Club Fortuna | Jurgis Gečys | Linda Reif | Markus Oberndorfer
Mima Schwahn | Rade Petrašević | Sira-Zoé Schmid
Opening: April 14, 6 pm
Horizon functions as a commentary and reprieve from current global events. Our world and our time, as did the world and its times of crisis before us, needs a new future outlook and a lot more love. It is to this calling that Esther Mlenek and Sira-Zoé Schmid stage a curated exhibition, bringing together seven artist statements spanning across the fields of contemporary photography, drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. By discovering a new world for old dreams, the exhibition embarks on a journey into personal microcosms, uncovers thoughts on our drive to thrive and the essence of human existence.
Curatorial Tour: May 7, 5 pm
with Esther Mlenek
Performance: May 7, 6pm
I AM YOUR ORACLE - by Sira-Zoé Schmid
Finissage: May 19, 6 pm
Duration: April 14 - May 19, 2022
No regular opening times. Viewing by appointment only - please contact:
WE STAND AGAINST WAR | WE STAND WITH UKRAINE
As reaction to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, each artist will donate the proceed of one designated art work to an official aid organization in consultation with the buyer. Curatorial fees will be donated as well.
Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.
Club Fortuna is an artist collective including Xenia Lesniewski, Nana Mandl, Verena Preininger and Sarah Sternat. Their mission and projects grow from the constructive analysis of current developments, social mechanics, and the unapologetic completion of the sometimes depressive everyday life. For Horizon the collective developed an in-situ installation, experimenting with topics spanning across art, society, and existentially motivated life-help. Club Fortuna addresses metaphorical as well as social and political aspects of sitting together for the intervention at Bildraum Studio. By creating a dining situation in which the table develops a kind of life of its own, the tableware and consumer goods are given vitality in the scenery. It playfully recalls a tragic situation, a depressing moment of daily life as well as an imaginative setting.
We usually do only that which is purposeful, useful. But an intuition, a discovery, new knowledge goes beyond the rational mind. In his multi-media art projects Lithuanian-born artist Jurgis Gečys tries to evade rational justifications by shifting completely away from everything that he knows about a surrounding, forgetting its physical, biological, chemical properties, borders and names of the landscapes. During a solo photographic-expeditions by different means of locomotion across various critical environments like driest deserts, eroding islands and peninsulas, melting glaciers, the artist worked through his question of a tangible dialog between humans and nature. In his answers, the artist announces unforeseen directions and discovers a new world for old dreams, something entirely foreign, yet strangely familiar. In his painstakingly meticulous drawings, Jurgis Gečys thinks about the various ways that we can use the awareness of nothingness or the potential of solitude to not only come to terms with reality, but to forge a new path that connects the strength of purpose with deeply felt freedom.
Linda Reif’s work is linked to an interest in photographic processes, while her main focus lies in the non-glossy impact of images and the unsentimental approach towards photography. In her abstract works she combines cyanotype with fluids such as gasoline, mouth wash, deodorant, urine or fertilizer. Her experimental vigor implies enough humor and irony to raise the question: is it meant to celebrate modern life, or to mock it? The titles such as “ordinary boys, happy doing nothing”, “187 unread emails”, or “people got nothing to talk about” give not only away the feeling of disenchantment with productivity but highlight a general disconnection that existed long before the pandemic. Linda Reif puts this sense of lethargy in direct contradiction to an expressive gestural imagery, resulting in a bold remark that animates her works.
