And there I lay down on the ground
Tanya Lukin Linklater, Paul P., Georgia Sagri, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Matt Welch
Curated by Christina Lehnert
5. – 26. 9. 2020
And there I lay down on the ground* shows in the work of five artists the construct of body and its existence through introspection, observation and the tireless use of the body, the (self-) abandonment and the counter– movement. The body is a negotiating surface, a historical and cultural projection, a carrier of power and oppression, but also the possibility of rebellion. The last few months have shown that the body can become a crime scene and a symbol for asymmetries in society and law, but also an element that is absorbed in a public social body. The various works show how the artists discuss attribution, image and cliché, as well as cultural history.
In Matt Welch’s (*1988 in Liverpool, lives and works in Frankfurt) video work The Secret Millionaire, the body is barely visible; a past or future existence of it is only reflected in in an apartment in a state of renovation. The body appears marginally, as a shadow, through the breath of the filmmaker and the sound of his steps. Abruptly though the image changes to the other extreme, an introspection into the interior of the body. The music that accompanies the video, Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie No 1, remains on the level of common popularity, as does the title of the work The Secret Millionaire from a popular British TV show, so that the promise of an understanding is constantly withheld.
Public space plays a recurring role in Georgia Sagri’s (*1979, lives and works in Athens) performances. Often through disruptive interventions, her works break the continuity of habitual movements in urban public life, thus throwing a focus on the invisible conventions of behavior in social spaces. Her (counter-) movements also reveal the social hierarchies that shape urban spaces and the ascriptions that assigns people in their places.
In his painted portraits, Paul P. (*1977, lives and works in Toronto) appropriates homoerotic photographs from the years between the uprisings of the gay movement in the New York Stonewall riots of the late 1960s and the emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980s. The portraits, which were originally intended to arouse desire, contain this knowledge of the past and the anticipation of the coming times, so that their beauty, just like the provisional freedoms and securities that were fought for, is something fragile.
Evelyn Taocheng Wang (*1981, Chengdu, China, lives and works in Amsterdam) deals with the question of how one perceives one’s own identity and its cultural destiny: clothing, trends and history combined with origin and cultural heritage determine one’s own image and the external image. In particular, she is concerned with clothing that determines a person’s image to the outside world. In Photosynthesis the artist shows herself in various pieces of clothing of the brand Agnès B. For Evelyn Taocheng Wang, this embodies the typical style of European women, something that the artist coming from Chengdu (China) is fascinated by – as it represents something promisingly foreign. Photographed as a snapshot, she puts herself through different poses, and places in different roles and images, revealing the effect of clothes and their traditional but also temporal statements. The banner from the ‑ER series, consisting of different fabrics, is in turn a reference to the tailoring of clothing, an act that traces and comprehends the human body, a body that is constantly changing and in motion.
In her filmic and performative works, Tanya Lukin Linklater (* 1976, Afognak and Port Lions, South Alaska, lives and works in North Bay, Ontario) investigates how bodies, languages and cultural heritage can be a method of resistance for indigenous peoples whose existence was and still is broken by colonialism. The body plays the role of a carrier and mediator of knowledge in her works. The treaty is in the body shows the artist, her family and friends as well as women from the community in her home. Tanya Lukin Linklater documents the meeting of these women while they are discussing the indigenous treaty. The video has no sound, so that the understanding can only be gained from bodily behavior, its gestures, looks and movements.
* from Bhanu Kapils Ban en Banlieu (2015)
The exhibition is part of ‘curated by’ – the gallery festival with international curators in Vienna