Uncanny Formations

NEVER EVER CLEVER © Stefan Hayn

The new Fellows – Eva Egermann, Stefan Hayn, Kerstin Schroedinger, and Vladislav Shapovalov – are introducing themselves and their work, and will provide some insight into their respective proposals for the coming months. Entitled Uncanny Formations, the annual fall / winter exhibition of the Fellowship Program for Art and Theory will show current works by the Fellows, which are linked to their planned projects in Büchsenhausen dealing with physical deviance, educational spirits, apparently obsolete image production processes, and former geopolitics. On the one hand, the works shown illustrate the Fellows’ visual practices; on the other hand, they form a basis for exploration of their respective thematic priorities.

 

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closed on public holidays and between 22 December 2016 until 9 January 2017.

 

In her research-based practice, Eva Egermann works with oppositional practices, assimilations, social movements and pop cultures linked to deviance, abnormality, illness and disability. She works with examples from various times and places, which trigger resistance, irritation or contradiction within aesthetic representations of the undamaged. A huge range of materials can be found in her artistic projects – restaged, revised (e.g. in the form of a newspaper) – or during band practice.
The Crip Magazine is a self-published magazine and a collection of materials on crip themes, art and cultural production, and representations opposing the conditions of normality/abnormality. It encompasses contributions by artists and authors about the crip movement, outcast-nights or disability in subcultural, left-wing and queer contexts; experimental images and texts like the extraterrestrial song text, excentric spoken pieces, the Cosmic Creatures or uncanny images on “feeling bad”.
The magazine is concerned with crip pop culture, art and radical social movements, with pain as its theme, and it opens up a transformative perspective on body issues and physical social relationships. The idea that writing is a technique of the cyborg, as Donna Haraway put it, has been adopted. Cyborgs fight against perfect communication, against the one “code” that translates and transfers every meaning perfectly. That is why cyborgs insist on noise and make a plea for impairment.
An Outcast Night (2013, 2015) is a performance in which Eva Egermann talks about a psychogeographical map dating from 1910. The map was first presented during an “Outcast Night” organized by anarchists in the USA at the turn of the century. The situation allows us to follow this event while fictionalizing it as well. Anachronistic bodies wander through time and mist. “We must fight against transparency everywhere. (…) We demand the right to opacity for all, the right to be misunderstood.” (Glissant) Egermann is supported by Redhead Army, a Punkrock project in one person from Vienna, who provides the sound. An evening with a map from the year 1910, deviant subjects, and blurring of the narrative through disturbance, noise, theory, midi-punk and mist.
(original text: Eva Egermann)

 

Since 2008 Vladislav Shapovalov has been working on projects concerned mainly with the re-evaluation of images and cultural artefacts, and the construction of narratives; the purpose is to construct and analyze geopolitical configurations.
In his current research project, Image Diplomacy, Shapalov investigates the specific functions of the image in the system of political culture. The project intends to bring to light certain historic aspects of constructing the political-imaginary of the 20th century through exhibition strategies and the photographic medium, and to draw conclusions for the present day.
The research is based on materials from an archive, located in Milan, containing photographic prints and films sent by the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, founded in the USSR in 1925, to the countries of Western Europe. The aim of this intervention by the “Soviet exhibition complex” was to represent socialist modernity and disseminate a positive and controlled image of the USSR and Soviet life during the period of the Cold War.
The main concern of Vladislav Shapovalov’s research is the cultural and visual mechanics behind the formulation of political imaginations, immanent to different societies in different historical periods, through the use of exhibition strategies and photography. Although the project is historically grounded, it is concerned less with fathoming how things actually were and more with how they appear in retrospect. It aims to rediscover and rescue the past but not for nostalgic reasons. The goal is to blast holes in established western interpretations of the twentieth century, freeing up new perspectives that allow for critical reappropriations of its legacy, and reflections on the current interplay between images, politics and society.
In the exhibition Unheimliche Formationen (Uncanny Formations) Shapovalov is showing the work Opening Titles (Images Soviétiques) (2016). Five images that seem identical at first glance show the area of the Soviet Union as a red continent in an indeterminate “blue sea”; above them, in five different languages, is the title of a film: “Through the Soviet Union”. The initial sequence of the Soviet “promotional film” freezes into a multiple, framed body of images, its effect both deconstructive and fetishizing; by this means, it announces a further series of cinematic images, which will be developed during the artist’s fellowship in Büchsenhausen.

