COLLAGE II publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
Welcome Home
BILDER Nr. 302


: Monday, 4 December at 7 p.m.
Duration: 5. December - 20. Jannuary 2018
Introduction: Katharina Manojlović
The Gallery is closed from 23 December 2017 until 8 January 2018

sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab

Dadaist and poet Tristan Tzara called the invention of the collage the most revolutionary moment in the development of painting and meant by that the fundamental break with established forms of artistic representation that it symbolised. Implicit to the technical processes of what comprises collage — gluing (Fr. coller), scratching, cutting, tearing, folding, mounting, assembling and de-composing etc. is the potential for radicality. While the papiers collés of the Cubists drew their sustenance from used, discarded and apparently banal sources, we are surrounded today with multiply reproduced, re-formatted and re-edited copies of constantly accumulating digital debris. The current focus of the Fotogalerie Wien will present four exhibitions and includes a wide spectrum of methods and processes used in collage in contemporary photo and video art. This renders the narrative and autopoietic strengths of this art form visible along with its innovatory energy as one of its fundamental and most evident characteristics, especially in relation to new technologies or spatial and sculptural expansions. The drift of the images is also always guided by energies that are anarchistic, driven by chance and play.  

The rooms arranged by Alexandra Baumgartner and Anita Witek seem intimate and alien at the same time. They elicit memories but keep no promises. Photographs come together by causing each other to disappear: imaginings achieve presence through absence. Welcome Home, the title of the show, may be read as a challenge to visitors, as an outsized pointer at the entrance to a building whose inner workings appear to be subject of Kafkaesque rules. Where are we here? What are we searching for? One collage by Alexandra Baumgartner, Introspection, consists of the frames of old mirrors that now hold black glass instead. Are they telling the story of the Die Geschichte vom verlornen Spiegelbilde. Or perhaps they conceal another world, as in Alice. In any case there is a loss of transparency which is programmatic for the work of both these artists: they make use of the indexicality and representational character of photography in order to create a reality that lies beyond photographic depiction.
Alexandra Baumgartner’s works draw on found photographs. These are often historical portraits on which she ‘operates’, carrying out autopsies that examine the material by means of cutting and sewing, over-painting and over-pasting, by burning away parts or mounting sections of the image inside each other. Her image constellations not only analyse photography as a medium but, by revoking the original functions of photographs and objects, open up inertial spaces in which things become displaced and uncanny. In some of the pictures holes open up that permit a view of what lies underneath or they obscure from our searching gaze the ones we are looking at. 
Blanks of this nature are also to be found in Anita Witek’s work. In her installation the artist has specially created for Welcome Home and which is reminiscent of folding screens, circular cut-outs puncture the material: exhibition space and pictorial level collapse into a singularity. As with Baumgartner, Witek uses found material. Her collages draw on an extensive collection of reproductions from mass media, newspapers and posters – ephemera, if one considers their conventional function – from which the central visual information has been removed. What remains are the cut out backgrounds, pictorial borders and silhouettes that have been separated with a knife: the shapes of our desires. The enchanting beauty of Witek’s collages – what attracts us – originates in the interplay of similarities and differences. Abstract formations that are self-referential and remain paradoxical while appearing familiar, just like what they are made of.
Katharina Manojlovic

SOLO IX: ROBERT BODNAR Opening29 January 2018 at 7 p.m.
IntroductionKatharina Manojlovic
Duration30 January 2017–3 March 2018
WERKSCHAU XXII - ROBERT F. HAMMERSTIEL publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
Home at Last
BILDER Nr. 301

Opening: Monday, 23 October at 7 p.m.  
Günther Oberhollenzer

24 October – 25 November 2017

Finissage, Artist talk and Catalogue Presentation
: Thursday, 23 November at 7 p.m.

sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab; SecurityAccess 

WERKSCHAU XXII is the continuation of the annual series of exhibitions in the FOTOGALERIE WIEN which has been going on for the last twenty 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, Ingeborg Strobl, Michael Mauracher, PRINZGAU/ podgorschek and Maria Hahnenkamp. For WERKSCHAU XXII we have invited the artist Robert F. Hammerstiel.

