"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."
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.
„Es ist eine weitverbreitete, ja fast allerorten als Selbstverständlichkeit herrschende Meinung, daß das Schrifttum die sittliche Welt und das Handeln des Menschen beeinflussen könne, indem es Motive von Handlungen an die Hand gibt. In diesem Sinne ist also die Sprache nur ein Mittel der mehr oder weniger suggestiven Vorbereitung der Motive, die in dem Innern der Seele den Handelnden bestimmen."
Für Benjamin ist Sprache das Medium einer Mitteilung. Sie erstreckt sich nicht nur über alle Gebiet menschlicher Geistesäusserung sondern auch auf die gesamte belebte und unbelebte Natur. Es ist allem und jedem wesentlich, sein geistiges Wesen, seinen Inhalt mitzuteilen. Im Gegensatz zum Medium Sprache ist das Mediale die Unmittelbarkeit aller geistigen Mitteilung. Es stellt die Magie in der Sprache dar.
Das geistige Wesen des Menschen ist die Sprache selbst. Er kann sich nicht durch sie, sondern nur in ihr mitteilen. Er teilt sein geistiges Wesen mit, indem er alle Dinge benennt. Laut Benjamin strahlt aus allen Dingen lautlos und in der stummen Magie der Natur das Wort Gottes hervor. Die Namen der Dinge, die der Mensch ihnen gibt, beruhen darauf, wie sie sich ihm mitteilen.
Die Übersetzung der Sprache der Dinge in die Sprache des Menschen ist nicht ausschließlich eine Übersetzung vom Stummen ins Lauthafte, sondern auch die Übersetzung des Namenlosen in den Namen durch ein Kontinuum der Verwandlung. Die paradiesische Sprache des Menschen muss eine vollkommen erkennende gewesen sein, die sich in der Mannigfaltigkeit der Sprachen differenziert hat.
Michael Endlicher knüpft in seiner Auseinandersetzung mit Sprache an verschiedenen Punkten der Benjaminschen These an. In seiner Ausstellung „MUTABOR“ („Ich werde verwandelt werden“) zeigt unter anderem er eine neue raumgreifende Installation mit Buchstabenbildern sowie ein neues Set an automagic- und Kopfblechen.
„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."
"RELATIONS OF FORCE"
In 2020, a year marked by the forces of nature, Galvão Jr. shows his works in November at gallery gundula gruber in Vienna: Relations of force. These forces can present themselves in culture in several ways. One of these paths is nature itself that moves and does not understand culture. Nature is silent and is charged with black forces. Another way is the image. Something that is directed – something that is no longer a thing; something that is no longer a thing because it is directed by the image. A represented thing. Thought. Allegorically the images are related to culture. The resistance can come from the image or the resistance can also come from those forces. In the relations of forces – animals, bichos, intensities are presented... What is intensity? What is body? What is freedom?
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.