"Don't speak with your mouth full, it's very bad manners! You either speak or you eat. Not both at the same time. On one side a differentiated flux - the variety of food taken up in a process of disaggregation, chaotisation, sucked up by an inside of flesh - and on the other side, a flux of elementary articulations - phonological, syntactical, propositional - which invests and constitutes a complex, differentiated outside. But strictly orality is at the intersection. It speaks with its mouth full. It is full of inside and full of outside. In the same space, it is complexity in chaotic involution and simplicity in the process of infinite complexification. A dance of chaos and complexity."
MARGIT MARIA HARTNAGEL
"KEIN STERN IST ROT"
Margit Hartnagel's painting consists of dots, dabs or areas of colour that melt away on the canvas, merge into each other and communicate with each other or leave themselves free space. They have neither sharp outlines nor clear contours, but remain in a kind of blur, an intangible, misty state.
Hartnagel's material, which she uses as paint, is no ordinary paint. She mixes colour pigments into a resinous incense milk, the smell of which spreads imperceptibly over the paintings and shines further into the room. Their aura is meditative, calming and light. Not only the vibration of the colours but also the vibration of the smell of the material mix and give Hartnagel's cycle "Arising Colors" a very special aura and stillness.
When looking at Hartnagel's works, questions about our identity have the space and the stillness to emerge. The artist herself reflects on social utopias, how we relate to others and places that might feel right.
"KEIN STERN IST ROT"
Florian Nährer's geometric forms are not only a formal means. They express a demarcation from the Other.
Nährer's surfaces express current political tendencies, constructions and systems that man has devised and put in place for himself in order to take possession of the world, are expressed in the form of colourful, different geometric surfaces.
The question of how to demarcate oneself from this takes place formally in the pictorial space or in the space between above and below, ceiling and floor, and in terms of content between heaven and earth.
On the one hand, the subtle use of textiles in the form of fabrics and ropes creates a tactile sensual impression that encourages the viewer to grasp and take hold of them. On the other hand, it makes the viewer aware of the meaning that certain arrangements and folds of fabrics as well as the knotting and intertwining of ropes can evoke and the emotions and thoughts that arise in the process. Questions about covering, protecting, delightfully opening, making visible and demonstrating arise during the viewing. The fact that women and men are illuminated in their social position, in their position within a family structure, a circle of friends and acquaintances, an association or a company or in society makes one think and concerned. Hierarchies, ways of behaviour and ways of thinking are shown and substantiated by research. The artist deliberately puts her finger on grievances and, based on her research of legal texts on human rights, conveys the situation she found herself in during her first stage of life and how little changes have been made to date with regard to human dignity.
Dr.in Tanja Gurke, Kunsthistorikerin
"IF I CAN'T BREAK THROUGH THE ROOF I WILL MAKE OUT WITH THE WALL"
"Sometimes a theme or a supposed fact is suddenly very present to me, but unnoticed around me, simple carriers are enough for visualisation and I often consider it necessary to process it in this way. This makes conceptual art in particular unrestrictedly extensive and metaphysical, as idiotically obvious, since basically anything can serve and even in uncurated everyday life constellations of objects inevitably create an impression. Our brain just works like that, we connect objects and states and read from them, we understand. Similar to my oil paintings, which are compositions of visual stimuli, like a memory. So there are also unexplained zones in my paintings, like those that the brain would invent in the process of remembering. No memory or thought is a crystal-clear image. It is all sequences and compilations of distances and intensities, whether they are melodies, made of tones and pauses, or pictorial, constructs of colours, lights and shapes, nothing more than namable distances, like intensities, like rhythms." (Quote from the interview with Daniel Lichterwaldt in Les Nouveaux Riches)
Kubik works in the fields of painting and installation. His interpretation of the exhibition's title consists of an installation that shows a fragment of the sky on the sloping roof, two fragments on the gallery floor and a metal frame that shows fragments of rebar as a background and fragments are installed in front of it again. Like the rebar, the material of the fragments is also used for the construction and consists of polystyrene, which serves as a canvas. The fragments appear as if they had been torn out of one of his semi-abstract paintings; the material of his paintings is mostly oil on canvas. However, in the exhibition he also works with oil on metal, letting fragments of the background shine through, in which the viewer is reflected and becomes a fragmented part of the work through the reflection.