Robert F. Hammerstiel was born in 1957 in Pottschach (AT); he lives and works in Vienna. In his art works – photographs, films and installation – he is concerned with the human desire for happiness, comfort, security, idyllic surroundings and the associated wish-fulfilment projections. The acknowledgement of existential limitations and the hopelessness of being trapped in the Sisyphus-like circle of life combined with an increasing loss of orientation in a world that seems difficult to access leads to many people fleeing from reality into illusionary worlds of substitutes and withdrawals based on goods which the consumer industry offers via its effective advertising. These surrogates include private homes which provides the title of the artist’s retrospective in the FOTOGALERIE WIEN: Home at Last. Home is not only lovingly furnished and decorated by its inhabitants, cleared up and cleaned to the point of sterility, but is often also protected in extreme ways — simultaneous cocooning and formal separation by means of high hedges and alarms. This ambivalent homely/uncanny situation is depicted in a particularly emphatic way in e.g. the installation Private Territory III and a large format photograph from the four part series Make Yourself at Home VII. Other series are concerned with the different substitute worlds created for one’s own home. Artificial, mass-produced or ornamental plants hand-trimmed to a norm reveal the desire for decorative arrangements. “Portrayed” against a white background and staged with an advertising aesthetic, they are thus exposed as wish-fulfilment projections and shams, unmasked as illusions of a perfect nature (e.g. Trust Me, Yucca). The pet as a human protector and friend (e.g. A Dog’s Life, Rex) or the lovingly cared-for garden – with perfectly mowed lawns, mass-produced play equipment and a clean swimming pool – (e.g. Playground III, Warum bin ich nicht überrascht? [Why does that not surprise me?]) can serve as further handholds for people. Even if these items are only prefabricated and pre-conceived stereotypes and surrogates that pander to human desires, without them – perfidy of existence – people are helplessly exposed to their own fears and insecurities.
In his works Hammerstiel moves between staging and finding what already exists, between fiction and reality, and he achieves deep insights about our lives, our yearnings and hopes.

Accompanying the exhibiton:


from: Make Yourself at Home VII, 2014, C-Print, 30 x 53 cm
Edition: 30, handsigned and chronologically numbered
Price: € 250,- (excl. forwarding cost) 

The Photobook of the exibition will be 
presented on 23 November at 7 p.m.:

Photobook No. 58 / 2017
Text: Günther Oberhollenzer
A4, 40 pages, full color images, German/English
Price: € 15,- (exkl. forwarding cost)
ISBN: 978-3-902725-43-1

COLLAGE I publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
BILDER Nr. 300

