DOKUMENTATION III – “Gesellschaft”

16. December 2003 – 28. January 2004

Anne Arden Mc Donald (US), Alexandra Von Hellberg (IT), Sabine Jelinek (AT), Ruth Kaaserer (AT), Karl-Heinz Klopf (AT), Sigrid Kurz (AT), Jens-Olof Lasthein (SE), Paul Albert Leitner (AT), Didi Sattmann (AT)

Theme of Focus: DOCUMENTATION 2003

The third and last exhibition of this year’s thematic focus DOKUMENTATION of the Fotogalerie Wien is subtitled “society”. The artists involved show how documentary conceptions find their way into art work. They comment on socially relevant topics and problems, thereby encompassing report-like works as well as fictitious collages.

Ewa, Magda and Andrea are the main protagonists of Ruth Kaaserer’s video “balance”. The artist followed with her camera migrant girls through the urban space of Vienna for more than six months. Clips of their conversations, combined with clip-like sequences showing the girls perform their own hip hop acts, alongside shots of a number of other teenagers skateboarding, playing baseball, strolling around or talking, bring up moments of plumbing the depths of female identity and an awakening sexuality.

Jens Lasthein’s work “Moments in Between” is the result of a number of journeys to Ex-Yugoslavia between 1994 and 1999. “Moments in Between” makes visible the daily life at the edge of theatres of war. Lasthein picks out as a central theme the more subtle consequences of war, something that concerns everybody. He tells in poetic images about chaotic existence, about powerlessness, about endless waiting and helplessness.

Paul Albert Leitner’s pictures are about travelling, about the idea of foreign parts, about suitcases, hotel rooms or railway stations, about his own character in a thousand roles, about perception, about the wish to understand and the wish not to understand. In passing, meaningful, melodramatic, witty, artless or formally cunning, telling about everything and nothing, the pictures show us his view of the world “with him”.

Didi Sattmann’s work “Cool Kids” was shot in Vienna between 1995 and 1997. The artist shows youth movement’s more recent (sub-)cultures, which can be at the same time understood as an expression of a globalisation of youth culture, borne worldwide by certain styles of music such as Hip Hop, Techno or Punk, all following a shared life style and recognizable by typical outfits in all cities of the world.

The film material for the video installation “Break Dance” by Sabine Jelinek dates from 2000 and was shot in the Wiener Prater. The spot, originally dedicated to Austria’s “plain” people, has become a meeting place for many young immigrants, many of them “second generation”, from Ex-Yugoslavia and Turkey. Whether their dreams of a better life in Austria are fulfilled, remains open.

Alexandra von Hellberg collects aesthetically low products, ranging from souvenir-kitsch to religious devotional objects, which she puts together to motley and shrill glittery collages. In the centre of her work is not so much the cliché or stereotype, but rather the mysterious own life that the objects develop in their random arrangement. The single object’s sentimentality borders on the threatening and dangerous and turns out to be a helpless projection of an unfulfilled longing for happiness.

Martin Krenn’s work in progress project “City Views” is realized in cooperation with migrants in various European cities. Krenn visits emancipatory places as well as places of exclusion of migrants’ public sphere and uses them in photo series which he combines with migrants’ comments. He examines which places are assigned to migrants, which places they assign to themselves and how people are stigmatized by “multicultural” ideas.

Marco Dellacand, in his work “The long and extraordinary Life of Madame Pune”, traces back the life of a woman with the help of old photographs. He poses the question if one can do justice to a person’s life by using such “second hand” material. Is it possible to bring out in a picture story the particularity of a person one never knew? Is the person we see really the one we believe her to be or does there emerge a completely new figure in the course of collecting and putting together?

“SCREEN TEST : IN SPACE”, an interactive internet project, is the starting point of Karl-Heinz Klopf’s and Sigrid Kurz’s photo installation. Screen test is a term used for test shootings in the film context. The project is based on text fragments of films comprised to new constellations, forming thematically various microscenes. In the form of text pictures, the urban sphere is treated with various topics, such as claim for territory, private space of interaction, imagination and reflection.

Thanks to: sixpack
Canadian Embassy, Wien
Kultur Alsergrund
Wien Kultur
British Council