Reverberations of the Body in Contemporary Austrian Art
Props & Prosthesis deals with the changing dynamic with which issues of the body, its status as a cultural signifier, and its representation as an uncanny object/subject have recently been perceived in contemporary visual arts. Focusing on the medium of photography, the exhibition questions the technical and ontological moments of this medium, whose visual output constantly oscillates between reality and fiction, between what is culturally significant, concealed or unmasked. Issues of the self and its gradual replacement through various objects, props and prostheses as well as moments of disappearing or publicly shining bodies have permeated photographic art since the 1980s and culminated in the work of Cindy Sherman. With the theoretic support of theorists like Judith Butler or Slavoj Žižek, the physical body has been unmasked as a cultural construct, whose sexual identity is merely one component of the overall functioning of the subject within society. In the field of art, one of the prevalent issues regarding the body metaphor deals with process of visualizing the other self, which goes beyond the representation of typical female or male characteristics, but crosses the boundaries of what is anatomically possible, and culturally as well as socially feasible. Jacques Lacan’s mirror stage as the central moment when the subject perceives its reverse, other identity, can be seen as the starting point for the reflection of photographic dispositions of the self, its visual alterations, distortions and cultural forms of recognition. Props & Prostheses shows various modes of how artists living and working in Austria approach the limits of physicality in scenarios whose contents stem from moments in real life, but whose visuality transcends the question of the human condition as such.
Exhibition was supported by Municipality of Ljubljana, Austrian Embassy in Ljubljana, Erste Bank, Kunst/Trans and Lunapark, Grad Kodeljevo.
Grad Kodeljevo, Ljubljana
19. October – 12. Novembre 2006
Curator: Walter Seidl
Authors: Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber, Gyula Fodor, Sonja Gangl, Iris Klein, Ursula Mayer, N.I.C.J.O.B., Markus Schinwald
Production: Membrana (ZSKZ)
This post is also available in: Slo