Monday, 4 September at 7 p.m.
Katharina Manojlović
5.September - 14. October 2017
sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab
cooperation with: Galerie Stieglitz19, Antwerp
Dadaist and poet Tristan Tzara called the invention of the collage the most revolutionary moment in the development of painting and meant by that the fundamental break with established forms of artistic representation that it symbolised. Implicit to the technical processes of what comprises collage — gluing  (Fr. coller), scratching, cutting, tearing, folding, mounting, assembling and de-composing etc. is the potential for radicality. While the papiers collés of the Cubists drew their sustenance from used, discarded and apparently banal sources, we are surrounded today with multiply reproduced, re-formatted and re-edited copies of constantly accumulating digital debris. The current focus of the Fotogalerie Wien will present four exhibitions and includes a wide spectrum of methods and processes used in collage in contemporary photo and video art. This renders the narrative and autopoietic strengths of this art form visible along with its innovatory energy as one of its fundamental and most evident characteristics, especially in relation to new technologies or spatial and sculptural expansions. The drift of the images is also always guided by energies that are anarchistic, driven by chance and play.
The first exhibition is dedicated to collage as an artistic method. Its consistent use is characteristic of the work of the participating artists. What do the collisions and layers of fragmentary images mean for our perception? How do interventions to the underlying materiality of the picture effect its contents?  In the works that are being shown media-specific qualities of photography are taken to the extreme, principles of order and ways of handling pictures, user interfaces and archives are disclosed. Operations such as translation and abstraction are central here: over-painting and scoring of the photographic images distance them from their reproducibility; in-built picture interference subverts effects that the photographic medium itself generates, its indexicality and transparency, for example. The installation of various material and mediums as multi-perspective assemblages, not only expand the generally accepted notion of the photographic materiality but also its presentational form: the work and its surroundings begin to subvert one another; as viewers we become a part of events.
In Astrid Busch’s contribution to the exhibition, an excerpt from the installation all colors agree in the dark, different elements and light projections overlap to form a multimedia production that enters into a dialogue with the exhibition architecture and enables viewers access to new spaces. Light and its meaning for our perception of space, form and colour lies at the core. For her collages Busch arranges various materials including set pieces from art and everyday life to illuminated assemblages which she then images photographically. It is this writing with light that unfolds immersive qualities while reflecting on the staging of art at the same time.
Vincent Delbrouck’s wildly colourful, seemingly anarchistic wall collages and books draw on the intense experiences of place and landscapes as well as from reading. They bring together image and text fragments relating to personal obsessions with found objects and fictions to form painting-like narratives bound together by colour. In order to capture chaos, disorder and abundance, Delbrouck arranges his pictures in rhizome-like constellations that cannot be read in a linear way but function in the manner of dreams, intuitions and cycles. The ‘result of a simple involvement with the state of being crazy ... reality without the usual codes, hierarchies, reference grids ...’ (Delbrouck).
In the Wiener Werkstätte series Caroline Heider works with fashion photos from the 1920s by Madame d’Ora (Dora Kallmus) and Arthur Benda. By folding, cutting and other pictorial information-obscuring interventions, the picture surface and support are involved in a tense relationship. The focus arrives at what was previously invisible or ignored such as the crop markings on the negative. While the model’s body disappears, that of the image becomes visible: irritations that disrupt the ritualised scopic regime and make the act of picture viewing into a conscious experience. As in the original motifs – the Wiener Werkstätte reform dresses – Heider’s performative folds are turned into innovative ‘edits’ of traditional representations and decorative patterns.
Herbert Hofer’s works examine the conditions and possibilities of perception, memory and knowledge by taking into account the specific qualities of the medium and material of photography. In a fully analogue process the image of an object has an inverted, flipped 180° or mirrored version added to it, usually by taking the identical shot on colour negative film and a slide and gluing them together. This ‘sandwich’ is then processed in the laboratory. The resulting images may approximate their real models but because of the layering of the two conflicting perspectives they resist any unequivocal reading and evade associations with memory.
Paul Albert Leitner declares himself a ‘proponent of the theory that everything has to do with everything else’ and someone who ‘loves digression and paper’. There is no motif that has not featured in the over thirty-year oeuvre of this flaneur and collector of found photographs which, despite its universality, distinguishes itself by an unmistakeably subjective pictorial language. Given titles, dated and ascribed film and picture numbers, Leitner’s collaged still lifes are reminiscent of file cards. They present the photographs that are affixed to card as part of a universal reference system that contains a continuously expanding pool of new references and possibilities, a kind of archival appropriation of the world in which the selection and ordering of the abundance of images is as important as the act of photographing itself.
Lilly Lulay’s interest is in photography as a cultural skill and item of everyday merchandise and, in particular, in its role in the production and documentation of memory and social practices. For that reason her work usually draws on private sources and archives. The originating material for _Liquid Portrait fbarchive19012016_ which consists of a sculpture and a moving assemblage, is the visual content of a Facebook account. Lulay subjected the prints of the original digital file to a manual post production process by sectioning them with a scalpel. In the video we follow how the material with which the economy of attention of social networks demands to be fed is removed, layer after layer. The material is provided by the  silhouettes and picture backgrounds of the cut out objects and people. The result creates painterly and sculptural entities which vanish from our view almost immediately they come into sight.
The focus of Chilean artist Nicolás Rupcich’s work is the means of production and material conditions of the digital mediums of our time and engages with the question as to how they affect our society and perception. In the video EDF, we see landscapes in the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile. As we watch we also witness their obliteration. Objects that appear to be strange monoliths push threateningly into the image and obscure our view. A fade-to-black transition that is characterised by the signs of the eradication being inscribed into the image by simulating three-dimensional space: the process of erasure becomes part of the pictorial reality.
When is a photograph still a photograph? For her series, IgniferAnna Vogel removed the water bomber aircraft from news pictures using digital image processing, leaving cloud formations that float enigmatically in the image and convey a surreal feeling. Initially the artist used images from her own archive but has increasingly been making use of material found in the internet – often clichés: views that are ubiquitous and based on adopted patterns of thought and seeing. A sort of wistful placeholder, the empty space of which are filled by Vogel by intervening in the material, over-painting or incising, for example, thus reworking the photos into unique works that resist reproducibility.
Sinta Werner’s works are often generated by processes of transformation such as that from three-dimensional to two-dimensional structures and vice versa. The artist examines how space in images is created; the reality effect of the photographic medium is though thwarted. In Dekodierung der reflektierten Oberflächlichkeit [Decoding Reflected Superficiality] a Photoshop digital image-processing tool, the polygon lasso, becomes LED sculpture.  A photo that repeats the geometric rhythm of a façade in folds serves as the basis. Photographed again, printed and once again folded, the pictorial content is covered with irritating shadows. The series, Von Strömungen und Störungen [Of Currents and Interferences] uses views of iconic buildings to reveal cultural modes of perception by inscribing structures into the picture medium and picture interference counteract the representational function of photography.
Katharina Manojlovic
ABSTRACTIONS publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
BILDER Nr. 299


