24 Viennese galleries showed exhibitions curated by special guest curators. The theme Hybrides was influenced by the present Covid-19 restrictive times. The gallery Raum mit Licht together with Heidrun Rosenberg selected 9 of her artists to participate.
Iris Andraschek, Sarah Bogner, Max Landegren, Alban Muja, Markus Hofer/Roman Pfeffer, Andrea van der Straeten, Rini Tandon, Josef Zekoff
Curator : Heidrun Rosenberg Due to the success of the "Curated By" exhibition, the gallery Raum mit Licht has prolonged their exhibition for another 2 weeks.
Heidrun Rosenberg Talks about the exhibition at Gallery Raum mit Licht : »HYBRIDS. Unknown identities« | Copyright 2020: Olena Newkryta
3D EXHIBITION RAUM MIT LICHT GALLERY
3D-360 Camera View | provided by Munchies Art Club | Solution
HYBRID | UNKNOWN IDENTITIES |RAUM MIT LICHT GALLERY
“Everything that mixes always takes place on borders.” Renée Schröder in conversation with Iris Andraschek
The father of genetics, Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), described organisms as hybrid if their parents were of different species. This is neither a characteristic to be acquired by the carrier itself, nor a specific external quality. Rather, the term focuses on the origin, the heritage of a hidden constitution. What Mendel called a hybrid is today understood as the motor of evolution and is as old as life itself. While modernity longed for the “pure”, “hybrid” has become the current key term for numerous phenomena of an increasingly complex world.
Selected works by nine artists from Austria, Sweden and Kosovo show what hybridity can do to the attitude to life. In free correspondence with the three thematic fields hybrid nature, hybrid minds and hybrid bodies, they use various media to address the problem of insoluble ambiguity, ranging from questions of evolution to discourses on identity projections in societies in the process of transformation.
Iris Andraschek (* 1963 Horn) presents us with a body of iridescent presence. In contrast to Sarah Bogner and Josef Zekoff, she does not draw from fantasy or literature, but from reality: early on she developed a special interest in communities that operate on the margins of “norm societies” and follow alternative life models.
In these social spaces, the boundaries between the public and private spheres are often blurred. The artist prefers to process her impressions in the medium of photography and drawing.
Talk with Heidrun Rosenberg and Iris Andraschek during Curated by 2020
Its painted outer skin is covered with reproductions of flesh-coloured limbs of long-haired sex workers, one almost wants to say “tattooed”, because the symbiosis between the identity of the driver, his vehicle and the business advertised is obvious.
It’s all about naked skin and yet not about nudity: the young women’s arms and legs swell with the streamlined shape of their wearer, mouths smile invitingly, but breasts and private parts remain hidden. Iris Andraschek uses her lens to strip away the illusion: the door remains closed, the view through the window leads into emptiness, the wing mirror reproduces the extremely distorted grey world of the street and the red taillights have gone out. “Golden Times” stands driverless in a car park.
JOSEF ZEKOFF | CURATED BY 2020
New Alexandria by Josef Zekoff (*1977 Vienna) provides an enigmatic counterpoint to hybrid talks. It is a large-format woodcut from the series eight new cities (2016). The artist has taken the risk of the letterpress process in a special way and lets the grain of the spruce-wood printing plate speak for itself: it leaves the authentic imprint of an unknown tree’s biography.
Knotholes, drops of resin and dense annual rings indicate vegetation periods in barren surroundings. Lighter and darker fields, which result from different ink adhesion, ultimately allow a cosmos-like primordial ground to develop from the printed surface.
An enigmatic linear structure stands out brightly in front of it: the artist has used various engraving tools to carve a geometric figuration out of the wood. One could describe it as an interlocking of three rectangular labyrinths. The entrance and exit seem to be on the left, there is no way through.
What spreads out before our eyes is rather a network of paths with many hairpin bends and turns, with dead ends and closed loops, a synonym for complexity. Alexandria, built by Alexander the Great in 331 BC as a planned city, was home to the most important library in the ancient world. Can the New Alexandria woodcut be read as the capital of our hybrid lifestyle?