 

Stefan Hayn‘s films question artistic as well as filmic categories and evade simple attributions of genre. His works (films, painting, essays) have been presented in various art and film contexts. In Büchsenhausen Hayn would like to undertake a critical examination of contemporary premises and manifestations behind the visual narrative for children in various media – film, television, (audio-) book, Internet.
In the German-speaking countries children’s film, children’s media, family entertainment seem to have been (re-)discovered as a “highly-promising market sector” in the last ten to fifteen years. The branding campaigns to seduce a young audience across the board early on, meanwhile, are being copied successfully from the Disney productions originally seen as an all-powerful competitor. Beyond this profit aspect, however, a far-reaching analysis of content, visual quality and “morality” standards will be one of the study’s foremost interests; looking at how they are maintained above all by critically positioned forums (production and reception) and consortia dealing with “other”, “high-quality” children’s film. A majority of current German children’s media, according to Hayn, is characterized not least by a retro-trend. Here, it seems that standards of the media workers’ own childhood and youth, now that they have become parents, are being staged for children by the parent generation in a sentimentalizing, ironically heightened or distanced way – “Cold War”, anti-authoritarian ideas and, subconsciously, authoritarian national-socialist (still) influenced worlds of emotion.
Before the background of more recent psychoanalytical studies on the psychosexual development of children, another intention is to examine selected examples from the field of children’s media for their implications in this respect. A further aspect of the research will comprise narrative and artistic works that adopt an interim position, as they do not address (only) children and young people explicitly, but refer very precisely to childhood and youth and so (need to) deal with the question of how (intimate-personal) childhood experiences can be related/shown in order to make the outcome watchable for children. What taboos and limits are touched upon, breached, and possibly violated in this context?
In the present exhibition Hayn is showing two film works: Pissen (Pissing) and Nie wieder klug (Clever, never again!):
In Pissen (1989/90) Hayn refuses to deal with forced coterie of any kind. Using the same anarchistic comedy that characterizes Herbert Achternbusch (…) Hayn captures the deep psychology of the small rural family in only a few images. (…) Stefan as a nervous bedwetter at home with his mother, at school or swimming in the nearby pond (…) The father wears a monkey mask and punishes his son, who later stands at his father’s graveside wearing women’s clothes, and busily waters the cemetery flowers using a green watering can.
(Text: Harald Fricke)
The short film Nie wieder klug (Clever, never again! 2015) refers to the book for children and teenagers “Bei uns in Schilda” by Ottfried Preußler (1958, Thienemann Verlag Stuttgart). It was made in collaboration with a Berlin primary school class of mixed age groups, including a high proportion of children with a background of migration. The parable of the citizens of Schilda comes from the early modern age; written in the late 16th century by an anonymous nobleman, it is a farce about the urban middle class that was emerging then, although its members were still tied to the old rural way of life. Taking the form of a loose sequence of stories, it has been re-adapted continually since German Romanticism in particular, after the start of the 20th century primarily as material for children’s books. Gathering the dust of school readers in German, the “cultural lag” in the “narrated images” is nonetheless directly present today.
In Nie wieder klug Hayn shows an “up-to-date, realistic” community of Schilda citizens, among whom the question of belonging and exclusion can no longer be clearly attributed in terms of identity.
(original text: Stefan Hayn)

 

Kerstin Schroedinger works with video, sound and text. She questions means of production, historical continuities, and ideological certainties of representation from an historiographic starting point. The majority of her artistic works and projects as a curator are collaborative. Continuing her research into the historical and material conditions of analogue film, Schroedinger’s project in Büchsenhausen starts out with the history of the chemicals industry and in particular the pharmaceuticals industry at the start of the 20th century, which – like the photographic industry – had its origins in the syntheticizing of colourants. The project comprises material research exploring formal, social, economic and political questions of image production by means of experimental, performance-based image production. Schroedinger works with approaches aiming to deconstruct the dominance of the visual over the material aspects of film images.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) – a chemical derived from a synthetic yellow dye and used in photochemistry as a developer in the field of colour photography – was used in AIDS-activist circles as a medication to treat Kaposi’s sarcoma in the absence of alternatives. Applied to the skin, the chemical triggers an immune response, which can lead to temporary improvement of symptoms. Since the 1990s, we can also observe “alternative” care models from activist structures of the AIDS movement entering into the mainstream more and more. Principles of self-care, organic foods or so-called alternative healing methods like acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as well as the universally growing health mania may also be connected. The application of combination therapy with anti-retroviral medications since the mid 1990s means that the AIDS crisis is shifting more and more into parts of the global south, above all into Africa south of the Sahara. The Swiss pharmaceuticals company Hoffman La Roche denied access to research results for many years and is also guilty of profiting from the overpricing of patented medicines.
At the same time, the 1990s also saw a decline in analogue photography. Among filmmakers, however, there is a tendency to move away from technical developments and trends in the film industry and to develop film again oneself. At so-called film farms, for some years now filmmakers have been occupied with replacing the chemical substances necessary for film development with self-cultivated organic vegetables, for example with extracts of broccoli or paprika.
The deliberations and outcomes of the research will lead to a film project with the working title DNCB vs Broccoli, which is being developed in cooperation with artist and filmmaker Oliver Husain (www.husain.de). In Büchsenhausen Schroedinger and Husain would like to conceive a presentation format for this project – in the form of workshops, lab set-ups, lectures and installations.
In addition, during the research phase she will develop a series of material studies, in which she intends to examine the historical conditions of chemicals production beside the Rhine and in Central Europe, and the current cross-holdings of global pharmaceutical concerns. In this context, she is interested in the role of rivers in Central Europe’s industrialization in general, as well as in referring to the specific local conditions of the Tyrol, in particular the role of the Inn as a source of energy but also as a transportation route and refuse dump – and to what extent, for example, it is possible to relate this to the history of Sandoz in Kundl.
The video work Bläue (Blueness 2016) shows the process of producing a cyanotype, a photographic method that produces a blue image using the synthetic dye, “Prussian Blue”. Parallel to the process’ individual stages, from exposure in sunlight to development and fixing of the image under running water, the shots of the film follow individual historical events linked to the blue dye, and visit their locations. Thereby, connections to the pharmaceutical-chemical industry in Switzerland emerge, latently present in the image-creating blueprint process, but possibly only becoming visible between the images, and between the times of exposure and development.
(original text: Kerstin Schroedinger)