Opening: Monday, 12 June at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Petra Noll-Hammerstiel
Duration: 13 June – 15 July 2017
sponsored byBKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab
The exhibiting artists are showing photo and film works in which they use set pieces of reality – including nature, everyday life, architecture, science and the human body (or pictures of them) – to achieve new pictorial results or realities by radically and rigorously abstracting and disassociating them. These then have the power of evoking unconscious feelings and associations in the viewer. During the abstraction process the artists engage with picture production, methods of (re)presentation and transformation processes, thus aesthetic translations of structure, form and colour. The concern here is, furthermore, with the fundamentals of seeing and perception and thus with material, light, space and time as well as extending the limits of representationalism. A number of the artists make close connections to other pictorial mediums, moving into three dimensions either spatially or by making use of abstract sounds and thus successfully charging the pictures with emotion.
Magda Csutak is involved in exploring the area between mathematics and art and is presenting a wall installation, 7:11 – Eine andere Art von Lichtbild [Another Kind of Photograph], that consists of seven ellipses and eleven rectangles made of wafer-thin porcelain shapes. Practically, the work can be understood as an equation written in binary. The two elements of the system, the ellipses and the rectangles, were made sensitive to light with a silver emulsion over their silicon base. Disembodied, quantified material, the photon, the minute light phenomenon is pivotal to Csutak’s pictorial language. In the picture construction of 7:11 the similarities of thought between art and mathematics is emphasised; the mathematics that examines self-created abstract structures for their inherent characteristics and patterns. It is a language that seeks entities and not a rhetorical and narrative one. Csutak strives to show material – in its decelerated, sublimated form – as an actor. They require a great deal of attention before they cease to be perceived as the most important component of our electronic nano-world.
Christiane Feser is showing photo objects from the series Partitionen [Partitions], aesthetic compositions consisting of different mostly geometric forms made of paper that are serially arranged, usually abstract and often repeated which the artist has manually bent, folded and glued. In general, her works are based on a process of transformation which employs a number of work procedures: the sculptural works serve as a starting point and are photographed. Thereafter the photographs are physically manipulated to become objects once more. So the end point is always a unique product that oscillates between the two dimensions of a photograph and the spatial qualities of an art object. Feser constructs a new reality that is also determined by a calculated use of light and the resulting shadows – a disconcerting game of perception between illusion and reality, surface and depth, abstraction and representationalism.
Karø Goldt is presenting five short experimental ‘photofilms’ that are based on digitally manipulated photographs. Animation turns these into abstract colour compositions of great intensity and sensuality and given added density with accompanying music or sounds. Representational photographs are always the starting point of the transformational process – as in the last of a series of plant films, roi d’olivier (2013), in which photos of olives and olive wood are deconstructed into their electronic colour components and reduced to a vertical, painterly striped composition that changes in colour. In her most recent film, the shortest day (2017), she changed her procedure and here goes through the process of abstraction – representationalism – abstraction. Branches with snow slowly develop out of the striped picture with changing colours only to segue again into unfocussed/abstraction accompanied by music that emphasises the emotional states of ephemerality and melancholy but also agitation. Towards the end of the film the artist’s face appears briefly.

