Artists: Albin Bergström, Aline Sofie Rainer, Colin Park, Connor Crawford, Elisa Bergmann, Ferdinand Halter, Franciis Frings, Gloria Bergner, Hamada Yasuaki, Harry Walker, Igor Blomberg Tranæus, Inga Charlotte Thiele, Iris Böhnlein, Janis Zeckai, Janne Schipper, Javier Carro Temboury, Jin Shuai, Johanna Fink, Jonida Laçi, Julia Belova, Julian Ernst, Katrina Schneider, Laurence Sturla, Lena Goldsteiner, Leonard Anders, Matthias Julian, Minna Liebhart, Miruh Frutiger, Natalia Gurova, Rebecca Rothenborg, Red Huemer, René Stiegler, Robert Bergmann, Rosa De Coster, Tarik Kentouche, Yann Delon-Jacquin, Yein Lee
Exhibition title: Life on Its Own
An exhibition by: the Studio of Object Sculpture, Julian Göthe. Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
Venue: Kunstraum Schwaz, Schwaz, Austria
Date: June 17 – September 15, 2023
Photography: all images © Verena Nagl/Kunstraum Schwaz / all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunstraum Schwaz
It happened as I walked past the booth, which provided a rectangular view on the middle part of a seated receptionist: from the hands to the neck. The wooden structure hid the head. The hands were busy shuffling papers, noting things down and bringing them over from one neat pile to another. I stopped and watched as the papers and hands became a framed choreography of professional gestures.
I did not ask myself what was written on the pages, or according to which criteria the different piles were formed. Instead, I saw the counter transforming: first into a stage on which the hands danced. Then, into an instrument the hands (hands again) were playing. At that moment, I forgot where I was.
Life on Its Own is a group exhibition with students from the Object Sculpture department at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts. Although the students represent a diverse set of practices and artistic methods, what connects the department is an interest in sculptural practice. Thus, the discussions tend to revolve around issues of making objects.
What does it mean to make things in an economy which is dictated by abstract value and commodification? What is the relationship between the objects we make and our bodies? How can objects be put into play in fictional narratives, as storytelling devices? What roles do objects play in our domestic environments versus in the public sphere? How do objects play into our desire, and what does it mean to love an object?
Objects fascinate us, sometimes so strongly that the things we surround ourselves with might be said to take on lives of their own. What this means for our relationship to our surrounding world – not to say what it means for artistic practice – is a broad question that underlies the exhibition.
Text © Rosa De Coster and Igor Blomberg Tranæus