VIENNA LINE curated_by Dr. Lóránd Heygi
For this year’s edition of curated_by Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna presents an exhibition in three parts, symbolizing the city’s cultural complexity, creative openness, and innovative potential as well as its attraction and often provocative intellectuality in the context of the international art scene and of artists cultivating a long-standing relationship with Vienna’s art life.
They include famous paradigmatic masters of the last half-century who have been living in Vienna for years and actively shaping and influencing the Austrian capital’s art and cultural discourses. One of them is Michelangelo Pistoletto. Teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the artist’s oeuvre and aesthetic approach has influenced his students as well as generations of young artists. Along with Pistoletto, the exhibition features several middle generation artists whose work deals with the themes, questions and aesthetics of literary and scientific narratives that have been of interest to a wide range of Viennese intellectuals.
The artworks of Kendell Geers and Bernardí Roig address theoretical, linguistic, aesthetic and architectural ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein and are inspired by the famous thinker’s fascinating and extensive oeuvre. Ugo Giletta’s explorations of appearance and essentiality were also influenced by Wittgenstein’s theses as well as Otto Weininger’s philosophies and ideas on essentiality. The graphical works of Sandra Vásquez de la Horra and Marine Joatton contain psychoanalytical aspects and concepts of the unconscious, which they consider in a cultural-anthropological context that leans heavily on mysticism and the world of magic.
Symbols and signs of certain ritual practices and indicators of popular, at times folkloric or historical narratives come into sharp focus in the works of Barthélémy Toguo and Fabien Verschaere. Barthélémy Toguo addresses African fertility rites, while Fabien Verschaere highlights late medieval Flemish and French ideas of magic, fairy-tales, witchcraft, passion plays, and death cult.
All these artists foster a close relationship with Vienna, its cultural traditions, and its contemporary art scene; and some even established friendships with Viennese artists—Fabien Verschaere with Franz West, Ugo Giletta with Hermann Nitsch.