030613: Startgalerie im MUSA - Anna Mitterer

Startgalerie im MUSA Anna Mitterer 14.05.2013 – 06.06.2013 Karl May with the photographer By Wolfgang Pichler The setting reminds of the classic regal portrait of modern history such as Velázquez’ famous portrait of Marianne of Austria in 1651: an artfully draped curtain with antique motives in the left corner, a statue on a pedestal on the right, and a worthy gentleman presenting himself self-consciously and proudly in his finest robe in the middle. And this worthy man is a Navajo shaman called Roy Pete; he is the protagonist in the large-format portrait of the “BE-TAS-TNI” series by Anna Mitterer. The artist, born 1980, presents a setting similar to the one used by photographers in the second half of the 19th century. With a series of five similarly structured photos, the image of the “Indian” varies – it ranges from “non-existent” (empty setting), a traditional tribal garb, a classic suit of a gentleman around 1900 to a present-day depiction in a hoody. The title – the equivalent of “mirror” in Navajo – reveals that the main topic is not Roy Pete, but rather our clichés and viewing habits. This becomes especially clear in two other works of the show. These Spartan paintings, sketched with black colour on canvas, depict the classic situation in the photo studio in which the above-mentioned late 19th century portraits originated. The requirements for the creation of clichés are yet again ironically breached in the second canvas painting, in which the canvas forms a folded screen, the indispensible accessory in every studio at the time, that was utilized to hide all socially undesirable facts (nudity and sexuality), becomes the actual object of interest. Summing up one can say that this exhibition is a well-conceived and at the same time aesthetically appealing confrontation with the visions of the “Wild West” and “Indians” created by Karl May. Anna Mitterer holds “BE-TAS-TNI” against our stereotype perceptions, and thereby does exactly what has always made art uncomfortable but also indispensible. Startgalerie im MUSA 1010 Vienna, Felderstrasse 6-8, next to the City Hall http://www.musa.at/ Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri 11 – 18 hours, Thu 11 - 20 hours, Sat 11 – 16 hours

Startgalerie im MUSA
1010 Wien, Felderstraße 6-8, neben dem Rathaus
Tel: +43 1 4000 8400, Fax: +43 1 4000-99-8400
Email: musa@musa.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di, Mi, Fr 11-18, Do 11-20, Sa 11-16 h

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