inframince infra-mince infra mince - TransArts

University Gallery Heiligenkreuzer Hof

Le possible impliquant le devenir — le passage de l’un à l’autre a lieu dans l’infra mince.
The possible implying becoming — the passage from one to the other takes place in infra mince.
Das die Zukunft implizierende Mögliche – die Passage vom
einen zum andern findet statt im Infra-Dünn.
Marcel Duchamp
This exhibition explores what could distinguish transdisciplinary art today. The subjunctive is used here programmatically. Because this project does not focus on terminological definitions and categorical boundaries; rather it is oriented upon phenomena and procedures that enable us to traverse the multifaceted field of contemporary artistic production. The ten years of artistic and teaching practice in the TransArts department of the University of Applied Arts Vienna serves as the basis for the exhibition.
Following Marcel Duchamp, who did not so much explain his concept of “inframince”—the notion of the razor-thin, ultra-fine, and most undecidable in-between—as illuminate it through examples, the exhibition also focuses on concrete manifestations and their relations. “Inframince”according to Duchamp, for example the warmth that remains on a chair when a person stands upbecomes a metaphor for those indistinct moments when the omnipresent claim to transdisciplinarity actually seems to materialize.
The exhibition adopts the Latin vector “trans-” (across or to the other side, beyond), which determines both “transdisciplinarity” and “TransArts” as a guiding curatorial-artistic principle: Five long-standing lecturers of the department each determined as starting points fundamental parameters of art production such as material and space as well as procedural concepts such as osmosis, research, and circulation in combination with two artistic positions. The artists who were initially invited in turn chose students and graduates of TransArts for the exhibition, in which the above-mentioned concepts served as orientation markers in the collaborative examination. This artistic-curatorial principle, a kind of chain reaction with a domino effect, continued in several rounds, showcasing TransArts as a network in time and space, as a densely woven meshwork of relationships and opportunities.
The flow of particles through a membrane—a process described in the natural sciences as osmosis—is not only emblematic for the exhibition inframince infra-mince infra mince; it is also a key concept in Marlene Lahmer’s video The Love Simulacrum, 2017/2020. This work poses the question as to whether love can permeate everything. Without any visual components, short text passages of love scenes in films and series that touched the artist emotionally are presented in which an “I” addresses a “you” and in so doing literally overcome barriers.
Huda Takriti’s Nation Is _?, 2021, points to the role of narratives in the formation of nations. Ultimately, national belonging is constructed through spoken or written (hi)stories over an extended period of time. During the process, common narratives change and continue to evolve. The phrase “Nation Is Narration,” which plays off the title of a book by theoretician Homi K. Bhabha, calls for—a new? yet another?—reflection on what actually makes the idea of a nation such a powerful force.
In Windschiefe Wahrscheinlichkeiten, 2020, Jürgen Münzer recreates objects from his memories. Conversations with people from his surroundings are part of his artistic working process, and their ideas and opinions are incorporated into his formal decisions. The positioning of the “grown” objects in relation to each other brings out not their difference but their commonality. Münzer understands Windschiefe Wahrscheinlichkeiten as a contribution to the discourse around cultural identity, which grounds individuals’ sense of belonging to a group in opposition to “others.”
The title of Annika Eschmann’s Cloud Flight (from Magazin des Glücks), 2019–2020, refers to a fragment of a revue play by Ödön von Horváth from 1932. In this text, the Magazin des Glücks (Store of Happiness) is a club that encapsulates the world in a nutshell and where affluent clientele can find their luck or even happiness. The large-format drawing Cloud Flight, in this sense, reflects also a parallel world.
An endless knot, a so-called trefoil knot, the simplest form of a nontrivial knot, is tied with an aluminum air tube in the sculpture Kinky, 2006, by David Moises. When the built-in vacuum cleaner sucks air periodically in the self-enclosed knot sculpture, it gives the impression of a contracting muscle or a breathing creature.