SARAH BOGNER | RAUM MIT LICHT | HYBRID BODY
"I love the freedom of absurdity" answers Sarah Bogner (*1980 Munich) when I ask her about her preferred subject of the last few years. Since 2016, the versatile artist has dedicated herself to a series entitled Pink Horses. On paper or on canvas, in small- and large-scale formats, they hang and stand in her studio alongside pink brush bristles, ink bottles, empty eggshells, heavy printing presses and an Amedeo Modigliani postcard.
The earlier works show the pink creature in all its potency: a fantastic four-legged animal with three necks. With anarchic vitality the heads protrude recklessly into the surface. Dressage seems unimaginable.
Sarah Bogner speaks about her work at Gallery Raum mit Licht | Copyright : Raum mit Licht
Gender is not a question. Dimensions remain unexplained. Surface remains surface. The colour spectrum moves in a sought-after artificiality and shines with the maladjusted flair of modern toy production. All this is reminiscent of comics and anime and – although nameless – the characters of the heads are also as fixed as in the world of comic figures.
There is the horse with its indomitable, fuzzy yellowy-orange mane and pointed ears – it likes smoking cigarettes – then the daring cat with a baseball cap and finally the civilised gentleman in a bowler hat. Quite human animals, it seems.
But white holes denote the eyes and usually there is an eerie grin on their faces. They are only fictions; they are only masks. In the later works Sarah Bogner narrows the detail. The various character types are captured in individual portraits or shown in lively conversation in twos and threes. In close-up the fetters fall. The common continent of the body goes under.
Not only are these fantastic creatures hybrid, so is the artist’s technique. She carefully primes canvas surfaces until a fine-grained adhesive epidermis is created, then she mixes the colours: linseed oil, egg yolk and ink. These are applied in thin, watery layers. Sensations of fluidity take their unpredictable course: osmoses blur, colour clouds swell, crystallisations circumscribe. Sarah Bogner is one of a young generation of artists who have returned to painting – freed from ideologised conflicts between abstract and figurative positions. Freed from conventions, they draw from all conventions.
ANDREA VAN DER STRAETEN | GALLERY FESTIVAL | ABOUT HER WORK HYBRIDES
Andrea van der Straten | Talks about her work cycle "Twinks" | Copyright 2020: Olena Newkryta
Text, as a medium that takes shape in the process of gradually condensing polyphonic perspectives, could serve as a metaphor for the careful artistic practice of Andrea van der Straeten (* 1953 Trier) and is also her preferred object of investigation.
She combines found words and images, visual and linguistic, into highly referential works, and in doing so - not without humour - makes obvious what communication can convey, spoken and unspoken! Alongside photographs and film, her formats include collages, artist books, installations and performances. With this linguistic and media-analytical approach, the conceptual artist stands in a tradition that began in the 1960s. John Baldessari (1931-2020), for example, could be mentioned as an important pioneer.
The multi-part work Devices 1 – 4 by Max Landegren (* 1991 Stockholm) also deals with the conditions of the real world. The artist works on the threshold between sculpture in public space and performance. He received his decisive impulses from reading Donald Judd. To this day, Judd’s essay Specific Objects (1965) has lost none of its explosive power.
What the American artist called for in this was a concept of art that he described as “the new three-dimensional work”: the transcendence of European art was to be opposed by “specific objects” as a self-referential, material existence.
In this way not only was the conventional understanding of genres eroded. Viewers also found themselves in a new, participatory role. Judd’s invective can best be summarised in negation: no narrative, no metaphor, no perspective, no visible authorship, no subordination of the whole to the individual parts, but a confrontational counterpart who occupies the same living space.
It seems that many of the works by Rini Tandon (* 1956 Raipur) revolve around the existential parameters of a life at the intersection of different worlds of experience. In 1978 she decided to continue her art studies, which she had begun in Delhi, in Vienna. Today she teaches and works in this city without ever having given up her relationship with India.
