24.08. – 05.09.2021
Anna Reisenbichler, Barbara Höller, Christian Murzek, Denise Schellmann, Herwig Prammer
Im Fokus: Zeichnung
Galerie im Turm, Schwartzstraße 50, 2500 Baden
Eröffnung: Dienstag 24.08.2021
Freitag 27. bis Sonntag 29.08.2021 von 15 -18 Uhr
Freitag 03. bis Sonntag 05.09.2021 von 15 -18 Uhr
Die Projektreihe „Konvergenzen“ stellt Fragen nach Wissensproduktion und -transfer an der Schnittstelle von Kunst und Wissenschaft. Im Fokus der aktuellen Ausstellung in der Galerie im Turm stehen Methoden künstlerischer Forschung mit dem Medium Zeichnung.
Die Ausstellung zeigt Positionen, in denen wissenschaftliche Überlegungen mit zeichnerisch-künstlerischen Prozessen verknüpft werden. Das bedeutet, dass die Illustration wissenschaftlicher Inhalte nicht vordergründig behandelt wird, sondern die Ausstellung konzentriert sich mehr auf das Thematisieren des Zusammen‐ und Wechselspiels von Wissenschaft und Kunst sowie deren Fragestellungen und Herangehensweisen.
Die ausgewählten Künstler*innen weisen sowohl einen künstlerischen als auch einen wissenschaftlichen universitären Hintergrund auf und arbeiten in diesen Bereichen inter‐ bzw. transdisziplinär. Ihre unterschiedlichen Arbeiten zeigen auf, welche Möglichkeiten die Zeichnung im Kontext von Kunst und Wissenschaft zulässt und welche Erkenntnisse man daraus gewinnen kann.
Im Rahmen der Ausstellung findet ein Workshop mit Claudia Dorninger-Lehner statt. In einem intuitiven Zeichenprozess werden neue Denk- und Handlungsmuster erforscht, die zur Entstehung von neuen Denkimpulsen und Lösungswegen für die unterschiedlichsten Themen beitragen können.
Workshop: Sonntag, 05.09. 2021, 15 -17 Uhr
Claudia Dorninger-Lehner: Transformatives Zeichnen – jede Linie ein neuer Gedanke
Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier.
The apocalypse of the white elephant
Dates 5 August – 5 September 2021
Location Timișoara, Comenduirea Garnizoanei, Libertății square no. 5
Marilena Preda Sânc * Andreea Medar * Delia Popa * h.arta * Silvia Moldovan * kinema ikon * Cătălin Bătrânu * Dan Perjovschi * Mimi Ciora * Sergiu Sas * Just wondering * Cosmin Haiaș * Claudiu Cobilanschi * Iulia Toma * Ana Kun * Stefan Radu Cretu * Lili Mercioiu * Alexandra Boaru * Dorian Bolca * Matei Bejenaru * Dona Arnakis * Bogdan Matei * Patricia Teodorescu * Alex Boca * Denise Schellmann * Daniela Brill * Àgnes Hamvas * Rafael Lippuner * Hubert Hasler * Michael Koch * Eva Maria Schartmüller * Robert Reszner * Max Jurasch * Markus Guschelbauer *
Curatorial team Mălina Ionescu, Denise Parizek, Mirela Stoeac-Vlăduți
META Spatiu and SEPALE are happy to announce the exhibitional project “Apocalipsa elefantului alb / The apocalypse of the white elephant”, a project we have worked with in the last years and we launched last year with a series of interventions titled BIOHAZARD – activation, an exhibition and which took place in several artspaces in Timișoara. This year we plan an ample exhibition in a central location – which formerly served as military base. The artworks of ca 30 international artists will, together with the art talks and screenings, focus on anthropic themes and the need to adapt to the climate urgency we are just beginning to see as part of our lives.