Whether it’s academics who see text sources as an essential part of their work or journalists trenching through materials in archives, research is essentially a targeted search for information. Artistic research and its visualization often follow the topos of the archive as a presentation of found materials. Lukas Troberg’s Instagrammable Sundowner, 2018, differs in that his research focuses more on the material properties of the image carrier than the idiosyncrasy of the image. We see an ocean horizon of sorts, which the artist milled out of a coated piece of chipboard. The title as well as the material with its micrometers-thin layer of décor plays with clichéds images of sunsets, which can be found in droves on social media channels.
Jakob Kirchweger’s sculptures Column, Storage, Group, 2019, consist of simple geometric forms which have been extracted from the pre-Alpine cultural sphere and reveal their original function. Each sculpture is distinguished by a schematic composition. Through formal interventions, surface design, or changes in material, a break occurs in the structure, and the respective construction scheme can never fully emerge.
Stephanie Rizaj’s installation Untitled (Backpack), 2019, is comprised of backpack straps on an element of the exhibition display from inframince infra-mince infra mince. The straps are embroidered with words taken from Albert Camus (“The Myth of Sisyphus”) to form the reinvented phrase “struggle itself is enough to fill a heart.” The work subtly undermines the limitations of the institutional framework and articulates existential relationships, caught between movement and paralysis, lightness and gravity.
In To Swallow a Cloud, 2021, Luīze Nežberte uses her own postcards and archive of letters as the departure point to compose a message to an unknown Juliana. The text on a window in the exhibition space and the corresponding sculptures are reminiscent of a stream of consciousness. It is a narrative technique in which an associative array of imaginations—in the case of Luīze Nežberte, reflections on her own artistic practice—supersedes a concluded plot.
Olaf Nicolai’s work Considering a Multiplicity of Appearances in Light of a Particular Aspect of Relevance, Or: Can Art be Concrete?, 2008, employs color as a means to activate affects. Not one of the posters, made with the Iris print method, is like the other. For observers, the power of the color complicates the relationship between the value and circulation of the works and the unique art object as such.
Defining space in terms of length, width, and height—an expanse that is limited in architecture yet boundless in outer space—reflects the complexity of the matter. The fact that it cannot be conceived without the dimension of time, either, is exemplified in the video 10O-NOI, 2021, by Thomas Wagensommerer. It shows a person at the very moment of realizing that he will lose in a game against artificial intelligence. The artist augments this flash in the mind by interpolating the video images—adding images, also calculated by artificial intelligence, between the existing ones—extending them to one hour. In this way, time becomes tangible in space.
Sophia Latysheva’s series Cradle, 2020, captures bodies through their negative forms. The plaster molds of backs, shoulders, torso, and loins are reminiscent of digital form-detection processes, in which the outer shells of bodies are scanned by sensors and can thus be conceived as both negative and positive “spaces.”
Céline Struger’s OSSA, 2021, deals with bodily spaces, too. The photographs depict the inside of a 3D model bust of Caligula from the Louvre collection. Such models from open-source databases serve the artist as templates for crafting her ceramic works. For OSSA, however, the digital information is not translated into another artistic medium; rather she explores the antique sculpture as if it were a space in which she zooms around, rotates, and views from particular perspectives.
Kai Trausenegger’s intervention Baromez, 2018, extends through all the exhibition spaces of inframince infra-mince infra mince with several kilometers of gold thread. A Baromez, or Scythian Lamb, is a fabled mixed creature of animal and plant. From work to work, display to display, architecture to architecture, the artist connects different components of the exhibition, constructing a space of togetherness.
Imogen Stidworthy works with language and voice as physical and spatial materials. Barrabackslarrabang, 2009–2010, focuses on so-called "backslang," a modified form of English, that evolved out of the need to speak privately. Backslang weaves additional phonemes into words to confuse the ear of the uninitiated listener. It is associated with illegal activity, but it is also a playful social space for everyday banter and linguistic embellishment.
If circulation is understood as the global flow of concepts and images and the networked exchange of goods, Hui Ye expands this characterization with a cultural dimension in her work The Full Colour Makeup Session, 2016. The video shows the China-born artist putting on makeup. She imitates makeup tutorials found on YouTube in order to attain the look of an “Asian baby girl.” With her cosmetics—yellow foundation, yellow lipstick, yellow powder—she over-affirms the racist clichés she is often confronted with.
