over the whole film.

In her film-text-installation, Strange Fruits, Maja-Iskra Vilotijević confronts her personal memories and links them to the history of her native country. Born in Yugoslavia at the beginning of the 1980s, her life has been strongly influenced by political events in the region. Her family was torn apart and had to flee. Even today these experiences continue to have a strong influence on her social and familial life. She pursues the question as to how the political and economic situation interlocks with the complex and contradictory history of her family. The work is divided into four chapters, each dedicated to a family member (Sister, Mother, Brother and Father). Her personal memory of experiences, her family’s memories, the collective memory of the numerous people affected by the Balkan Wars as well as documented cultural memory are all inseparably linked.

Elke Krasny and Petra Noll, for the collective

WERKSCHAU XIX – MICHAEL MAURACHER (AT) publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
Film and Foto
BILDER Nr. 277

Opening and catalogue presentation: Monday, 16 June 19.00 at 7 p.m. Introduction: Ruth Horak
Duration: 17 June – 19 July 2014

Workshop talk with Michael Mauracher: Wednesday, 16 July at 7 p.m.

Sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab
Cooperation with: Museum der Moderne Salzburg / Österreichische Fotogalerie / Fotosammlung des Bundes

WERKSCHAU XIX is the continuation of the annual series of exhibitions in the FOTOGALERIE WIEN which has been going on for the last nineteen 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, Hans Kupelwieser, Robert Zahornicky and Ingeborg Strobl.

The FOTOGALERIE WIEN successfully invited Michael Mauracher to take on this year’s "Werkschau". Born in 1954 in Klagenfurt, the artist grew up in Salzburg and lives here. He is a co-founder of Galerie Fotohof, Senior Lecturer at the Mozarteum University, Salzburg and Honorary Professor at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig and will be showing a cross-section of his work from the late 1970s to the present. A catalogue will be published for the exhibition along with Fotoedition No. 13. The focus of the presentation is on the relationship of film and photography – the title is taken from the Werkbund exhibition of 1929, initially because of its succinct, denotative naming of the two mediums that greatly influenced the twentieth century – as well as on the autobiographical aspects of Michael Mauracher’s work and its inquiries which reflect on the two mediums.

The artist uses film where photography, the medium of motionless, silent images, reaches its limits: time is forced to a halt, movement represented and acoustics imagined. In accordance with this, Mauracher is attracted to motifs that concern these points: a continuous flow of images such as a travelling shot along a Greyhound route in the USA, the motif of a flag trapped in a fixed frame which, because of its incessant movement, can never be captured in a single “ideal image”, and a film shot such as that of a red portable record player, its movement sustained by the sound of Paul Simon’s hymn to Kodachrome, the legendary Kodak colour film which ceased production in 2005. The rarely- screened Super 8 short films and videos accompany the post 1982 photographic work. Travelling camera shots in real time, shots with immovable frames, or the correspondence between subject and image are recurring stylistic devices. There are also frequent reminders of photography per se, as when Mauracher watches photographers on observation deck of the Empire State Building attempting – in vain – to use flash to capture the New York skyline making it clear that “every flash stands for an unsuccessful image”. Ever since flash units have been built into cameras they have promised a more extensive world of images. But only within a radius of three meters. (Ruth Horak).

The autobiographical aspect in Mauracher’s work, researching and archiving his own family history, is to be found in his book, Talwärts (1993), and in his artist’s book, Und ein fremdes Mädchen (2007), where it is linked with world and photographic history. One of the characteristics of many of Mauracher’s works is the way they: weg that they relate images to each other: the old and the new, the personal and the collective. In doing so the artist remains intentionally objectively distanced, not as regards the narration but, rather, in the commentary made on photography itself. In Portrait of a Man, a study of an anonymous man over a period of more than three decades, the representational potential or expressiveness of the photographic image is questioned – one of many reflections on the media contained in the artist’s work.

Petra Noll and Ruth Horak, for the collective

BIOGRAPHY I publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
BILDER Nr. 276


Opening: Monday, 12 May 2014 at 7 p.m.
Duration: 13 May until 7June 2014
sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab; Collegium Hungaricum, Vienna

The contemporary self is under pressure. It has to assert its own capital between he technologically expansive social networks and the self-published performance record demanded by neoliberalism. The self has to be both affective and effective. At the same time there is continuous access to its increasingly de-privatised data. In this year’s special focus, BIOGRAPHY, the FOTOGALERIE WIEN is showing art works that engage with the complex issues of life experience from different perspectives. The curatorial team, working in an intensive dialogue with the participating artists who work with photography, video and film, have developed a tripartite series of exhibitions with the titles ICH, WIR and DU [ME, WE, YOU].

The first exhibition of the BIOGRAPHY trilogy is dedicated to autobiography. The individual’s experiences of childhood, family, illness and religion that often run up against the limits of what can be communicated as well as the various methods of introspection determine the artists approaches. The precision of the ME exhibition lies in the fact that the “me” is neither reduced nor described at the level of the lowest common denominator but, rather, the experiential aspects of one’s own life are given public form in transgressive constructions, deconstructions and reconstructions.

