Camera Austria International

80 | 2002

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  • CHRISTIAN HÖLLER
    Heimo Zobernig: What is it? - Nothing. Notes on the Early Work of Heimo Zobernig
  • HEIMO ZOBERNIG
  • YILMAZ DZIEWIOR
    Anri Sala: Spaces of Society
  • ANRI SALA
  • MATTHIAS HERRMANN
    AA Bronson: A conversation with Matthias Herrmann
  • AA BRONSON
  • THE ATLAS GROUP / ZEINA TRABOULSI / WALID RAAD
    Sweet Talk or Photographic Documents of Beirut
  • THE ATLAS GROUP / ZEINA TRABOULSI / WALID RAAD
  • KRYSTIAN WOZNICKI
    Aesthetics of Globalisation: The Design Of Natural Selection

Editorial

The Heimo Zobernig retrospective, opening in the next few days at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, was a good opportunity for us to finally tackle a feature on him that we had long been planning; following on from a series of features dedicated to a younger generation of artists living in Austria, the aim is to focus on part of the complex of works of this internationally renowned Austrian artist. In his contribution on Heimo Zobernig, Christian Höller discusses the artist’s early photography and videos, work that has hardly been accessible to the public in the past and which therefore has not yet been theoretically appraised. The works presented here from the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties were made during the period in which Zobernig studied stage design at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, where, among other things, he tried out various crossovers between performance and visual media. This is the first appearance of the “radical reductionism” in Zobernig’s work that was to characterise his subsequent mode of working.

Full text

Camera Austria International 80 | 2002
Editorial

The Heimo Zobernig retrospective, opening in the next few days at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, was a good opportunity for us to finally tackle a feature on him that we had long been planning; following on from a series of features dedicated to a younger generation of artists living in Austria, the aim is to focus on part of the complex of works of this internationally renowned Austrian artist. In his contribution on Heimo Zobernig, Christian Höller discusses the artist’s early photography and videos, work that has hardly been accessible to the public in the past and which therefore has not yet been theoretically appraised. The works presented here from the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties were made during the period in which Zobernig studied stage design at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, where, among other things, he tried out various crossovers between performance and visual media. This is the first appearance of the “radical reductionism” in Zobernig’s work that was to characterise his subsequent mode of working. Yilmaz Dziewior’s contribution is also concerned with video works and, more recently, photographs, in this case the works of the Albanian artist Anri Sala, who has been featuring increasingly in international circles in recent years. Dziewior develops an approach by looking into questions that seem to be action-guiding in the creation of Sala’s work: “How does someone who was born and raised in Tirana and who has now been living in Paris for almost five years articulate the differences manifested in language, habit and attitude, differences experienced both at home and in exile? What role is played by cultural memory, the complex that we conceive as comprising the rituals, texts and images required to communicate, with which an ethnic, national or political group stabilises and conveys its self-image?” The decisive factor in this context is the history of Albania, whose societal, economic and political situation features as a subtext in the works, representative of the characterisation of a country with an eventful fate.
The link-up of fictitious and documentary strategies in order to examine political – often specific national – problems with the means of art is characteristic of the work of Anri Sala but also of Walid Raad. With Raad’s / The Atlas Group’s fourteen-page insert in this issue designed for The Atlas Group we are following on from the complex of issues discussed by Catherine David in Camera Austria No. 78/2002, a collation of different contributions by artists from the Arab world entitled “Images from the Arab World”. This issue gives Raad room to present a larger complex from his work. For example, The Atlas Group presents sixteen pictures of Beirut buildings: eight black and white photos by Zeina Traboulsi dating from 1977 – 2001; and the same eight photos adapted by The Atlas Group in 2002. In this context, Jalal Toufic’s accompanying essay describes not only the disturbing effect of buildings that have fallen prey to the destruction of war, but also elaborates the psychological reasons why it is important – if not essential – to document destruction by means of photography.
Following the death of Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, the American artist AA Bronson – co-founder of the artist collective General Idea – underwent a certain kind of inner rehabilitation by dealing with the death of his partners (among other things) with the means of art. His work “is also about war, and extreme trauma; it documents, even produces, a moment of horror”, as Bronson did nothing to conceal the terror of death by AIDS at this early stage of the epidemic: “Although I don’t consider the work didactic, it does address issues of AIDS, aging, Auschwitz, and so on. (…) General Idea was a semi-fictional autobiographical narrative, and because of their deaths in real life, Felix and Jorge had to die within the context of our art life as well, just as one would have to fabricate a death in a soap opera, if one of the primary actors died. In this sense, my work is an extension ofGeneral Idea‘s work, despite how different it might appear to be.” (AA Bronson in the conversation with artist and colleague Matthias Herrmann in this issue).
Our correspondent Krystian Woznicki brings our series of monographic and theoretical contributions to a close with the column on the “Aesthetics of globalisation” that he kicked off in the last issue: based on his research on the “Semiotics of War” against the backdrop of the 9-11 events (cf. his contribution in Camera Austria No. 77/2002, “The Rhetoric of Loss of Control”), in the next issues he will be investigating into the media-based (visual) imparting of values that distinguish winners in neo-liberalism. While the motto of his initial text was “globalisation is in its oral phase”, in this issue, in an article entitled “The Design of Natural Selection” he discusses aviation imagology that seems to be marked by a repulsive social Darwinism. With this series Woznicki is taking over from our long-standing columnist Rolf Sachsse, whose final piece in his “Net – Image – Skin” series in Camera Austria No. 79/2002 analysed images of war on the Internet – the ideal complement to Krystian Woznicki’s first column. Of course, Rolf Sachsse will still continue writing for us and will increasingly be reviewing books and exhibitions in issues to come.
The date of publication of this issue of Camera Austria is linked with completion of two book and exhibition projects created in co-operation with Graz 2003 – Cultural Capital of Europe. One of these is the artist’s book Graz by Hans-Peter Feldmann – a co-production ofCamera Austria and Hans-Peter Feldmann’s 3 Möwen Verlag – a collection of some 370 photographs by the German concept artist and Camera Austria Award winner (1999), photographs taken in Graz at the invitation of Camera Austria in 2002. Again, the black and white photographs exhibit Feldmann’s typical aloof aesthetics of documentation, a feature characteristic of his entire work. With a seemingly unpretentious view through the camera, the result is an illustrated book beyond any hackneyed or marketable conceptions of the city of Graz, a work, however, that is dedicated to its buildings, squares, and its inhabitants, setting out in loving detail to track down special urban situations in the city.
On the other hand, we have now completed our examination of the image archive entrusted to Camera Austria by Pierre Bourdieu; in co-operation with Franz Schultheis, the results of this work have been incorporated into a publication by the Paris publishers Actes Sud to accompany the exhibition “Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting” curated by Camera AustriaThe exhibition in his honour opens in January – on the first anniversary of Pierre Bourdieu’s death – parallel to the publication of the book at the Paris Institut du Monde Arabe. By the time this exhibition opens in Graz in November 2003, we will have the extended German version of the catalogue – to be published by Camera Austriapublishers – and, hopefully, an English-language version, both of which will accompany the exhibition. A tour of the exhibition in Japan with a Japanese version of the book published by Fujiwara-shoten is also in discussion.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Hans-Peter Feldmann very warmly for his co-operation on the joint publication for Graz 2003 as well as Pierre Bourdieu, Jerôme Bourdieu and Franz Schultheis for their confidence in our work that actually allowed us to create the comprehensive book – that makes the photographic documents from the Algeria period of this major French sociologist accessible to the public for the first time – and the accompanying exhibition.

