Light plays an important role in all the work in the first exhibition of the FOTOGALERIE WIEN (Vienna) in 2005. Light as an intruder publicizing a world not seen from the outside. The hidden and that which takes place within one’s own four walls or within the pages of a diary, that from which memories are reconstructed, is to be psychologically- emotionally- criminalogically investigated and elucidated. In Julian Burgin’s photography, light is the essential element of tension. His protagonists move, for the most part alone, sometimes in groups, through private dwellings like insects drawn in through the different light sources coming from cracks and openings, exposing the ensemble to an uncanny tension. One is automatically compelled to ask what lies behind. In her large photographs, “Türschlitze” (‘Door Slits’), Birgit Graschopf plays with the feelings of the uncanny which, according to Sigmund Freud arise at the moment in which a disturbing dimension, filled with fear, emerges from behind the familiar. It is no wonder that door slits are an important effect used for the classical pyscho-thriller. Light penetrating into a dark room, the unreal shadow behind conveying a sense of claustrophobia and menace. With her multimedia installation, “TAGEBUCH eins” (‘DIARYone’), Jana Müller reveals a glimpse into her parent’s house which she changes into a criminological scene. The results of a house search – opened closets, drawers, furniture and houseware strewn about, the ground plan of the searched house – are documents of a search for clues with an uncertain objective. Here it is not a question of personal memories which are subjective and changeable but the reconstruction of the spectator and the ensuing projection on another, a stranger, which describes being a stranger in one’s own body in a civilized environment. In Petra Warrass’s series of photographs”Da sitz’ ich so, ganz harmlos” (‘Here I sit, so harmless’), we see people at moments in which they are involuntarily forced out of their socially so-called normal behavior, as though some unidentifiable variable has seized them for a split second. In her photo-book installation, Silvia Micheli turns trustingly to the spectators who, looking for segments of their own memories, page through the books with titles such as “please do not tell anybody” or “if i were to show you”. The artist plays with forms of staging herself in which she mixes autobiographical material with elements of fiction. Emotional states such as sadness, loneliness, weariness or pure horror are staged through the use of rugs, fabric patterns, wallpaper which remind one of one’s own textures of the past, and of the PLAY button of the entirely individual memory-films of the recipient .
The FOTOGALERIE WIEN (Vienna) is a noncommercial gallery which aims to present, for the most part, young artists who are little known outside of the art ”scene”. Young art is dependent less on sale’s records as it is on publicity, which you as a representative of the communication media can establish. This season we are again offering a comprehensive and exciting program. We look forward to a continuing collaboration with your media and wish you and your editorial staff all the best for the New Year.
Translation: Beverly Piersol January 2005