Zwischenspiel: A Piece Of Water


Photography students from the University of Applied Arts Vienna are exhibiting their works in Verbund's headquarter.

Vertical Gallery in Verbund's headquarter, Am Hof 6a, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition duration: 3 July – 16 October 2009
A public art discussion will take place every Wednesday at 6.00 p.m. from September 2009.

With the exhibition ZWISCHENSPIEL (English: Interlude), it is now the second time that young photo art from Austria is being offered a forum on the company's premises - following the exhibition of photographic works from the photography class of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2007: From 3 July, Verbund's Vertical Gallery will be furnished with an "INTERLUDE" to the works of the Verbund Collection that are normally shown there.

On display are works from the art project A PIECE OF WATER, initiated by the Verbund subsidiary VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG (the accompanying exhibition was on show in May 2009 in Vienna's Künstlerhaus ), along with other – some older, some completely new – works from the students. This exhibition therewith extends an invitation to gain an enhanced insight into the artistic activities of the photography class.  

Verbund is thereby continuing its more than 60 year tradition of art promotion and, simultaneously, demonstrating social responsibility by also supporting and promoting artists in times of economic difficulty. Within the framework of guided tours, the works will be made accessible to a broader public.

With its very loose thematic, the ZWISCHENSPIEL exhibition corresponds to the equally open direction of the photography class under the guidance of Univ.-Prof. Gabriele Rothemann. However the works form a focal point on the subject of water, which was also a central theme of the A PIECE OF WATER project. The artistic examination of the element of water, which is essential for man and nature, offered the students an appealing and appropriate intellectual challenge for their works.

The students' enthusiasm and the dedication for the A PIECE OF WATER project is impressively continued in the current exhibition ZWISCHENSPIEL, which is demonstrated in the diversity and quality of the works of the more than 30 young artists involved.

"The students' works are shaped by a heightened consciousness for the existential importance of water in all areas of life, for the imbalance of shortage and excess, but also by decisions for abstract thought patterns," says Gabriele Rothemann on the subject of her students' works. In line with the enormous diversity of these elements, which enable a wide range of approaches, the results of the works by the photography class from the University for Applied Arts Vienna are equally unusual. This is shown both in the contentually different approaches and in the large spectrum of techniques and methods, which have acted as an aid in drawing the students closer to the subject. What has emerged are photographs, videos, drawings and installations, which testify to a higher artistic quality.

"Whilst Ernst Koslitsch's text, which records a conversation between the artist and his house, has the daily – from the house's perspective – often unconscious and indiscriminate treatment of water as its central theme, Melanie Ender's works demonstrate two diametrically opposed properties – almost the two poles – of water. With allusion to the valley flooding in China, the work "Stausee AltErlaa" (English: AltErlaa Reservoir), which resembles a horror scenario, focuses on the incredible power of water – from both the socio-political and physical perspective. By way of contrast, her "electrical socket" installation depicts the possible life-giving power of this element, even in the most adverse conditions (whereby we are dealing with what is simultaneously a funny and acutely observed debate on the subject of water power).

The partially large scale photo works by Markus Guschelbauer play with an altered view and confused perspective, evoked by disintegrating dimensions, reflections of light and reflective surfaces of a water landscape. A wholly different approach is found by Catharina Freuis in her work of multiple pieces entitled "Wasser-Raum" (English: Water-Space), whereby she calls exclusively upon the observer’s powers of association and it is precisely the absence of water that makes this all the more apparent. In her places of fictional leisure activities, it's all about fallow land and building sites, desolate areas and empty spaces.

In his pseudo-scientific treatment of puddles, Benjamin Eichhorn devotes himself to the smallest form of standing water by subjecting this collection of water to a strict classification and drawing upon the resulting forms as a kind of model for impressions of  "bodies of water". Alongside the graphic approach, great importance in dealing with the theme was also ascribed to language and text, which - alongside numerous accompanying texts - is evident in works that are also entirely removed from the photography."  (Anna Stuhlpfarrer, in: A PIECE OF WATER, exhibition catalogue, 2009) 

Project idea: Anna Stuhlpfarrer, Lukas Maximilian Hüller