In her photos Anikó Robitz reproduces architectonic details that have been reduced to clear geometric forms and is presenting here various works or series which bear the titles of cities. Robitz searches for various structures in cities and in contemporary architecture which either remain clearly visible in her photos or disappear entirely. She is just as interested in spatial entanglements as with the proportions of the selected details and the wholes from which the details have been taken. Here, she is also examining the relationship of things to each another which can also cause the perception of space to appear in another light. These accentuated details are sometimes the walls of high-rise buildings which, compared to the actual dimensions are, in fact, small. At other times they are enlargements of fragments which are only a few centimetres in size in reality. The photos are composed in the camera and are not changed in post-production.

In her photographic and sculptural works Julia Rohn is concerned with industrially produced everyday products and their depiction in the media so that they dictate our perception, behaviour and emotions. By creating degrees of abstraction of these concrete products Rohn places them in new contexts. In the exhibition she will be presenting photographs (Waterfall and Cherry Kiss) of respectively two liquid soaps poured onto picture supports, where they intermingle and remind of tachisme works. She considers this process of spontaneous creation as analogous to impulsive consumer behaviour and market strategies which work on an unconscious level. In addition, she will be presenting photographs and objects made of washing-up sponges (Long Life). Liberated from their original functionality they become abstract works which allude to Pop Art, generate a discussion about colour, form, structure and materials and can be read as an ironic statement about our consumer culture.

Simon Perathoner’s concerns lie between art and science (technology); he is dealing with the relationship of humans to machines as well as with issues of representation in relation to photography. His series, Fragmented Images, consists of individual photographs on card – a recurring consequence of the same, de-contextualised but new image. The method is a reference to a piece of technical equipment which does not work properly. Here, the humanisation of the machine because of its functional failure is turned around: the artist depicts himself as a dysfunctional machine and simulates it in order to understand the mechanism which, although it has been created by humans is not always intelligible. This reversal is an attempt to demonstrate an encounter of human and machine in order to appropriate the characteristics of the machine and, as a human being, to reinterpret, re-read and depict them in the form of an image.

Petra Noll-Hammerstiel, for the collective
SPATIAL CONCEPTS publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
BILDER Nr. 298


Opening: Monday, 24 April at 7 p.m.
: Petra Noll-Hammerstiel
 parting the square (Melanie Ender in collaboration with Waltraud Brauner; text, concept: Melanie Ender): 8 p.m.
: 25 April – 27 May 2017
Accompanying program
: Artist talk with Alfredo Barsuglia: Thursday, 18 May at 7 p.m.

sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab

The exhibition is concerned with the structures and defining characteristics of space, spatial organisation but also with the dissolution of space and thus sounding out its boundaries. Here, the artists intervene in the actualities of architectural spaces or landscapes with performative actions, stagings or installations so as to define, bring to life or alter them. This initiative forms situations and contexts that make it possible to perceive space differently or even animate it in the first place. A further approach is an examination of interior and exterior spaces which are, or will be, used or occupied in different ways. Here, the artists react by observing spaces and areas without intervening in their structures. In this case their examinations are much more concerned with related social, political and aesthetic issues.

Alfredo Barsuglia is showing his video, Paradise, embedded in an installation of old wooden slats and sheets. This relates to the contents of the film which deals with the precarious situation of settlements in the Mojave desert, an extremely inhospitable area close to Los Angeles. On the basis of a nineteenth century law that allowed all adult citizens of the USA the right to settle on a vacant piece of land and to cultivate it for their own use, so-called homesteads – made of concrete, wood and tin sheeting – were still being created into the 1970s. On one hand the deserted huts are an indication of drop-out existences and an their intentional rejection of public infrastructure but, on the other, they also show the human inadequacies of people who reached their limits in dealing with this environment. An aging homestead owner who remained recounts, in close-up, that everything ‘about space and time’ can be experienced here and that the space provokes in-depth thinking about oneself and the relationship of humans and nature.

Melanie Ender opens up architectural spaces by performative actions and by moving her body in space. She is showing video works such as topographie apartment, in which she appropriates a living space by balancing on available pieces of furniture thereby making a sensory ‘measurement’ of the space and imparting vitality to it. The subjective gaze of the camera follows the movement of the body and transposes the performative action into filmic space. For the opening she will work together with Waltraud Brauner on the performance, parting the square, which is based on her conceptual text that verbally sketches visible and concealed movements of a body in space. Space and movement of the protagonist are described by geometric shapes which in repeated changes of perspective are actively depicted or externally describe the scene like instructions of a notation.