"IF I CAN'T BREAK THROUGH THE ROOF I WILL MAKE OUT WITH THE WALL"
Bianca Regl is an Austrian Artist who lives and works in Beijing and Vienna.
In the show at gallerygundulagruber she presents a variation of large and small formats in her medium oil on canvas.
The erotic motif shows female lips, slightly opened, so that the teeth and tongue are visible.
Her wet on wet technique, which limits time, emerges into a dynamic picture. The focus lies on colours, the pink lips, which seem to rise out of a dark coloured background as well as on movement as the title of the exhibition suggests.
Regls interpretation of the title is deeply rooted in her special use of color and brush strokes, which express an erotically charged, inherent strength, power and magnetism and her interpretation of movement.
From social media exposure to prospection, it all starts in the unlimited. The unlimited, that man-made canons and fears managed to bring to a certain shape and aesthetics that per se limit the unlimited, our fantasies and imagination.
The acknowledged unlimited is a place designed by humans, that advocates its independence and universality. We expose our online selves to public opinion and anticipate the future within the scope of imposed politics and borders. Appropriation of already limited imagination manifests in our social media selves whereas thoughts of coming future get stuck on the borderlines of the uncanny unlimited.
"TH - SERIE"
For the solo exhibition at gallerygundulagruber, Stefan Tiefengraber is showing three works from the TH series. TH-50PHD7E, TH-50PF9EK LINE and TH-42PF20ER DISC x 5 are kinetic sound and video installations consisting of obsolete plasma screens. By modifying them, visitors can immerse themselves in a moving soundscape.
Tiefengraber uses the titles of the works to refer to the type designation of the plasma screens used. These are common devices that have been used for many years in the context of exhibitions and events. Today, however, these screens have become obsolete due to new technological developments. Tiefengraber transforms these former carriers of art into art objects in their own right.
In his works Tiefengraber plays with the meaning of the function of the devices and objects used, breaks with their predetermined purposes and modifies them. Fixed structures are deconstructed and questioned. This experimental approach and exploration of old as well as current technologies and their combination, lead him to new and unpredictable results and can also be found in the works presented here.
Mascarade Marathon is the title of the exhibition by Margareta Klose as well as the name of a queer performance collective founded by Nina André & Margareta Klose,
which deals with the most revolutionary image: the mask. Masquerade as radical & transtemporal drag shows what it hides and transforms us participants,
to freak out about the dichotomies that constitute us: FREAK OUT! We guide the audience as Méduse & Influenza via Popsong-Mantras through exhibition spaces.
Singing Karaoke together makes collective embodiment tangible: language is a virus. We are freaking the borders between Selfie & Human & Machine & Animal due to our smartphones, our body extensions.
We are more than a self, a garden full of microbes, a fermentation of collective embodiment within a lifelong Mascarade Marathon.
"FABRIC FUEL 2.0"
In the exhibition Fabric Fuel 2.0, Julia F. Zöhrer shows drawings on fabrics. These cut textiles create an almost object-like approach to the works through their hanging. The pictorial language on the works is mystical, grotesque and seems symbolically charged. There are mixed creatures of humans and animals, groups of people seemingly performing ritual ceremonies, and plants drawn in reduced form. A metaphorical reality is created on these flexible picture supports. The mostly monochrome depictions of people, animals and suggested landscapes are mixed with open spaces. Through the intimate imagery, the viewer almost becomes a witness to an unexplored scenery when looking closely.
In difficult times, where the Ukrainian war triggers indignation, fear and insecurity in Austria, do artists have to be political and react to the ongoing political situation? If yes, can it be reflected yet or only reacted to it? Do artists have the duty to be political or is it enough to refer to personal matters? Is it possible at all to separate these topics in the artistic practice? And should galleries, which are supposed to be commercial, show political art? Does political art have to look formally disturbing, or can it also be regarded as visually beautiful and decorative?