Statement We witness a stage in our evolution as a species that coincides with the moment defined as the point of no return in climate changes. The impact on our lives cannot be ignored anymore, as the effects of human actions on the environment are already irreversible. If until now the focus has been, more or less critically, on stopping the gamage, now it becomes increasingly clear that the only solution is to transform, on all levels. This translates as regarding crisis rather as a moment of adaptation, of continuity against all odds, of evolution and transformation.|
The Journey to the White Elephant
Once a tourist guide brought us to a place, a kind of traffic junction, where a white elephant eked out his life, moving forward and back and appeared paralyzed. The miracle caught in a cage – a symbol for mankind nowadays.
I don’t want to talk about animals in cages, extinct, threatened, endangered environments, climate change, corrupt politicians, absurd economies.
Furthermore I will take you on a journey – a journey in the deepness of ourselves.
Close your eyes and try to imagine the primeval sea.
Listen to the roaring waves, feel the salty ocean spread.
Once upon a time, the planet was covered with seawater, life conquered new terrain when lichens settled down on boulders. Lichens, gender neutral symbiotic creatures start off living outside of water on this planet. The dual hypothesis, established by the water biologist Simon Schwindender in 1869, is that lichens consist of organisms from different origins, fungus and algae.
From that point lichens, fungus and algae started a cooperation, which made the planet livable for other plants, for converting carbon dioxide. That was the basic requirement for more fungus, plants and diverse living creatures.
Fungus, the second step to an animated planet.
The fungus of the lichen “mycobiont” provides physical protection and absorbs nutrients for itself and for the algae cell. The alga “photobiont” binds light and carbon dioxide and produces energy-providing sugar molecules from them. By means of this relationship, both partners can live in places where neither could survive alone. Lichens as a biological principle paved the way for the concept of “symbiosis” (Albert Frank 1885). Such theories, however, were at odds with the evolutionary theories that prevailed in the 19th and 20th centuries. But in the wake of the dual hypothesis, evolution could no longer be viewed exclusively in terms of competition and conflict. Lichens become a prime example of organismal kingdoms living together.
„Lichens are remarkable examples of how innovation grows out of partnership. The whole is far more than the sum of its parts.“
Lynn Marguelis, Biologist
Some particularly significant elements of evolution occurred because different living things met and stayed together. Like, for example, the human organism, on and in which 40 trillion microorganisms live, thus shaking our idea of the individual. Eukaryotes arose when a single-celled organism swallowed a bacterium and the latter continued to live symbiotically within it. Mitochondria are therefore the descendants of such bacteria. Chloroplasts are descendants of bacteria that carry out photosynthesis and were also swallowed by an early form of a eukaryote. All later complex life forms, including us humans, arose in a history of permanent intimacy with strangers.
„People’s binary view makes it difficult to ask questions that are not binary. Our limited view of sexuality makes it difficult for us to ask questions about sexuality and so on. We formulate questions shaped by our cultural background. This makes it extremely difficult to ask questions about complex symbioses like lichens, because we think of ourselves as autonomous individuals and therefore it is difficult for us to put ourselves in that symbiosis.“
T. Spribille 2018
Advances in microbiology, as well as the realisation of our relationship with microorganisms, are changing our experience of our own bodies and our place in the world.
We are ecosystems that cross boundaries and transcend categories.
Without the symbiotic interaction of the microorganisms living within us, we could neither digest nor produce minerals essential for our survival. They regulate the development of our body, our immune system, they influence our behaviour. They can protect us from diseases, but they can also cause them.
Symbiosis is an omnipresent aspect of life.
The concept of the individual, invented by us humans, is a category that can serve as a guide for human thinking, but it is no help in understanding the planet as a whole.
After realising this, shouldn’t we rethink and reformulate terms like identity, individual, self-determination, independence?
Fungus, like plants, are decentralised living beings, without a centre of leadership, capital, borders. The mycelium is coordinated everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Please do not imagine anarchic conditions where the stronger one is always in the right, besides, we have already established this system. Rather, it is about the exchange of information and resources.
Decentralisation in global thinking, local food production, direct marketing, good quality at moderate prices, which in turn would occur for the benefit of farmers and thus producers and not corporations. Short delivery routes, low CO2 emissions. In addition, transparent exchange of information, innovation and flexibility. Global cooperation, regional production. And equal opportunities and rights for all inhabitants of this planet.