Jonas Feferle is concerned with the conditions of a space, reacting to pre-determined spaces and their architectural features by occupying them with art works such as Raumteil 1.4., a sheet of aluminium over two meters high and 1.5 meter wide, the surface of which has been incised. Because of the incisions on the sheet, set in strict accordance with a high-density concept and the position in the room chosen for the sheet, it can be seen from another perspective. Either the graphic arrangements accentuate the room or push it into the background. The room can be read as a two-dimensional picture, the pictorial sheet as a three-dimensional room element. By using aluminium sheeting which is normally used as a  backing for photographs Feferle is testing the materiality of the photographic image in space.

Markus Guschelbauer is showing various works dealing with the human subordination of landscapes and natural environment. The multi-media shelving unit, caught in the rack, in which videos, photographs, books as well as living and dead natural objects are integrated is conceived of as an interactive object intended to encourage visitors to engage with the boundaries of interior and exterior spaces. caught in the rack concerns order, form and archiving. Implementing the concept in various two and three-dimensional mediums means nature is – metaphorically spoken – ‘imprisoned in a sitting-room bookcase’. The domestication of nature by humankind is symbolised by being squeezed into drawers as well as rectangular or square, modular shelving systems which are the complete opposites of organic natural forms.

In the video work by David Muth, Footnote#01: Sipilänmäki, which was made in Finland, we see brightly lit greenhouses in the middle of the night. In the deserted pictures that appear so romantic, time appears to be standing still. The only movement is of the vegetation, imparted by a sporadic passing breeze. In actual fact, concealed inside the transparent greenhouses is an automatic food and plant industry run by machines. Nowadays it is possible to defy nature and, by using heating and artificial light, to produce tropical plants and vegetables at all seasons, even when it is cold and dark. Assisted by threatening electro music by Antti Tolvi, the greenhouses become alien architectural containers. This indicates the critical aspect of this work – the reference to industrial production processes which are disassociated from climatic conditions and natural cycles.

graue Kiste [gray box] by Swen Erik Scheuerling is one part of a series of videos in which the artist engages with exhibition spaces. In his video-/installations he creates ambivalent states of space, free-floating situations, and thereby shows that space, movement and perception are unstable values. The graue Kiste video was the first time that Scheuerling did not refer to a specific exhibition space but used instead a cardboard model of an empty, abstract square room that is reduced to walls and lacking any room-defining elements such as doors, windows, floor or ceiling. The model box, set in motion, turns, and is filmed from its centre. For the video the shots were quadrupled, time-shifted then montaged next to each other. The perspective of the enclosed cube is thus ‘unfolded’ in the manner of a panoramic picture. A regular backwards and forwards movement stretches the walls into a band and appears to dissolve interior and exterior views into one another.

In his documentary photo series, Production AreasMihai Şovăială examines empty spaces or  areas  which result from the demolition of Romanian industrial plants from the Communist era. At the time the factories drew people from far away and whole settlements, even whole towns, developed around them, however, without paying any attention to the structure of the nearby old towns. A flourishing economy was successfully established and Romania became an important exporter to Russia. During the post-Communist era these factories were demolished, thus opening the door for capitalist land speculation that was encouraged by political policies. Today these areas that once were factories have been – at least for the moment – forgotten. The photographic images of these empty spaces show a clear socially critical aspect and raise questions as to why functioning infrastructure has been condemned to become a wasteland.

Petra Noll-Hammerstiel, for the collective
Opening: Monday, 12 June at 7 p.m.
Duration: 13 June – 15 July 2017
VERSATILE PHOTOGRAPHY publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
Part II of the Partnership between Jeune Création Paris and Fotogalerie Wien
BILDER Nr. 297


Opening: Monday, 13 March at 7 p.m.
Introduction: Julian Tapprich and Margaret Dearing
Duration: 14. March – 15 April 2017

sponsored by: BKA-Sektion II; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab; Austrian Culture Forum, Paris; Institut Français Autriche, Vienna

Two artist collectives, the Association Jeune Création in Paris and the FOTOGALERIE WIEN, both institutions, that have been active for decades in encouraging and supporting contemporary art, have developed a collaborative exhibition project in the field of tension generated by photography and other mediums. The exhibition, which was shown in the Jeune Création gallery in Paris at the beginning of November 2016, will now be presented in an expanded form in the FOTOGALERIE WIEN. Project organisation: Michael Michlmayr, Julian Tapprich (FOTOGALERIE WIEN), Margaret Dearing and Edwin Fauthoux-Kresser (Jeune Création).

