150210: Galerie nächst St. Stephan: Aneta Grzeszykowska, Elisabeth Penker

Galerie nächst St. Stephan: Aneta Grzeszykowska, Elisabeth Penker Tracking social classification systems The two exhibitions, one by Aneta Grzeszykowska in the gallery rooms and the other by Elisabeth Penker in the project room “LOGIN” couldn’t be more diverse. The only instance in which they correlate results from both artists dealing with system developments and agglomerations based on meanings attributed to society. While Aneta Grzeszykoska’s view, who lives in Warsaw, is defined by psychologically and culture, that of Elisabeth Penker, who lives in Vienna and Rome, can be described as ethnographic and linguistic. Through their juxtaposition they form sharp contrasts. Aneta Grzeszykowska focuses on private life in diverse visual translations. In a photo series, created together with the Warsaw-based artist Jan Smaga, she mapped apartments from a bird’s eye view to narrate an intimate story of the city and the arrangement of rooms, furniture, and everyday utilities. In the film “Birthday” she relives early childhood memories of creepy situations. It was filmed in the style of a private documentation on one’s own child’s birthday party. With commenting interventions such as the animation of otherwise immovable objects the artist criticizes conventions and thereby underlines the monstrosity of such events. She integrates a series of monochrome dark cloth figurines in the ambiguity of staging her childhood with the abysmal. The figurines are dressed like the artist when she was a child, and attempt to treat dramatic situations in an aesthetically formalized way. Such as, for example, a photograph of her brother’s injured eye, for which she was accidentally responsible or a fairytale-like relief sculpture with a girl on a dog made of thorny thistles. Penker’s exhibition “LOGIN” undertakes deep drillings into the core of semantic systems. The artist and musician Penker is well known for her intervention in the arcades of the University of Vienna with a bust of the Austrian Romanist and first female university professor, Elise Richter. Richter headed the Institute of Phonetics until the Nazis deported her to Theresienstadt, and was - as the accomplishments of women in general - a non-issue among the patriarchal arrangement of stone figurines displayed in the university hallways and arcades. Her approaches are always directed towards generating meaning in the sense of grammars. Accordingly, the portrait of the recently deceased ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss functions as a key motif in the installation together with an integrated sound composition. Lévi-Strauss’s mirrored and spread-out photograph in “polysynthetic double perspective” can be interpreted as an intersection of linguistic, tonal, and visual aspects. Square-shaped wood was painted in exactly the same colour as the sediments superimposed on one another and uncovered beneath the wall painting. The oblong pieces of wood refer to the linguistic derivation of “log”, which is a tree trunk (German: Baumstamm) and thereby to the title of the gallery’s exhibition series. It is somewhat remarkable that a word consisting of only one morpheme represents an object. A fundamental network of references is constructed through a series of other objects such as for example the “Hanging Chairs”. With her works and abstract sound compositions, Penker pushes her way into the macro-areas of grammars and exposes the potential of semantic connections in neighbouring systems. By Roland Schöny Galerie nächst St. Stephan 1010 Vienna, Grünangergasse 1 / 2, until 06.03.10 http://www.schwarzwaelder.at

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
1010 Wien, Grünangerg. 1/2
Tel: +43 1 5121266, Fax: +43 1 5134307
Email: galerie@schwarzwaelder.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr: 12-18h
Sa: 11-16h

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