Among the phenomena to emerge from the transformations we have become accustomed to calling globalization is the challenge individuals face of trying to localize themselves, in other words, maintaining a functioning sense of place. There is no doubt that the increased mobility of people, markets, images, and ideas does not pose the same challenges to business people as it does to artists swept up in the global circus of biennials, or to migrants.
The artists Eva Engelbert and Katrin Hornek conceive a group exhibition based on their own production methods and social relations in the art field, representing an attempt to create an aesthetic and spatial illustration of existing and evolving working contexts and shared ways of thinking. The work and the livelihood of young artists today, particularly those who do not produce according to the whims of the market, are to a large degree determined by grants, study fellowships, and residency programs. This results in the paradox of artists engaging with their shifting locations and with specific issues in one place, but developing works whose relevance then seems questionable in other places. What happens en route between a real place, the locus created by a work of art, and the exhibition space? Is the art space fictional? What kind of space is created when we transport site-specificity somewhere else? Does local context become nothing but a backdrop, thereby ending up depoliticized? Is contemporary art as mobile as its artists?
artists: Eva Engelbert, Ann Guillaume, Karin Hasselberg, Katrin Hornek, Johanna Tinzl / Stefan Flunger, Kay Walkowiak, Hannes Zebedin, Josef Zenzmaier
Text excerpt from the catalog: Christian Kravagna, Hedwig Saxenhuber