130611: Venice Biennial 54. Venice Biennial - Markus Schinwald

Venice Biennial 54. Venice Biennial - Markus Schinwald 04.06.11 – 27.11.11 Gesamtkunstwerk of Identity Analysis Direct view into the Austrian Pavilion as well as its entrance is blocked, only a narrow opening in a wall, set up in front of the entrance, allows for any insight. A methodological principal that Markus Schinwald culminates in a profound point by means of his architectural intrusions and installations, picturesque as well as cinematic moments with corresponding and convincing aesthetics. Evident detours from the conventional, irritations in every respect - yet understanding and perspective by undermining conventional premises and hierarchies are the key factors. They determine Schinwald’s context of perceiving art, architecture and human existence and define the pavilion in its complex entirety - with alternative legitimacy. Schinwald broke with the sublime splendour of the interior of the historical building in a sophisticated and sensitive manner. A labyrinth welcomes those entering - with white walls hanging from above. Both the view and the paths are blocked to the centre of the body, yet the free space thereunder is distinctly present and perceivable. Through bending down one can see the entire room and the legs of others walking around the pavilion – an amusing change of perspective and a theoretical epitome of undermining the structure determined from above. The entire pavilion is penetrated by a spherical sound-world, originating from videos positioned at the endpoints of both side wings and creating a slipstream effect. By way of detours, the visitors are guided over architectural incisions and fractures, which create unexpected insights and open views on misleading picturesque and sculptural moments. Sculptures made of table legs are mounted on the walls like objects. Associatively brought to life they nestle or cling to an edge near the ceiling, hang on a rod or from a hook. They present both a formal as well as a contextual analogy to the interventions of 19th century paintings: Schinwald retouched the portraits with constructions made of linen, chains or leather, which he wrapped around parts of head or face. It is these interventions, which he describes as prosthesis, that impair or stimulate the physical world of senses of those portrayed – in any case they irritate the visitors. Psychological inner worlds seem to surface mysteriously, at least have an effect of uncertainty, but then the uneasiness, which comes up at first, is erased by irony, which reveals itself upon closer deliberation, and transforms itself to serene, ambiguous attention. The same process takes place watching the videos, which form the final accord of the course. The solemn cathedral-like atmosphere, which dominates the entire pavilion, is created by organ-like sounds and the silent attention triggered by the buzz of voices accompanying the videos. Alternating, a female and a male voice recite prosaic texts that are only partially comprehensible. The fragmentary also characterizes the cinematic work: Schinwald chose a rundown brewery as the location. The detailed takes of the decrepit empty rooms lift the cool clarity of the architectural forms like the perceivable fragmentary parts of the scenery’s history. Abysses are at the same time perspectives; stairs and openings in the wall are precise meaningful parts. It is the congruent stage for the actions of an individual or a number of protagonists, which presents cinematic segments without any time sequence, phrases of an emotional discourse. The abstract choreography, the quiet artificial gestures and motions resemble rituals, which, like metaphorical moments, circle around topics of autonomy and state, irrational depths of individual and collective existence, physicality and sexuality, congruent to the acoustically audible content. Oppressive moments arise, put in perspective, infiltrated and dissolved by subtle ambiguity and aesthetics. Marcus Schinwald formed Josef Hoffmann’s pavilion as an immersive artificial cosmos in which irritating and stimulating factors are intertwined to a sensual entirety, which articulates itself both mysteriously and at the same time precisely and with a high standard of aesthetics. The experience switches from uncertainty to subversive amusement; pathos and irony penetrate one another. The young artist created a very stimulating Gesamtkunstwerk at the Venetian Giardini and thereby, if he did not – as Claudia Schmied, Minister for Cultural Affairs said – define the Austrian identity, then at least he did not miss the point and artistically epitomized some facets. By Margareta Sandhofer La Biennale di Venezia 30122 Venezia, Giardini della Biennale http://www.labiennale.org/ Opening hours: daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed on Mondays

Österreichischer Pavillon - La Biennale di Venezia
30122 Venezia, Giardini della Biennale
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 11 - 19 h, Fr, Sa bis 20 h,
Montag geschlossen außer 25/07, 15/08, 5/09, 19/09, 31/10, 21/11

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