On the basis of the work of five artists who live in Paris and Vienna, the exhibition is an invitation to discover how photography penetrates the permeable borders of individual mediums and becomes part of the work material. Here, drawings, video and sculpture appear to be steeped in photographic images both in their materiality and in respect of the work processes and conceptual background too. The artists draw on photographic iconography for these fragmentary re-orderings – whether as archaic weaving, video animation, inlay work, transposing a flat print into three dimensions or reproducing it using charcoal drawing. For each of them the challenge seems to be to create new spaces that make it possible to render visible the connections of heterogeneous and differing pictorial material. Again and again the gaze bumps into these idiosyncratic configurations. The interventions in the image are visible everywhere and it rapidly becomes clear that the visual synthesis is only a fiction, a utopia. Each break in the material or perspective parades the irritation of the experimental mixture before our eyes that much more insistently and reveals the limitations on creating a unified whole. The different approaches taken by the artists in which photographs perpetually shine through calls specific characteristics of the medium into question: the motionlessness, the rigid point of view, the flatness, the limits of the picture. These lead to formulating questions that are wider than photography. How does one keep together what the image delivers in separate parts? How does one master the challenge of a defragmentation of the world?

Among other work Brigitte Konyen is showing the photo-weave Geschenkbild (Me, Myself and Them). The work is a self-portrait for which the first photo that Konyen made of her mother in 1971 when she was still a little girl serves as a thematic parenthesis. At that time each print that was ordered came with a small complimentary copy – a so-called ‘free gift’ picture – and this doubling up, this combination of large alongside small has always exerted a certain charm on the artist. For her photo-weave images the photograph is both starting point and work material. Personal photos, but photographically reproduced drawings and texts too are processed into art material by being woven. They appear in the grid of the image surface as little set pieces of memory, snapshots from Konyen’s life. Due to the two levels created by weaving the images overlap one another: details emerge showing us a familiar photographic reality in the abstract structure. Then again, other things are concealed and making associations is left up to the viewer. Time and place dissolve into self-made order. In general, her photo-weave works can be seen as a statement about the legibility of photography and how memories are constituted.

In Claudia Larcher’s work Heim [Home], one of the video works which she is presenting in the exhibition, a house is viewed from attic to cellar: Advent garland, leather suite, chandelier, printed curtains, a lawn mower that putters by the window, electric drill, screwdriver – the entire reservoir of a petit bourgeois provincial idyll, a well-lit icy absence of people. The work consists of a video animation in which still and moving images are edited into an apparently endless panoramic pan underpinned by an uneasy, droning soundtrack. This brings the uncanny up to the surface of the quotidian. Far distant from any rational sense the banality of evil is manifest in codes and allusions at the edge of perception and conveys a feeling of utter homelessness. Rooms have a distorted perspective and are bizarrely edited into each other. Sequences aspire to a chronology that consists only of snapshots, flashes of experience with no causal connection. (Thomas Mießgang)

The photo collage, The Great Train Robbery – A Little Journey Through Film History, by Klaus Pamminger, uses fragments from genre films of the whole of the twentieth century. These form the railway telegraph office from the first scene of Edwin S. Porter’s Western, „The Great Train Robbery“, one of the first films from the early history of cinema if not the very first ‘real’ film. What Edwin S. Porter developed in 1903 is to be found in all subsequent feature films. In Pamminger’s work, Fleming’s „Gone with the Wind“ together with Hitchcock, Buñuel, Kubrick and others right on up to Tarantino/Stone’s „Natural born Killers“, turn in a chronological spiral in the room. What always fascinates Pamminger with the inlay-like photo works is – in addition to the fundamental concerns with space and spatial perception in differing contexts – that as in painting, the production process leaves him almost completely free to compose an image. However, it is only the eye that determines the application of colour and brushstroke, by the selection of a particular section (here composed of filmic frames which, wherever possible, were manipulated no further). Space-time but also the substantive reference levels are taken into account equally and images are produced which, in their interaction, allow us to look outside the ‘spatial box’ and tell multiple stories simultaneously.