I can already hear the protests about how this is supposed to work: e.g. vertical gardens on house facades, green roofs, vegetable beds in housing estates, rainwater treatment, sustainable energy production – all this already exists, but we should expand it.
A basic prerequisite of these new systems is that they remain dynamic, are in a state of flux and can be adapted to the circumstances. Over and done with, we have always done it that way and that is why it remains that way. What we call tradition is often stupidity and convenience. We are digging our own grave, and above all that of our children.
Symbiosis and flexible systems are two magic words for the future.
Let’s take mycorrhizal fungi as an example – without them nothing, but really nothing, would work. They embody the basic principle of ecology: the principle of the relationship between living beings. Mycorrhizae form connections with plants, adapt them to the current situation, intertwine and disentangle depending on the initial situation.
A Canadian study discovered that birches and Douglas firs switch the direction of carbon transport twice a year, in spring, from the evergreen Douglas firs to the birches, in summer the birches support the Douglas firs. The exchange of resources is based on abundance and demand.
Now I hear the outcry of the economic managers, who testify that the economy is self-regulating, by means of the principle of supply and demand. The market regulates everything, we just have to trust in it.
In reality, the economy and banks have not functioned without state support for a long time. In the documentary “Princes of Yen” you can see how artificial bubbles have been generated since the end of the Second World War and are still being generated in order to create crises and to enable wealth shifts through crashes. I am not a weirdo. But I also don’t believe in the fairy tale of endless growth, of always bigger, always stronger. Where is permanent growth supposed to lead to. We in the 1st world countries already have everything we need, the people in the 3rd world do not get more livelihood when the 1st world expands, but on the contrary. We are exploiting, escalating people, robbing them of their livelihoods. Even in the pandemic, we did not understand that we can only overcome this problem together. It is obvious that we are producing too much, wasting too many raw materials and thus endangering our livelihoods. But that was already the reality in my youth, in the 80s and 90s, the same issues with a different focus. Not only have we wasted 40 years, but we have also put ourselves and our children in great danger.
But back to the original idea, let’s see ourselves again as a community, as an organism.
Albert Frank invented the word holobiont for a collection of diverse organisms. The totality of different organisms that behave as a unit. The interaction is always a mixture of cooperation and competition. Accordingly, the human being, as part of the holobiont, is a symborg, a symbiotic organism – let us behave accordingly.
How much we are part of a larger whole is made clearer again and again by biological examples. Joshua Lederberg, an American microbiologist, found out that bacteria can exchange their genes with each other. This is called horizontal gene transfer. Without a physical connection information is passed on. This can lead to hyper-resistance in bacteria. But it also gives rise to innovative novelties. Horizontal information exchange is teaching and learning, this is how parts of our culture and tradition were and are passed on.
Based on our culture and knowledge, we have the chance to emerge from the primordial sea and allow life to emerge, in all forms and colours.
At the end of our journey, I ask you to look at the artistic positions and let them have an effect on you. Artists had and have the responsibility to show people the status quo, even if it hurts, and to offer alternatives. Artists are seismographs that begin to vibrate when the earth shakes, injustice prevails, the world is coming apart at the seams. This early warning system works without maintenance, without technology. It is based on the sensors that make a person an artist, sensitivity, creativity, courage.
The artistic positions are diverse, associative, direct, sensual, playful, thus reflecting the diversity of our universe. The exhibition was designed by 3 curators, working together, in tune with each other, with the common goal in mind – to seduce you, in thinking, in feeling and ultimately also in acting.
Denise Parizek, Co-Curator / 2021
The Conceptual World of Ines Rieder / Visualizing a Women’s Studies Archive
The exhibition is part of an ongoing series entitled SALON REAL / VIRTUAL
19.06. – 28.08.2021
OPENING: 19.06. & 20.06.2021
Where: galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Wien
Artists:Lilo Nein, Marlene Rodrigues, Elisabeth Schimana, Denise Schellmann, Nicole Suzuki
Recital:Ensemble Airborne Extended
Talk / Text:Margit Hauser, Ulrike Lunacek, Nina Schedlmayer, Petra Unger, Magdalena Vukovic
Saturday, 19.06.21, 5 – 10 pm
Opening of the real and virtual exhibition. The artists will be present.