Phantom islands appear, excite the imaginations of cartographers, and then vanish once again. They are the result of misinterpretations or are intentionally set out into the world. In A New Voyage Round the World, 2021, Lara Reichmann employs marketing codes to connect with the history of these non-existent islands and interprets them as places of longing that you can own. Cartography manifests here as a method to represent faraway (and even nonexistent) territories in such a way that they detach from their real contexts and are traded.
Lisa Großkopf’s images from the series What Is Left, 2019, provoke irritation with the commodity character they exhibit. They are reproductions of highly manipulated paintings by Yohanan Simon, which portray life in a Kibbutz as a utopia come true. As an expression of the disappearance of such utopian ideas, Lisa Großkopf eliminated all people from the scenes. What Is Left takes on a political edge, as the artist commissioned the reproductions in Dafen—in the “artist village” in China specializing in manual reproductions of oil paintings. She thereby links the aspect of the circulation of images with the loss of a clear political position.
Selina Rottmann’s Untitled, 2020, takes the notion of commodity quite literally. Folded cardboard boxes, which are often used for sending products purchased online, become part of an installation. The provisional character of the individual elements underlines that, in fact, the packaging is the actual product.
Agnes Fuch’s Assembly Poem, 2007–2021, demonstrates how profoundly the circulation of images is influenced by apparatus. In her practice, the artist investigates the appropriation of a historical field and the afterimages that this field produces to this day. In doing so, she symbolically reactivates scientific-technological instruments, which are responsible for the emergence of digital technologies.
If the word “material” refers to those things that an object is made of or to the sum of the parts needed for its production, the term takes on solid even tactile qualities. In Six Walls Down, 2016–2021, however, Mara Novak deals with light, a highly ephemeral material. She exposes images of her studio on the inner walls of cardboard boxes coated with a photosensitive emulsion, thereby creating a link between her own photographic practice and a model of her workspace.
Self-reflection also underlies Katarina Baumann’s take on working conditions: In For Franz Schuh, 2021, the artist morphed a photo of the philosopher, who teaches at the TransArts department, into various states—cheerful, laughing, or as a woman. Hence, she took Schuh at his word when he proposed that she could do whatever she liked with the photo, as he is a public figure. Baumann sees this work, like her Statues, 2020, as a sculpture. Statues is the screenshot of a (CAPTCHA) test, in which users are asked to click on the images of statues in order to prove they are not machines. This approach to material is sculptural in the sense that layers (of meaning) are removed and new formations are applied.
Oscar Cueto’s MOVEMENTS after MUYBRIDGE, 2020–2021, presents animations on a self-built praxinoscope, which are based on the motion studies by Eadweard Muybridge. In this series each frame of the original is carefully retouched to draw a connection between social relations on the periphery of society and the interest in scientific knowledge at the center. The artist chose this form, which he views as an encounter between beauty and technology, to raise attention to modern emancipatory social and political movements.
Kyungrim Lim Jang’s installation Camo Cut, 2018, also provides references to social phenomena. The South Korean artist examines music and corresponding physical exercises that are propagated in her home country to create a public experience—a collective work-out and national identity. Her installation is centered on bodies as malleable material and the tension between medium and tactility.
With Stirn und Gestirne [Forehead and Stars], 1986, Timm Ulrichs proposes a memorable image for the relationship between humans and the universe. Two electrically operated disks connected with a rubber band alternately transfer their contents from one to the other. The silhouette of a head dissolves in the rotations only to appear on the other disk as a starry sky.


Poster: inframince
                                       infra-mince infra mince - TransArts
inframince infra-mince infra mince - TransArts


11. May 2021 - 14:00
Universitätsgalerie im Heiligenkreuzer Hof, Schönlaterngasse 5 / Grashofgasse 3, Refektorium,1. Stock, 1010 Wien
12. May 2021 - 02. July 2021
Universitätsgalerie im Heiligenkreuzer Hof, Schönlaterngasse 5 / Grashofgasse 3, Refektorium,1. Stock, 1010 Wien