"I grew up in a post-colonial, hybrid world and have never stopped adopting new forms of hybridisation", the artist says about herself. She is intensely concerned with the interlocking of different modes of perception, whether it is the spheres of seeing and knowing, of observing and remembering, of distance and participation. What if these spheres cannot be harmonised? Highly individualistic, poetic pictorial inventions are the answer.
Depending on the subject matter, she resorts to various media and materials. We search in vain for personal gestures or a fixable message. Rather, Rini Tandon questions these possibilities: "How can thoughts, theories, knowledge, sensations, concerns be transformed into a statement so that their realisation gives rise to an object, a drawing or a strand of images?" There is no ostensible narration, no linear development, no end point in her erratic works
ALBAN MUJA | CURATED BY GALLERY FESTIVAL
With the video installation Family Album Alban Muja (*1980 Mitrovica) caused an international echo at the last Venice Biennale. Young people emerged from the darkness of large projection screens in the Kosovar pavilion and quietly told of their experiences during the Kosovo war (1998-1999).
Quietly and unagitated, they sat opposite the Biennial visitors as if they were neighbours, while traumatic experiences slipped from their lips and could simultaneously be read in superimposed quotations.
Alban Muja | Video | Interview : Copyright 2020: Olena Newkryta
The people whom Alban Muja has brought to speak here in long shots are the people behind the media icons of the Kosovo war.
This work is about the fundamental discrepancy between what the mass media bring into every house as supposed documentary and the actual experiences, it is about corrupt collective memory, about fake identities, real identities and possibly hybrid identities.
ROMAN PFEFFE AND MARKUS HOFER |ROOM 2 | GALLERY RAUM MIT LICHT
Roman Pfeffer (* 1972 Vöcklabruck) also finds his subject in reality. With archaeological intuition he reaches for the fund of things that have just come to an end. Again and again he comes across objects that do not originate from ordinary household goods, but were conceived with selected precision and in valuable material for a special purpose.
On closer inspection – like the one-time bottle dryer – they reveal themselves to be the heart of our civilisation. In the following experimental phases, the artist analyses their construction and composition, dismantled, decomposed, sawn up – without regard for losses. He then playfully tests unfamiliar connections on the material remains and finally reassembles the arsenal of parts in a new order.
The two-part work The Restricted Conference (2011/2013) shows how such a process takes place and what can be created in this way. It consists of a video film (camera Viktor Schaider) and a large photographic work (c-print) and has been realised together with Markus Hofer (* 1977 Haslach), an artist who shares Pfeffer’s creative attitude towards found objects.
The fact that the current situation of the chronic restriction or even cancellation of meetings gives this work a surprising topicality was not foreseeable. The first scene of the film shows an empty room. A functional conference table spreads out on a worn board floor: lacquered wooden board, two solid metal legs, four outlets for cabling, a button telephone.
That’s all, no chairs. In the rear wall, however, there is a row of sockets: what was negotiated at this table should be connectable, should have a wide effect. No doubt, important decisions were made here. Finally, both artists join in, rapidly alternating close-ups accompany their practised movements and cast a spell. Calculations are measured.
As if it were a show trial or a ritualised execution, the destructive work takes its course. Nothing associates this form of dismantling with the blind aggression of the Viennese Actionists Friedrich Achleitner and Gerhard Rühm, who in April 1959 smashed a piano on an open stage with deafening noise. Roman Pfeffer and Markus Hofer are not concerned with vandalism, but with transformation.
We watch this act from the distanced proximity of a scientist. Through the camera and without sound, the observer’s status is geared towards a purely visual experience. Sparks of white flame fly as the metal saw starts. Viscous glue dripping from the saw indicates the turning point. In the end the table has indeed disappeared, but there are no broken pieces of debris in front of us. What we see are two identical chairs and the telephone. Only the round openings in their backrests and some unfinished edges betray their genesis in second-hand material and remind us of the simulated paper worlds of a Thomas Demand. The chairs have long ceased to exist. But the artists have captured the pair in a portrait on a large colour print. Smartly facing each other, they stand together in the septic design of a purist room, without a socket, without a telephone, as if they were waiting for Godot or the next transformation.