Where: galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18
Sunday, 20.06.21, 11 am – 5 pm
11 am: Talk by Ulrike Lunacek, followed by conversations and coffee with the artists and couch chats till 5 pm
Where: galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18
Thursday, 08.07.21, 6 – 8 pm
LANDSCAPE, Recital by Ensemble Airborne Extended
Elena Gabbrielli – Flute, Sonja Leipold – Cembalo, Caroline Mayrhofer – Recorder / Paetzoldina,
Tina Žerdin – Harp, Alisa Kobzar – sound engineering
Where: galerie michaela stock & Basement, Schleifmühlgasse 18
Monday, 12.07.21, 5 – 7 pm
Womens‘ Walk with Petra Unger
Walk in memory of Ines Rieder, tracing the history of the lesbian-feminist movement
Saturday, 28.08.21, 2 – 7 pm
Finissage and catalogue presentation
Where: galerie michaela stock & Basement, Schleifmühlgasse 18
The exhibition will be rounded by fireside chats in the Salon, which will examine the conceptual world of Ines Rieder.
More information and details will follow in due time on the gallery homepage. www.galerie-stock.net
The Conceptual World of Ines Rieder / Visualizing a Women’s Studies Archive
Ines Rieder was a historian, author, feminist and journalist.
Her focus was to reappraise, preserve, and make visible lesbian history.
Ines Rieder was the resident-owner of Schleifmühlgasse 18.
Ines Rieder died unexpectedly in December 2015.
Born in Vienna in 1954, Ines Rieder fought against social injustice and the exploitation of both humans and natural resources, and for the rights of the disadvantaged. And she was a trailblazer who campaigned for research into Austria’s lesbian and gay history. She spent portions of her adult life in Berkeley, San Francisco and Sao Paulo before returning to live in Vienna.
Among her greatest achievements was her dedication to making lesbian life and its historical background visible, and she emphasized the importance of researching and preserving its history, particularly in open-access archives. Her publications set an example for how to keep that history from being erased and they create opportunities for identification and critical analysis of lesbian personalities. Woman and AIDS, a book she co-authored in 1988, was the first to address that epidemic from a feminist perspective. The primary focus of her later writing and research was on creating biographies of twentieth century lesbians.
After her sudden death, her personal and research papers were transferred to STICHWORT – Archiv der Frauen–und Lesbenbewegung in 2016 for cataloging and conservation. More than 74 archive boxes und 150 database entries comprise this private collection and make possible a comprehensive understanding of her writing and thought process, as well as her often years-long preliminary studies for a project.
Thanks to this archive and the many autobiographical details it has revealed, her conceptual world can now be made visible in a multi-media exhibit. This exhibit is not just the story of an archive of a flesh and blood human, but should show us what happens if an archive, a site that preserves documents and knowledge, is not constantly replenished and thus ceases to exist.
Artist Marlene Rodrigues, Ines Rieder’s life partner for many years, played a major role in creating this exhibit. This is her characterization of Ines’s conceptual world: „Her brain was better than any digital archive. It stored thousands of stories and so much knowledge, so many thoughts and ideas about the life and works of other women. Ines loved life and people, and she enthusiastically absorbed and archived things that change and the stories that go with that.“
Women who knew Ines Rieder or are now involved in her conceptual world, in the archive, have been invited to participate in this exhibit. Here the archive will be re-conceived, expanded and made artistically visible; and in spatial, temporal and social contexts it questions the boundaries of an archive itself, with reference to preservation, access and visibility. The newly created works – whether a poem, musical composition, video, text, performance or drawing – will bring to light the artists’ personal, internal “conceptual archive”.
Due to the current situation, the exhibit is presented both in a virtual 3D gallery and in the actual exhibition space at Schleifmühlgasse 18 where artworks will be displayed together with some of Ines Rieder`s personal objects representative of her work routine. Talks, concerts and performances will take place in these rooms. Depending on the situation with the epidemic in June 2021, these individual events might also be videotaped without an audience and can be accessed via a virtual stroll between Schleifmühlgasse 18 (the building in which Ines Rieder lived) and the Stichwort Archive at Gusshausstraße 20.
