artists & participants
December 14, 2019–January 26, 2020
Exhibition opening: December 13, 8–11pm
In our today’s world nature is both constructed as an idea and threatened in reality. The contemplation of art is being shaped by our social, political and ecological conditions. This is most evident in art practices characterized by a desire for change. As dissimilar as a petition—which may be a pleading pamphlet or a raging complaint—the artists’ concerns articulate themselves as protest, documentation, contemplation, or even a magical ritual.
Petition investigates artistic action as an interface to the world. Paul Spendier addresses the latter as something prosthetic. His robot combines technical and organic elements to create something familiar to everyone: the rustling of leaves.
Precipitation and low temperatures produce snow: artificially produced, the white raw material threatens alpine ecosystems. Catherine Ludwig dedicates to the rare resource in present-day leisure collectors.
Daniela Zeilinger’s directly exposed paper negatives Alp #1-11 look like an afterimage behind closed eyelids. They display the verso sides of her mountain watercolours, re-creating a conceptual mountain as the model for myriads of possible summits.
Borjana Ventzislavova’s rope jumpers in her video Wahkohtowin are entangled in an intimate tension with nature. Alluding to real social distortions, the artist has developed a magical vocabulary for the exorcism and healing of corruption, violence, and stupidity.
An enigmatic force acts on the geometry of Matthias Krinzinger’s makeshift staircase in front of Salzburger Kunstverein. Soon after a brief ascent, Stairway to Heaven turns into a slippery slope and an unbridled plunge.
Like a dystopian archaeologist, Luiza Margan collects fragments of a light dome from a modernist building in Split, which for ideological reasons is exposed to decay. For Split Dioptre she reconstructs the original concave forms of the plexiglass splinters: a poetic lens that captures our schizophrenic present—between denial of the past and neoliberal euphoria.
Gabriele Sturm stimulates action by showing a future different from the one emerging. The title of the exhibition Petition refers to her homonymous work, preceded by her campaign to preserve an inner-city public space. Sturm, often mediating between the near and the far, reveals correlations in a globality where everything we do has consequences.
Courage for societal change emerges where nature is under attack. Johannes Gierlinger’s 2009 photographs show Istanbul’s Gezi Park as one of the few green spaces left in the bustling metropolis. Four years later—in the midst of the blazing protests—the artist is shooting a film showing the park under a different guise: a symbol of resistance.
Referring to the genre of the 17th and 18th century painting, Maria Morschitzky creates a Conversation piece. It does not exchange favors, but rather transacts two opposing perceptions delivering a fierce tug-of-war: It’s a fight! It’s alright!
In the light of these perspectives, designs and artistic deliberations, nature shows itself as something that simultaneously surpasses everything and affects everyone. The show addresses it as something that today not only forms the background to constructed images and ideas, but also acts as a vehicle of social change.
Artists: Johannes Gierlinger, Matthias Krinzinger, Catherine Ludwig, Luiza Margan, Maria Morschitzky, Paul Spendier, Gabriele Sturm, Borjana Ventzislavova, Daniela Zeilinger
Curator: Philippe Batka