Wagner + Partner

portrait extended - Six Interpretations on The Self - Group Exhibition
12 October – 17 November, 2018

About the show

Alexandra Baumgartner, Nezaket Ekici, Emel Geris, Csilla Klenyánszki, Soline Krug, Natascha Stellmach


Given our hypermodern lifestyle, it becomes compulsory to question the individual construction of meaning. Simultaneously; traditional contexts, interpretations and benchmarks unravel; they merge into one another and transform, anew. Often, only the means of self-assurance seem certain.

A glance at social media illustrates how this is played out: characterised by a continuous search for meaning and identity, the pursuit of uniqueness becomes an expression of a respective individual’s personality. These attributes are associated with specific fashion and sports trends, music and art exhibitions, the right choice of food – meanwhile we “curate” everything that comes under our noses; indeed everything ultimately succumbs to this ideal of supposed autonomy.

However, to what extent is this ideal a fallacy? In the group exhibition Portrait Extended the artists take into account the search for identity, image and origin. To what extent are we autonomous, or ruled by outside forces? How much power does the past have for the present-day? For one, the exhibition explores the staging of the self, not only in contrast to social identity but also to transience.

Alexandra Baumgartner (* 1973) has reappropriated the objet trouvé and made it socially acceptable again: she reworks found material in such a way that crucial visual information disappears or becomes indecipherable, and hence viewers are thrown back on themselves.

Nezaket Ekici (* 1970) explores and plays out the various roles expected of her through her practice. Here, the body acts as a narrative instrument; irrespective of whether through performance, installation or video art, all her works revolve around questions related to power structures and cultural identity.

Emel Geris (* 1980) is particularly interested in the ambivalence of existence. Her mystical–mythical interiors, which often encompass art-historical quotes, invite the viewer to reflect upon the transience and fragility of human existence. At the same time, these spaces seem like mirrors of the inner life of a (female) self, which is nourished by both its own and appropriated images, to form new associations.

Csilla Klenyánszki (* 1986) investigates the metaphorical as well as the physical understanding of an equilibrium, which she seeks to establish in performative interactions through her playful– experimental approach.

Soline Krug (* 1984) creates “lecture performances”, monologues that are surreal because they have no recipient, nor lead character. These centre around themes of self–discovery and assertiveness, whereby Krug seeks to preserve the nature of “good art”, namely to remain alien to oneself.

Natascha Stellmach (* 1970) is a long-standing artist of the gallery. In Stellmach’s oft-provocative works, she mixes personal and biographical aspects with pop cultural, historical or fictional elements, thus creating an atmosphere that illuminates human vulnerability and invites the viewer to dive into hidden realms.

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