A women’s tour of lesbian-related sites in the neighborhood is planned with Petra Unger. After the close of the exhibit, all the newly created art works, videos, musical compositions, documents and the virtual exhibit will be transferred to the Stichwort Archive and they will also be accessible in the virtual gallery. In addition, a blog, a multi-page exhibition catalog, posters and video documentation of the talks, concert and performance will accompany the exhibit and can also be called up in the virtual gallery.
Exhibition Rafael Lippuner and Denise Schellmann
(You) made my day.
12–14 contemporary, Schleifmühlgasse 12–14, 1040 Vienna
Opening June 2nd, 18:00
Exhibition June 4th –26th, Thu/Fri/Sat 3–7 pm
9. Benefiz auction for Delta Cultura Cabo Verde in cooperation with Dorotheum Vienna May 20th – June 10th:
Super-honored to annouce, that my shortfilm The Arscientic Andism – my romantic manifesto was officially selected by Near Nazareth Festival (Israel), Jaipur International Film Festival (India) and In The Palace international short film festival (Sofia, Bulgaria).
SALON REAL / VIRTUAL || Galerie Michaela Stock
1# Salon Denise Schellmann ZWISCHENRÄUME
check out latest press releases:
Michaela Stock and Denise Schellmann present SALON REAL / VIRTUAL, the relaunch of Galerie Michaela Stock:
Proud and super-happy to announce, that my shortfilm „The Arscientic Andism – my romantic manifesto“ won as BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM at the Polish international Filmfestival:
Happy to announce, that my shortfilm „The Arscientic Andism – my romantic manifesto“ was nominated for the categories
- best experimental short
- best editing
- best original idea
- best message
at the Top Indie Film Awards, Tokyo.
Galerie Michaela Stock
1# Salon real / virtual Denise Schellmann Spaces in-between
1# Fireside Chat: Dr. Helmut Eberl (particle physicist, HEPHY Vienna) with Denise Schellmann, moderated by Robert Czepel (Ö1)
2# Fireside chat: Dr. Maria Spindler (social scientist), Erich Holzheu (art appraiser, Michaela Stock with Denise Schellmann
|In the first virtual exhibition, new works by Denise Schellmann are on display.|
SALON VIRTUAL | exhibition
1# Salon: Denise Schellmann | Spaces in-between
LOCATION galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna
OPENING Friday, 11th September 2020, 4 – 9 pm
DURATION 12.9. – 3.10.2020
INFORMATION galerie michaela stock and SALON VIRTUAL 1# Salon online ab 11th September, 4 pm
MORE INFO > HERE
SALON REAL / fireside chats
1# Fireside chat: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 7 p.m.: Particle physicist Helmut Eberl in conversation with artist Denise Schellmann
2# Fireside chat: Friday, September 25, 2020, 7:00 p.m.: The curator of art auctions and collector Michael Schmidt-Ott and the art appraiser Erich Holzheu in conversation with the artist Denise Schellmann
Next to the SALON REAL – in the second room of the gallery – is the SALON VIRTUAL located. Michaela Stock pursues the idea of including a virtual gallery in the real, empty gallery space in order to develop instruments on the one hand that connect the real and virtual space on the one hand and to fuse the digital and real worlds on the other. In the SALON VIRTUAL no more real artworks will be presented. Visitors explore the exhibition and artworks via the screen with a joystick. Although the visitors are still in the real gallery space, the exhibition is received virtually, in the „anonymous“ white cube. The aim is to enable art lovers to visit the exhibition non-stop 24 hours a day, even from their own computer, cell phone or tablet.
The SALON VIRTUAL 1# Salon will be online from September 11 at 4 pm.
GUIDED STUDIO VISITS ON REQUEST
In the future, the artworks can be viewed with Michaela Stock in the artists‘ studio. Appointments can be made by phone +43 699 19 20 77 78. The virtual exhibitions are documented in the form of printed information brochures. At the same time, art lovers can purchase a limited signed art poster of each exhibition.