MaJia is coming from a Chinese background, where dictatorship in a Communist regime is part of everyday life. Her attitude towards art is on one hand formally strongly influenced by her Austrian Professor Heimo Zobernig, with whom she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, but also by her Chinese artistic education, where she started as a representational painter. And, of course is she influenced by the socio-political environment, she grew up with in China.
At the exhibition at ggg the visitors are warmly invited to explore the artistic outcome and it’s narrative, which refers to tombstones without epitaphs as well as board games, and answer the questions for themselves or discuss them with the gallery owner and the artist.
For Walter Benjamin, language is the medium of communication. It extends not only to all areas of human intellectual expression but also to all of animate and inanimate nature. It is essential to everything and everyone to communicate its spiritual essence, its content. In contrast to the medium of language, the medial is the immediacy of all spiritual communication. It represents the magic in language.
The spiritual being of man is language itself. He cannot communicate through it, but only in it. He communicates his spiritual being by naming all things. According to Benjamin, the word of God shines forth from all things silently and in the silent magic of nature. The names man gives to things are based on how they communicate themselves to him.
The translation of the language of things into the language of man is not exclusively a translation from the silent into the vocal, but also the translation of the nameless into the name through a continuum of transformation. The paradisiacal language of man must have been a perfectly cognisant one that differentiated itself in the multiplicity of languages.
Michael Endlicher picks up on various points of Benjamin's thesis in his examination of language. In his exhibition "MUTABOR" ("I will be transformed") he shows, among other things, a new room-sized installation with letter pictures as well as a new set of automagic and head sheets.
„This seeking for my home… was my affliction….Where is-
my home? I ask and seek and have sought for it; I have not found it.“
In the exhibition, Daniela Trinkl poses the question of a cure for a better world. The longing for something good and beautiful, a healthy environment, makes her escape into another world. The material, polyurethane foam, attracts her because of its organic, living character. Its appearance evokes a comforting feeling, like whipped cream or ice cream in pastel shades, like a vintage look of a bakery in a future version.
Her objects, to which she gives the name Props, represent beings or things of an unknown, perhaps more hopeful world. They reference masks, costumes, disguises and mystical objects respectively.
Yet they remain uncanny, just like the material - a little too pretty and a little too delicious. Behind the masks, the double layer emerges, which thematises our world of beautiful appearances. The material is actually artificial and made of plastic, which does not save the earth but destroys it more and more.
"A FLOWER FROM THE HEART"
Heidorns canvasses look like microscopic structures, which are usually hidden in the natural world. Inside the microscope, light or electron beams either scan over the surface of a sample or shine through the sample to produce images that hold the stories to be read.
Fibers connect the inside and the outside of a cell, forming pathways that carry messages through the cell’s inner landscape. The oval area is a specialized part of the cell surface that acts as a hot spot for message proceeding. The message in Heidorns expressionist paintings, looking like a 3D Pointillism of an organic, green cosmos, is that of a spirituality, that lies behind it.
The figures in Heidorns paintings, which are reminding the spectator of the contemporary Manga comic culture or the fictional creatures in Pokemongames, seem helpless and hurt, lost and fragile by no longer being connected and part of the natural environment surrounding them.
"ARE WE GAMBLING AWAY THE WORLD?"
“The work of art still has something in common with enchantment: it posits its own, self-enclosed area, which is withdrawn from the context of profane existence, and in which special laws apply.” Theodor W. Adorno.
Grünfelders figures appear as multilayered alphabetic letters within a monochrome background. They are shown in awkward scenes and estranged situations. Yet they seem to shine from within. Painted questions like „Is everything lost already?“ or “What is the surplus value of discomfort?“ are elegantly and poetically provoking a reflection about the conditio humana.
Grünfelder is currently living and working in Vienna. His works are part of various collections such as the Collection Leopold.
"I research cultural histories and create inter-media environments for these extant forms.
I am musician who performs improvised and creative music, and hybrids of jazz, rock, punk, funk and psychedelia. Through the process of listening, and then choosing what to play, I am ‘'editing in real time.'
As a studio artist, I can use the skill of editing to make aesthetic decisions. I distill thematic interests into conceptual and abstract inter-media installation, performance and 2d and 3d objects.