The historical Elephant Man (Joseph Merrick) sold his printed biography to visitors to the freak show in which he appeared in Victorian London. It begins I first saw the light... and this is the title of Phillip Warnell’s 16 mm film. However, instead of the Elephant Man we see evidence of the work of his handwork, traces of his physical presence. During a stay in the Royal London Hospital Merrick made a cardboard model of a church. It has been preserved to this day exhibited in a vitrine. It has been meticulously recorded, circumnavigated and measured by the camera. Warnell’s film pursues that life of transhumanist transgression, spectacle and bio politics.

In her long-term project, Kinderwunsch [A Desire for Children], Ana Casas Broda exposes the intimate relationship between her pregnant body and the growing infant bodies of her two sons. The strength of radical vulnerability talks to us from these photographic explorations of self-knowledge. Maternity here is understood as a complex process of becoming where changes always imply an alterity that cannot be divorced from the experience of the children.

For the series Summer 2013, Anja Manfredi used photo development trays as plant holders. Metaphorically and literally plants embody the contradictions between ordered cultivation and unbridled proliferation, between well-tended care and a transgressive breaking out, between nurture and resistance. In her work Eine Geste wird belichtet [A Gesture is Exposed],  (2010–2013) she crosses the borders imposed by the flatness of the photograph by moving into space, exchanging the stasis of photography for the movement of 16mm film and translating the individual frames into a curtain with the abstract signs of a choreography.

In Une enfance (im)possible avec mon père [An (Im)possible Childhood with my Father], Brigitte Konyen reworks the entrenched conventions of the photo album that one is prone to accept without question. Everything was as it appears in the photo album. Using the few photographs she has of her father she generates a new, imaginary and desirable childhood in which her father is suddenly present whereas her real childhood experiences were marked by his absence.

Christoph Burtscher
is showing Arbeiten an einem Wunder  – Neun Versuche zu HIV-, Blut- und Heiligenbildern.  [Works about a miracle – nine images about HIV, blood and saints]. He links his experience of religion – he attended a religious boarding school – with the experience of HIV. Blood is the direct link between miracles and disease, between saints and Aids, between hope of being cured and degeneration. In his art works bodily fluids and their concrete abstractions connect the venerated with the outcasts.

Rudolf Strobl constructs memories by using the photographic medium. Nothing is left to chance here. Memories have to be planned. He takes up the relationship to his parents and the spaces of his childhood recording them as a matter between documentation and fiction while at the same time giving the former a voice of their own. He is exhibiting one large format photograph from the Fenster [Windows] series. It reduces the room to a window and curtain thus blocking the view and opening up a space for imaginary memories.

The impossibly elusive day of one’s own birth is celebrated as a birthday. For the last 22 years Hermann Capor has been recording in a strictly conceptual obsession the changes on his birthday, morning to evening, and the changes in his life due to the way this special day passes on a single roll of film (12 exposures).The rules that apply to this birthday chronicle state that the film has to be completely exposed and that none of the photos – even if something went wrong when they were taken – can be left out.

Krisztina Fazekas-Kielbassa works through the traumatic experiences of being abused by her mother and also shows that even the potential for artistic re-working of experience runs up against painful limitations. The extreme borderline experiences of suffering, pain and abuse is ineradicable and the artist makes their ineradicable nature present. At the same time her work is evidence that it is possible to employ artistic strategies as a defence against inarticulacy, the powerlessness of the experience.

Elke Krasny and Petra Noll, for the collective

DON'T TOUCH THE VANISHING POINT publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
BILDER Nr. 275

Julie Gufler, Annja Krautgasser, Simona Obholzer, Almut Rink,
Patrizia Wiesner-Ledermann

Opening: Monday, 7 April at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Melanie Ender and Julian Tapprich
Duration: 8.4.- 3.5.2014
sponsored by: bka – Sektion VI/ Kultur, MA7-Kultur, Cyberlab        
In the exhibition Don’t touch the vanishing point, five artists are showing photo and video works containing invented pictorial landscapes that guide our perception in a new direction. Their engagement with language, text, text images and picture information plays a major role  here. In their works which are sited between reality and fiction, the artists (self)confidently employ fractured dialogues and linguistic constructions, user manuals, codes and picture errors without creating dramaturgical high points. A foreign world opens up that initially appears to have a high degree of inaccessibility – we encounter shadow-like beach-goers, the eroding Großglockner mountain or cryptic text-image landscapes. These are worlds where other laws and signs hold sway but they open up to us via their inherent poetic associations.

Julie Gufler was born in 1983 in Copenhagen and lives there and in Hamburg. The artist and writer also works in the visual arts genre, examining the potential of text and language of that context as well as producing images that can arise from her texts. She is showing the video works Eine Ökonomie des Gesichts and There is a Tension in This Connecting String, for which she animated text material. It forms patterns that become a picture. In the video Eine Ökonomie des Gesichts the individual animated words come into being slowly, the sentences form in the opposite direction to the normal top to bottom. They entangle and thus cannot longer be read by the viewer. The content is irritating – instructions about how to fold an origami crane from a face – engaging with the portrait genre, a further area which the artist is concerned.