The wide horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Something stands out from the waves - a rock, maybe the spine of a stranded deep sea creature now turned into stone... . Nature reclaims the concrete remnants of the Atlantic Wall, Nazi Germany’s pronounced attempt to fortify its Western border. Through the eye of the photographer the bunkers appear to be fossilizations of an entirely different world. However, with the succession of photographs - taken by Markus Oberndorfer over a period of more than 10 years and through his temporary installation ’Se Souvenir', for which the artist pasted 160 posters onto several bunker walls - they are somewhat restored into everyday life. ONE HAS SEEN THE MOVIES is written in capital letters in Times New Roman on a bunker's flank. This statement is one of five short excerpts of Oberndorfer's interview with Henri Lavrillat, who was forced to build the structures during compulsory work service with many others in 1941. Carefully selected, all of the statements refer to the experiential value of being present during an event, as well as to each's own placement (or absence) in greater time and space as shockingly random coincidence. Or as Lavrillat put it: ’When he sees them (the bunkers) like that… he imagines ... he cannot feel it ... he has not seen it ... One has seen the movies. Someone who has not experienced Cap Ferret cannot compare what he sees today with what was happening at that time, that's impossible!‘. As the concrete bunkers crumble and disappear into the ocean, taking with them their historical and temporal connections, contemporary witnesses too will soon be gone, leaving only the place behind, an emotional sphere which yet remains to be filled again.
For several years Mima Schwahn has been working with stucco marble and scagliola. Inspired by experimental geology and archeology, her current series of sculptures and objects functions to raise consciousness through imitation. Her creations of geological fictions are based on our knowledge of earth’s history as an interpretation of diverse geological layers and fossils. Schwahn’s mystical rock formations thus reveal themselves to us: blue caves surrounded by meandering sections of pigments reminiscent of seismic currents. An eerie silence settles over the works, as the artist plays on the earth-human relationship in the age of climate change and health crisis. Like mineralized cavities of a druse, the sculptures charm us with the certainty that no matter what, she will survive, as for nature’s ever erupting forces no all devastating catastrophes exist. With this humble almost reconciling outlook, Mima Schwahn tells us of the natural genesis of things, where everything is somehow conserved or transformed and human existence a single puzzle stone connected to a greater cosmologic mystery.
Despite his artistic subject matter - still life painting - Rade Petrašević generates works within figurative pseudo-narratives. He explores themes such as seclusion, sex, homosexuality, love and friendship with the help of motifs and indicators of a seemingly traditional position in painting, opening up associations with classical modernism. In Horizon Petrašević's work - usually of a distinctive and vibrant palette - strikes a much darker tone. Intensified by his use of flat, expressive brushstrokes in black that handle the oil paint as if it were a marker pen, the artists' characters tell the story of people desperate for companionship. Lonely figures gather around a coffee table, not to engage with each other but rather to stare into the distance or at inanimated objects, such as a vase or other decor. By compulsory leaning into self-isolation for solace, the scenery ultimately swings on the brink of pathology. In this whole jumble of regulations, lockdowns and war, Petrašević's motifs try to find the balance of not feeling totally infantilized, disturbed or attacked but also practicing enough adulthood to live a life that still has time for joy, pleasure and reaching out to one another.
Sira-Zoé Schmid works in that dimly perceived area of consciousness that lies between dream and reality. In her photographs and performances she gives form to the things and pulls them out of the unconscious and embarks on a journey into the poetic of soul. Moreover, her works often function as a bittersweet reminder of ephemeral pleasures, longings and opportunities that pass, but also relish in the pricelessness of things so unique. In her performance piece DESERT FLOWER the protagonist walks calmly on a straight path towards the horizon until she is no longer visible. 'Schmid stages the walk as a meditative process, reflecting on the possibility of life and beauty within an inhospitable environment and the power of imagination. With a clear and poetic visual language, DESERT FLOWER is a universal exploration into loss and ephemerality and the various mechanisms of coping with these sensations.'(Sophie Haslinger) In her performative mediation I AM YOUR ORACLE (May 7, 6pm) Schmid uses the oracle prospects of the card game Patience to reveal the basic thoughts of her work to the visitors: Construction and reconstruction of places, interactions, ideas and dreams to discover and ultimately cherish one’s ability to cope with the unknown. Or, most telling of all, the predictable, but not fully controllable reality of everyday existence and its unforeseeable challenges.