1# Salon: Denise Schellmann | Spaces in-between
Salon 1# presents the young Austrian artist and pharmacist Denise Schellmann. With her background in science, Denise Schellmann sees the human body in the form of many coloured cells and empty spaces in-between, which would otherwise only be visible with a microscope. Her working process unfolds in a space between art and science from which she constantly draws new impetus for her compositions. The emphasis is on the intuitive drawing process, which as such requires extensive knowledge of the matter, even to the level of unconscious, automated actions.
Her pencil and coloured pencil drawings initially impress with their seemingly harmonious colour composition, but in search of organic abstraction, all contradictions and inconsistencies are synthesised into a colourfully balanced and melodious tune on the invisible and difficult-to-access interfaces. Striking polarisation is a recurring theme in her work.
Things the artist has learned, seen and experienced intuitively become part of her drawing process, thus creating new possibilities of interpretation in the viewer’s mind. Elementary human and existential questions are interwoven in the structure of the drawing. Similar to yin-yang, two diametrically opposed principles co-exist in her imagery, which relate to and complement each other in a certain way: matter and space, art and science, image and word or creativity and structuredness, to name but a few.
In her manifesto The Arscientic Andism, Schellmann calls these intermediate spaces Andism. In her new artworks, butterfly-like forms stand for reflection on one’s own life and personal growth in uncertain circumstances. Comparable to the metamorphosis of a butterfly and its transformation from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly, this process reflects characteristics such as fragility, strength and independence.
If you should need any further information or have any questions left regarding the artists and their works, please don’t hesitate to contact us > firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also always find the latest information concerning exhibitions, other activities and previews on ourhomepage or facebook and instagram.
19. 07. 2020
The Arscientic Andism – My Romantic Manifesto is selected for the Open Window International Film Challenge in Kolkata.
14. 07. 2020
28. 06. 2020
Artist and head of INSTINC Art Space Shih Yun Yeo (Singapore), talks with artist Denise Schellmann (Vienna).
08. 05. 2020
THE ART ESCAPE,
Vibrational Rescue – curated by AD.ibiza
A cultural, spiritual and intellectual multimedia online summit.
A transversal vision of our times featuring 22 artist scattered around the globe.
A unique virtual encounter held in a chamber of ideas to project our emissions of Unconditional LOVE.
We look forward to meet you
Saturday 9th of May at 17:40 Ibiza time on ZOOM.
RSVP to get ID number
23.40 Tokio / 23:40 Bali / 21:10 New Delhi / 17:40 London / 16.40 Madrid / 11.40 Buenos Aires / 10.40 NY / 7.40 Los Angeles
21. 04. 2020
Denise Schellmann talks about her approach to Art & Science…
12. 04. 2020
As our world and societies grapple with COVID-19, what is really happening to our inner selves?
Physically lockdowned and socially distanced, where are we emotionally, psychologically, creatively? More intimately than before, many will find ourselves face to face, with our own conscience, desires, regrets, fears, hopes, convictions; and if we allow ourselves to retreat into deeper self-containment and self-discovery at the same time, where will our imagination lead us?
INSTINC brings together the emotional perspectives, stories, expressions and curious explorations of 14 isolated artists with #StayHomeNotice# an online art exhibition traversing the subliminal connections and some paradoxical pitstops on the uncharted itinerary between extraordinary isolation and creativity.
Can one happily embrace a forced measure of solitude?
What have we unexpectedly regained as intellectual humans because we are losing our freedoms?
How is it that loneliness can dissolve barriers and be a source of warmth for some?
Are we connecting more than before when we are at our most disconnected and disrupted?
Perhaps it is only in confronting and connecting with our inner realities that we truly are evolving in our humanity, and to discover the pathways to make peace with the unknowns of such pandemic times.
We believe in the power of art and personal creative processes to make sense and inspire the human condition. We hope that our works in #StayHomeNotice# can help our audience to connect in with their own creativity as we all take the journey forwards for as long as it takes.