Annja Krautgasser, was born in 1971 in Hall in Tyrol and lives and works in Vienna. She is presenting two video works. Zandvoort was made on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands. Here an unmoving camera is pointed at the beach landscape in which little “stories” happen. Pin-sized, shadowy protagonists move in different rhythms along the beach. They appear only to disappear again. It remains uncertain as to what is real and what fictitious. The 13 minute video shows the events of a day in time lapse but it nevertheless conveys a feeling of calm that borders on the meditative. In contrast, the original (natural) sounds were not reworked in post-production. As in Zandvoort, the video Prelude deals with space. Here, too, people are viewed from a distance – in this case they are out for a walk. Space here is abstract, something that only comes into being because of the people moving through it.

Simona Obholzer, born in 1982 in Tyrol, lives and works in Vienna. Her silent, approx. five-minute video work, 6:00-8:00, – the title refers to the time of day during which it was shot – shows how waves behave within the limits of a swimming pool. Various shots examine the inter-relationship of water, movement and technology. Because of the framing and the absence of bathers, the images created become abstract at times. The rhythmic movements of the water rise and fall, go forwards and backwards like breathing. The concrete nature of the swimming pool architecture is always present in the image and contrasts with the effect of the movement which can be described as meditative and sensual. The work opens up associations, expectations and questions especially in relation to that which is a suggested absence, like the sound and without proposing an answer.
Almut Rink, was born in 1971 in Erfurt/Germany and lives in Vienna. For the FOTOGALERIE WIEN exhibition she will be making an installation developed out of the video work Reverse Engineering. For the video she set out on an “expedition” through computer landscapes using 3D software. Starting out from the cocooning strategy that the screen journey includes, Rink alludes to, and transforms, the screen language of a landscape rendering programme. The language and structural content is dissected – nature as a mental space and a projection. In this “tutorial” the parameters of this digital nature-space are examined. The text material of a 3D user handbook, a psychology of migration and her own commentary interlock making a continuous first-person narrative. In the end the landscape/identity which has just been generated begins to erode.

Patrizia Wiesner-Ledermann was born in 1981 and lives in Vienna. She is showing photo works from the series Words may change your image (2008) and Your image is a code (2009) in which she examines the relationship of the perception of images and writing. Landscape photographs are covered in texts. These consist of the digital text code of the photo concerned. She is engaging here with the fact that although a picture can be described, it cannot be adequately translated into concepts. This is why the ways of seeing pictures and the experience of them as concepts are always depicted as a visual opposition. When the code of the photograph becomes a visible component of the depicted landscape, then text and image encounter one another in a single field. This leads to a change of perception because the pictorial motif is covered to a large extent by text and the decipherment of the code gets lost in the details of the image.

Petra Noll, for the collective

SOLO V publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2014,
Lea Titz
BILDER Nr. 274

Opening: Monday, 24 February at 7 p.m.
Introductory talk: Silvia Eiblmayr
Workshop talk with Lea Titz and Silvia Eiblmayr:
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 7 p.m.

sponsored by: BMUKK; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab
Special Sponsors: Rahmenhandlung Josef Mitter, Leutner Bildwerkstatt

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. For SOLO IV we have invited the Austrian artist Lea Titz.

Lea Titz (*1981 in Graz/AT, lives and works in Vienna) studied under Gabriele Rothemann at the Vienna University of Applied Arts and graduated in 2009. In SOLO V, in order to examine the reciprocal relationship of different methods of depiction and description, she is showing an extensive selection of photographs and videos which also interface with other (art) disciplines such as sculpture, literature and statistics. In her conceptually developed pictures Titz is concerned with another way of seeing and another aesthetics and thus with achieving new experiences. She is interested in the inconspicuous, incidental objects which she liberates from their original purpose or causes their transformation by means of changes in levels of reality, thereby obtaining pictures that are partly poetic, partly ironic. This also applies, for example, to her video Tumbleweed (Ursula Blickle Video Prize 2007). Here we imagine ourselves in a great hall – the perfect stage for high drama, an impression that is heightened by the sudden introduction of the theme from Once upon a Time in the West. The scene disintegrates with the realization that we are looking under a bed as “dust devils” fly around – “an irritating poetry of animated objects” (Anselm Wagner). Deception as a method is also employed by Titz in photos of functional objects in Japanese public space. They look as if they were made of wood but are in fact of artificial material (such as Hayashi). The photo works, Saxa Rubra and Fisch [Fish], are concerned with examining the medium of photography. Here, we are dealing with a direct enlargement of a detail of a camera display using an analogue enlarger. The touristic landscape/ urban view appear to be schematic and out of focus. Visually speaking, the tools shown in the picture files computed by the digital camera take the foreground. This facilitates the achievement of very poetic pictures far from the intentions of a depictive photography. Titz also has undertaken an alienation of the likeness in the Baryt prints of the Graze series – Indian ink overpaintings of views of her home town, Graz, with additional critical texts.

Petra Noll on behalf of the collective