5. October 2010 – 3. November 2010

Birgit Graschopf (AT), Johann Lurf (AT), Klaus Mähring (DE)

Opening: Monday, 4. October at 7pm

Introduction: Petra Noll
Special sponsor: Hans O. Mahn KG

This exhibition presents the works of three travelling artists. Just like all travellers, they too return from their voyages with images, impressions, and memories. Each voyage is different and has various motivations. Yet motion, openness, impulse, action as well as the sensory experience are all aspects that always play an important role. Beyond the concept of mere physical movement, here it is primarily about spiritual and intellectual movement. For the artists presented here, travel opens up additional opportunities to reflect on new and “other” artistic concepts. Their works are based on the preoccupation with: the factors that constantly change while travelling, “time” and “space”; the “scientific work” of collecting, analyzing and researching; as well as the exploration of factors specific to travel, “excitement” and “adventure”.

Birgit Graschopf’s conceptual photographic work Urban Creatures can be understood as the artistic implementation of the results of a seemingly scientific expedition, a journey undertaken in 2008 by train through Apulia, a region in south eastern Italy. In an analytic fashion, she examined the layouts of old historic towns and submitted them to a new structure, thereby making a socio-political statement. Large format photo montages, based on drawings and presented as diptychs, show the historic towns’ floor plans, from each of which Graschopf has removed the most important portion, the church, which shapes the rest of the historic town’s layout. The formal transfer of the city layouts as floating hybrids in front of a black background that appear to be organic entities (urban creatures), refers to depletion of a certain significance, which is reflected by the actual emigration of the named cities inhabitants.

Johann Lurf undertakes a travel through time and space in his films. Lurf’s film Zwölf Boxkämpfer jagen Viktor über den großen Sylter Deich (a pangram in German) is to be understood as a “voyage-through-images”, a film in which text (title graphics) as well as various scenes, each taken from a different movie, literally chase each other at breakneck speed. The film 12 Explosionen builds upon a sensory experience using elements of suspense. Various locations in Vienna were filmed at night. These locations all have one thing in common: Each resembles a crime scene and builds up the expectation that something is just waiting to happen. Explosions, as if out of nowhere, tear through the quiet of the night. Lurf explores the immanent qualities of both film and travel: “stagnation” and “motion”, “tension” and “relaxation”.

Klaus Mähring, with his project On the Road Productions, belongs to the species of “nomad artists”, the term referring to the idea of an artist constantly in motion both physically and mentally, always searching, always in communication with the outside world, with strangers, with the constantly changing newness. During his travels, Mähring lives and works in a bus, which has been converted into a studio. This allows him to be abroad and at home all at the same time. The works that emerge during his tours will be presented as expansive space installations.

The installation at the Fotogalerie Wien will include a photographic exposure, created by coating the surface of an entire wall with photographic emulsion, as well as other photographs of various sizes, boxes with items collected during the travels, and “mural stones”, relics of photo actions performed in various travel destinations.