Eva Egermann (*1979 in Vienna, Austria, grew up in the Burgenland) is an artist living in Vienna. She has worked within a wide range of media and collaborations (e.g. with Manoa Free University). Besides numerous artistic projects, she has produced publications (e.g. Regime. Wie Dominanz organisiert und Ausdruck formalisiert wird or Class Works) and projects as curator (e.g. 2 or 3 Things we’ve learned. Intersections of Art, Pedagogy and Protest or On Uncanny States and Bodies). She was part of the research group of Model House. Mapping Transcultural Modernisms, Visiting Researcher at U.C. Berkeley in the winter semester 2014/15, and is writing her doctorate as part of the PhD-in-Practice-Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work was awarded the Theodor Körner Prize 2015 for Science and Art, and endorsed in the category Interdisciplinarity in the context of the Outstanding Artist Award 2016.

Stefan Hayn lives in Berlin. His films released since 1989 question artistic as well as cinematic categorisation, and reject simplistic genre attributions. His works (films, painting, essays) have been presented in a wide range of art and film contexts. He has taught at Berlin University of the Arts, specializing in the interrelations of film and painting.

Stefan Hayn is a painter and filmmaker. In his more recent works he attempts to enable an emotional experience of film-immanent processes or – in comparisons within the exhibition space – processes of painterly or filmic perception including their social-historical and biographical-individual connections. He also reflects on artistic approaches aiming towards openness in conceptual-essayistic works. He presents his films in cinemas, on TV, and at international festivals. Most recently, the Heidelberger Kunstverein and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna showed a selection of his film works and paintings.

For a filmography of Stefan Hayn, see also:
filmportal.de: Stefan Hayn

Kerstin Schroedinger is an artist working in video, sound and performance. Her historiographic practice questions the means of image production, historical continuities and ideological certainties of representation. Her works and curatorial practice are often collaborative. Recent works include The Alleged Body (performance), shown at Images Festival Toronto, and Les Complices* Zurich in 2017, Fugue (Film, 2015), as well as Rainbow’s Gravity (Video, 2014, GFTA-funded 2013) and Red, she said (Video, 2011) both with Mareike Bernien. Her work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Anthology Film Archives New York, Forum Expanded of Berlinale, Short ٍFilm Festival Oberhausen, International Film Festival Toronto, Gasworks London, Arnolfini Bristol, Whitechapel Gallery London, and exhibited at MIT List Visual Arts Center Boston (2016), Photo Cairo #6 (2017), FMAC Mediathèque Geneva (2016), The School of Kyiv – 2nd Kiev Biennale 2015, Helmhaus Zurich (2015), Kunstpavillion Innsbruck (2017), amongst others.

Vladislav Shapovalov (*1981, Rostov-on-Don, Russia) is an artist and researcher living and working in Milan and Moscow. He was a member of the art-group Radek Community from 1999-2007. Since 2008 he has been working independently on projects that focus on rethinking images, cultural artifacts and the construction of narratives as a way to construe and analyze geopolitical configurations. In 2016/17, Shapovalov took part in the Fellowship Program for Art and Theory in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen with support from the City of Innsbruck. He is currently preparing his first solo exhibition Image Diplomacy in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (as from 17.11.2017), in which the film of the same name as well as the installation produced in Büchsenhausen, I Left My Heart in Rhodesia (2017), will be shown among other things. A further solo exhibition by Vladislav Shapovalov will take place as from the beginning of December 2017 at ar/ge kunst in Bolzano.

Recent exhibitions include Atlas [of the ruins] of Europe, curated by Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga and José Riello, CentroCentro, Madrid, 2016; Fear. The Origin of the State, curated by Fedor Blašák and Christian Kobald, Nová synagóga / Kunsthalle Žilina, Slovakia, 2015; The School of Kyiv. Kyiv Biennial, curated by Hedwig Saxenhuber and Georg Schollhammer, Kyiv, 2015; Sources Go Dark, curated by Valerio Borgonuovo and Silvia Franceschini, Futura Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, 2015.

vladislavshapovalov.com

Location
Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen

Weiherburggasse 13
6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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