Maria Haas – Self-portraits 1997-1999
In front of us we see a collection of loud colourful photographs – self-portraits of a young woman.
Maria Haas retires into her work; leaves noisy New York life behind her; shuts herself in empty rooms. Here, within the room’s setting, she dramatises her body and her characteristic props. It is always these props or “finds” which inspire her picture series; meticulously collected, hoarded until – arranged in the room – they provide the context for her person.
While the figure dives into water coloured by feeling, we immerse ourselves with the voyeuristic eyes of the outsider in an alien world. The themes with which the artist confronts us are not “easy”. Maria Haas is both the subject and observer in an examination of religion, sexuality and violence and invites us to share in this introspection.
While the New York works are characterised by shrill colour, the more recent pictures are composed of a mysterious darkness. Maria Haas takes sacred forms and paraphrases these in her compositions with the use of alien objects. The human figure is hardly distinguishable against this background from the (inflatable) doll; colour and light values melt into each other – the roles of the participants seem to be interchangeable.
The artist in the compositions enters into dialogues and interaction with dolls, comics and portraits of the Madonna. Often several sequences of movement are captured in one picture. Maria Haas is a free agent within the confines of the composition.
Maria Haas’ works have no title because she has the ability to express intense feelings and impressions in colours and accessories without resorting to words.
Alexandra Uedl 1999
Sylvia Kranawetvogl’s photographs portray people she has never met. The faces, which look back at us come from the shop windows of fashion stores in various big cities. Disguised by light reflecting off the glass, the faces mingle with reflections of the outside world: shops, people hurrying, the facades of buildings.
The world of advertising and everyday reality meet, illusion and reality melt into each other. In her installation work “Brave” Sylvia Kranawetvogl is working with outsize photographs, video and sound.