Artist statement Denise Schellmann
…in times of corona quarantine
First virtual exhibition opening at Galerie Michaela Stock:
„An artist’s duty is to reflect the times“ (Nina Simone)
Vlasta Delimar, Laura Fitzgerald, Parastou Forouhar, Vlatka Horvath, Eva Kotátková, Evelyn Loschy, Veronika Merklein, Carol Rama, Denise Schellmann, Nancy Spero
19.3. – 30.4.2020
WHERE: galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna
The exhibition shows merciless NO PITY and highlights artworks questioning the artist`s duty to reflect reality. The art pieces vary in mood from lacerating and shocking, violence to desirable and comical to autobiographical narratives and focus on the de/coded female body and its representation in politics, society and social life. The show consists of work by ten women of different ages and origins, and includes work in all media—painting, sculpture, photography, video and performance.
The exhibition NO PITY! will encourage visitors to think critically about gender, representation, and diversity and how female artists can survive today. The show illuminates where women have been, where they are now and where they are going.
Shame, guilt and pity – all very strong emotions and social power mechanisms that have been imposed on the female gender throughout history in order to form a standardized image of women and responsibility. An autobiographical note often appears in the works of art produced by women where the working process leads to a collapse of the object position and subject position, which are then questioned in the same. Accordingly, the artists involved in the exhibition consider both the society and culture in which they live and work as well as their position as a female subject in the still male-dominated, asymmetrical society.
The topic of sexual identity with a special emphasis on female sensuality was already dealt with by Carol Rama in the first half of the 20th century. Her women are often depicted as psychophysical ruins; whether she portrays them armless, legless or reshapes female anatomy, she shamelessly highlights the orifices. Even in the seventies, Nancy Spero placed archetypal, naturalistic and radical representations of women at the centre of her artistic work. She finds the basis for her brutal images of female sexuality in different cultures and times from antiquity to the present. Word and writing have a complementary and supportive function in her work. Her works on paper are liberating monuments to all of the tragic and degrading experiences of women throughout history. Vlasta Delimar has been questioning the freedom of female sexuality and sexual taboos in a patriarchal society since the 1980s.The main medium of her work is the elementary, naked body. In a counter-process, she masks the body with female attributes such as laces, meshes, veils, etc. seeking a refuge of unprotected, female identity. Parastou Forouhar deals with issues such as the position of women in Muslim societies, the production of identity and the repressive political mechanisms. A constant theme in her artistic practice is her home country Iran, which she constantly adapts. Furthermore, a part of her theme is the German collective memory, where she has been living for a long time. Deeply shocked by the political murder of her parents in Tehran, her work has a strong political and autobiographical connotation. Scenes of violence and torture are lined up on the picture surfaces in the style of traditional Persian miniature painting. Considering the inner life of people, Veronika Merklein lets them speak from the perspective of their experience. In her artistic practice, Merklein fights against all kinds of discrimination and violence in our society, starting from her own body. Regardless of the artistic medium, mobile, rudimentary, but always sculptural body in Evelyn Loschy’s work leaves a restless, destructive echo. This formal reduction corresponds to elementary feelings that Loschy’s work awakens and that are inherent in every human, especially female existence. Through her work Laura Fitzgerald tells us autobiographical and fictional stories for which she finds the starting point in her own rural background and insecure artistic employment. Vlatka Horvat questions different ways of inhabiting a space and how the human body or a person takes its place in space and how it relates to other objects. Accordingly, she questions her own nature. In her works, bodies and limbs are first disassembled and then rearranged into abstract ornaments. The human body is always included in Eva Kotátková’s deeply psychological and surreal works. On the border between the real and the fictional, she transforms an original story into an abstraction, triggering very strong emotions. Her works deal with social structures and evoke feelings of control and anxiety. She is interested in difference between natural and learned or institutionally regulated behaviour. Artist and pharmacist Denise Schellmann sees the human body in the form of many colored cells and empty spaces that are otherwise visible under the microscope. In her drawing process, she transports what she sees and experiences deeply intuitive, which also expands the meaning of the work and creates new possibilities of interpretation.
In summary, all female artists reflect in their artworks the spirit of the time in which they were created and offer an unsparing and unconventional truth from the perspective of a female subject, who is at the same time the artist herself.