Birgit Jürgenssen

English
Obsessions and Intimacy

Obsessions and Intimacy

Theocharakis Foundation, Athen

13/01/11 – 03/04/11

The B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music in Athens, Greece presents the exhibition Obsessions and intimacy: The body in contemporary austrian drawings - From Alfred Kubin to Birgit Jürgenssen. The observation, questioning and exploration of the body are the most intimate, private, radical and highly sensitive theme of the visual arts, while being central axis of the modern and contemporary Austrian art. The exhibition does not have the ambition to analyze the cultural phenomenon with an encyclopedic listing of names, but attempts to present 13 contemporary Austrian artists and the extraordinary wealth of their journey in the empire of obsessions, destructions, intimacy and intercourses.
In the narration are included psychoanalytical approaches, evidence of a spiritual post-symbolism, linguistic deconstruction strategies, aesthetic utopias and a kind of neo-romanticism. Resonances emerge with important Austrian intellectuals, among them Sigmund Freud, including a provocative and sharp commentary about the body with all the psychological, mythological and political contexts, which relate to the cultural field of contemporary society.

The following avant-garde artists participate with their works: Alfred Kubin, Maria Lassnig, Alfred Hrdlicka, Arnulf Rainer, Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch, Adolf Frohner, Hubert Scheibl, Christian Ludwig Attersee, Kurt Kocherscheid, Franz West, Lois Weinberger, Birgit Jürgenssen.

As stated by Lóránd Hegyi, curator of the exhibition "We can say that the artists presented in this exhibition are often identical to the cultural prestige of Austria, with some narratives that are common subject to the Austrian culture. Like the strange, enigmatic, fantastic picture-stories of Alfred Kubin, the psychological queries of Hans Frohnius, the Totenmaske of Arnulf Rainer, the self-tormenting, abnormal distorted female body parts and self-portraits of Maria Lassnig, the transitional architecture and anatomy coexistences of Hermann Nitsch, or the virtuoso, passionate, ecstatic stratification text and image of Gunter Brus, not only express a radical reference to the body of the Wiener Aktionismus tradition, and the equally radical ideologically and culturally subversive attitude of the progressive austrian literature from Karl Kraus to Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek. In this context, the works of the Austrian artists presented are considered as partly hidden, partly apparent continuity of critical-mined, often psychopathological, often ironic, skeptical attitude of the Viennese fin de siècle and the start of the 20th century. As Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka are inextricably tied to the Old Vienna as a city that gave birth to psychoanalysis, the philosophy of language and modern literature or twelvetone music, so artists like Arnulf Rainer, Maria Lassnig, or the "Wiener Aktionismus" generation are now considered as typical Viennese phenomena of the '60s."

The exhibition is held under the auspices of HE Austrian Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Michael Linhart, accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with texts by Lóránd Hegyi, curator of the exhibition.