The end result of my visual and inter-media artistic production must have clarity of intention.
The goal in both music performance and in visual art/installation is for the audience to disregard their presumed assumptions and then interpret and evaluate what they witness."
"I'VE HEARD THERE IS AN AFTER HOUR"
"Since a couple of years I work intensely with old empty buildings before they are being renovated or demolished. I transfer the material of the remaining walls to fragile transparent fabrics. These fabrics, covered with old wall material, form the foundation of my future artworks.
I get my material directly from the border around those empty spaces and create new bodies out of them. I transfer tapestry, plaster, dirt and old wall paint to my fabrics. The result depends on the condition of the walls, it is them and their history that decides.
Currently I am working mainly in a figurative way with the wall material and I transfer it in the form of bathing or sport suits to my fabrics. Strongly inspired by the time I spent in Brazil, The Bikini is probably the most important piece of fabric in Brazil and since the 60ies and the sexual revolution it stands worldwide for the female empowerment."
"MAGA MEETS MARIE"
In Stephanie Misa (PHL / USA)’s most recent installation, MAGA MEETS MARIE, a visually compelling assemblage of banners, hats and chandeliers create references to QAnon, Proud Boys and Marie Antoinette. These objects in the gallery space enable a critical engagement with multiracial whiteness as recently played out in a cosplay turned violent riot at the US Capitol, a cartoonish parody of the storming of the Bastille. As Karl Marx writes in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, people ‘anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language’, a séance of revolutions past and present.
"MOVIE EXPLOSIONS #2"
For this work, the artist transforms explosion scenes from well-known and lesser-known films into a flickering three-channel experimental video installation with his experimental approach. Following a predetermined rule, he edited the video and sound by cutting and reassembling the individual frames of these scenes to achieve the shown result.
At current times, movies are often edited with very fast cuts and spectacular images in order to stimulate the viewers. The artist takes this to the extreme by using the fastest possible form of editing – frame by frame, but thereby also creates slow motions of the individual scenes.
The solo exhibition of the Chinese artist MaJia at ggg - gallery gundula gruber is showing her sculptural work, divided into two parts.
On the left side of the gallery one big work made of 12 steel beams is located combined with three small pieces and a plate, that is fixed on the wall. The triangular shape of the gallery roof reminds of a church-like situation where the square plate on the back wall functions like a mystical cross. The drilled holes in the surface of the three small pieces are reminding of gunshots. The steel beams are also placed in a square emanating the aura of a memorial by its monumental presence. Not explicit but present is a latent feeling of violence, loss and remembrance to circumvent the attempt to forget something not mentioned and kept in secrecy.
On the right side of the gallery the sculpture in the middle describes a door surrounded by three shaped steel tubes placed in three corners.
A square, a long, narrow plate and a small mirrored t-shaped piece are placed on the walls around the door-like sculpture.Despite their heavy weight, they seem to hang effortlessly on the wall as freed from gravity. The setting in the gallery is quoting the stage design for the Russian Futurist opera „Victory over the Sun“ made by Kazimir Malevich initiating his Suprematist phase. The opera tells the story of a time traveler who is reporting of a changed society in the 35th century that is living without violence.
"CANARY IN THE COAL MINE #2"
"To restrain while being "devoted” aptly describes my way of working. It is this very kind of “rationality”, which conveys my unique attitude and point of view. Thereby,
my works are able to achieve a deep and lasting beauty, in resistance against the vanity of reality."
If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like. Leap clear of all that is corporeal and make yourself grow to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time, and become eternal; then you will apprehend God. Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights, and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God. - corpus hermeticum
Gallery Gundula Gruber presents „Erratum“, an exhibition of collages by Thomas Gegner. The collages consist of found images and function as a distorted image memory, juxtaposing cut outs from magazines and books collected by the artist. The artist is entangling intuitively pictorial and lyrical elements put together in a visuality alternating between sloppiness and precision using not only second hand magazines or books but also materials like old glass or wood.
Taking the spectator on a fractional journey through time without a fixed date, the collages evoke individual associations.The exhibitions title „Erratum“ refers to a mistake in a printed or a written document. It is left open to the spectators to decide what to rectify.