Timothée Schelstraete is showing charcoal drawings and paintings which are based on a collection of photos he made – literally snapshots, photos he discovered in the internet, in books or albums, film sequences ...They reflect the directly or indirectly fragmentary relationship he has to his surroundings and are the result of a kind of permanently floating attention. A subject comes up, the image attracts his attention, hypnotises him and then leads him on to another. Formal or semantic associations determine the work as if fixating on one thing too long and without sufficient reason had imbued it with meaning – without him intending to anything other than laying out some bait. By randomly linking fragments of the world he captures or creates with each other he obtains a kind of atlas, a constellation of motifs that follow an arbitrary chain of logic.

Beatriz Toledo has developed a process of creating art works that ascribes an expanded meaning to the photographic image and situates it in a wider context (photograph on wallpaper on wooden construction). Starting from the assumption that photography is a means of surveying and recording reality, Toledo brings into play sculpture and installation too, sounding out the boundaries between spatial parameters such as area and volume. The artist finds points of departure for her work in her everyday surroundings (views of her studio, press cuttings, found objects etc.): the pictures are deconstructed and reconfigured in space. In this systematic work which undermines the status of photographs and their integrity, the artist shows new stories and possibilities of interpretation. The resulting installations playing with overlapping, irritation and deception are thereby directly concerned with issues related to the materiality of the images. (Yannick Langlois)

Edwin Fauthoux-Kresser and Petra Noll, for the collective

SOLO VIII – CHRISTINA WERNER publisher: Fotogalerie Wien,
Wien: 2017,
There is always something left over ...
BILDER Nr. 296

Opening: Monday, 30 January at 7 p.m.  
Introduction: Hemma Schmutz
Duration: 31 January–4 March 2017
Artist talk with Christina Werner: Wednesday, 22 February at 7 p.m.

sponsored by: BKA Kunst; MA7-Kultur; Cyberlab

Since 2010 the FOTOGALERIE WIEN has put on an annual solo exhibition showcasing the work of a young, upcoming artist. This series of exhibitions, SOLO, functions as a platform and springboard for artists who are at the beginning of their career but who already have an extensive body of work that could be presented to a wider public with advantage. The aim is to achieve a sustainable level of public presence for the chosen artist and includes helping to organize cooperations and touring shows. For SOLO VIII we have invited the artist Christina Werner.

Christina Werner was born in 1976 in Baar (CH). She studied photography and media art at the College of Graphic and Book Art in Leipzig. Today she lives and works in Vienna. In recent years the artist has become increasingly concerned with the effects of globalisation and especially with current migration issues, the resurgence of nationalism and questions of representation. In her first comprehensive retrospective she is presenting four projects, one of which, the large scale work Something Is Always Left Behind is a new combination of two pre-existing projects, Neues Europa and The Boys Are Back. The central work of the Neues Europa  presentation is a 106-page booklet that is free to visitors. It stages a collision between media images and quotations from right wing populism and racist activities with pictures and descriptions of the scenes of crimes perpetrated against, and memorials to, victims. In addition, part of this project is a wall installation of fragmentary images of people at right-wing events, short film excerpts from nationalistic speeches and the text panel, The Boys Are Back, which allows a palpable change of mood.

Reflecting Pools is Werner’s most current project and it concerns the memorial culture at ground zero in New York. The images talk of a huge police presence, massive interventions in public space – like cordon barriers – and US American patriotism. The pictures and the photo book are combined with a video with Donald Trump (post 9/11), talking about a new building that has to be ‘huge and majestic’. Issues of urban development and national identity connect Reflecting Pools with the installation, Pipal, which also comprises a number of parts and is a documentation of the ‚Sabarmati Riverfront Project’ in Ahmedabad in India.

The title of the exhibition derives from a Thomas Heise quotation: ‘There is always something left over, a remainder, that doesn’t quite fit. And then the pictures just lie around and wait for history’.  

Hemma Schmutz and Petra Noll, for the collective