100412: MUSA Beauty Contest

MUSA Beauty Contest 17.2. 12 – 16.05.12 Beautiful victims of self-optimization by Charles Nebelthau "Beauty contest", so the title of the exhibition in the MUSA, doubtless promises only naive bikini girls with crowns and sparkling tears of joy. But it's clear to everyone else when glancing at Carina Bezzola’s performance costumes that this is more serious than things shown on TV. The press release for the exhibition drastically illustrates our present life as passion under the dictatorship of beauty – "penetrating all the body's pores and every crack of the human psyche" – it's an enlightenment session about the dangers, if not the tyranny of beauty. One could giggle about the red-white straw buttocks on Katarina Schmidl ("A beautiful piece of Austria"). Maria Lassnig's self-portrait indicates a national auto-aggressive direction in its sub-title of Marie Antoinette's derisive nickname "The Austrian", if you're not prepared for the outlandishly meaty, crooked phallic-like evaginations. One could briefly hope that it were an exhibition about the agony of the Austrians, to find Austria beautiful, but that is a too provincial thought opposed to globality. There's too much that looks ugly and not beautiful enough. "In the world we live in, what we know and what we don´t know are like Siamese twins inseparables existing in a state of confusion", says Muntean and Rosenblum's badly hung large canvas with beauties standing around lost in a landscape with the portentous sub-title - we are being warned. In the large hall you will find different visualizations of globally operable problems with dictatorial beauty – men who want to be women (Matthias Herrmann), and woman painting her nails, and a man with an absurd nose (Cindy Sherman), a girl doing gymnastics (Ulrike Lienbacher), people as jewels or in the jewels of a stringent ornament (Reshad Newsome, Andrea Freiberger, Sissi Farassat), poor people before and after a visit to the hairdresser (Mehmet Emir), the objectivity of the person as a photo model (Eva Chuong-Fox), a woman, staging a woman, that has staged herself as a man (Irene Andessner), a nude from behind which can only remind one blatantly of Man Ray’s Violon d´Ingres but which is described (Birgit Jürgenssen), the difficulties of folkloric apparel (Sula Zimmerberger), and more. The disturbing video cube by Maria Petschnig presents enormous possibilities for peculiar vicarious embarrassment – and with this, about half of the 26 represented positions are covered. There's definitely something for everyone. The exhibition clearly shows that the problematic of beauty and its penetrating domination doesn't only exist worldwide, but is also pluralistic: some fight with the ugliness that determines their gender, weight, age and fortune and the others with the vulgarities that their taste imposes on them. Everyone feels like a victim somewhere, sometime. That's a nice offer, isn't it? MUSA 1010 Vienna, Felderstraße 6-8, next to the Town Hall Tel: +43 (0)1 4000 8400 Fax: +43 (0)1 4000 99 8400 E-mail: musa@musa.at http://www.musa.at Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11:00 - 18:00, Thu: 11:00 - 20:00, Sat: 11:00 - 16:00 hours

1010 Wien, Felderstraße 6-8, neben dem Rathaus
Tel: +43 (0)1 4000 8400, Fax: +43 (0)1 4000 99 8400
Email: musa@musa.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di - Fr: 11:00 - 18:00, Do: 11:00 - 20:00, Sa: 11:00 - 16:00 Uhr

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