Christine Frisinghelli, Maren Lübbke
December 2002

Contributions

Forum

BETH YARNELLE EDWARDS

ADIDAL ABOU-CHAMAT

MARCOS LOPEZ

THOMAS WREDE

DMITRIJ SHUBIN

CLAUDIA RORARIUS

FODOR

ULRIKE THIELE

JENS LIEBCHEN

KOICHI KURODA

Exhibitions

Victor Burgin: Relocating
Arnolfini, Bristol; Matt’s Gallery, London
DENISE ROBINSON

Justine Kurland: In Community, Skyblue
Gorney Bravin & Lee, New York
CARLO MCCORMICK

Angela Bulloch
Institute of Visual Culture, Cambridge
MICHAEL ARCHER

Bernd & Hilla Becher: Industrial Structures
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Bernd & Hilla Becher: Gevelmuren Gefotogrefeerd NA 1970
huis Marseilles, Amsterdam
SVEN LÜTTICKEN

Salla Tykkä: Pain Pleasure Guilt
Kunsthalle Bern; BAWAG Foundation, Wien
SØNKE GAU

Kunst zwischen cultural studies und Politik: Routes – Imaging Travel and Migration
Grazer Kunstverein, steirischer herbst 2002
REINHARD BRAUN

Inés Lombardi
Galerie Georg Kargl, Wien
FRIEDRICH TIETJEN

Talk of the Town: Ruth Kaaserer; Moira Zoitl
Kunstraum München e. V.
HEIKE ENDTER

Kontext-Kollision. Sowjetische Fotografie der zwanziger und dreißiger Jahre
Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien
MARIE RÖBL

In Search of Balkania / Auf der Suche nach Balkanien
Neue Galerie, Graz
Balkan Konsulat Proudly Presents: Belgrad
< rotor >, Graz
JUSTIN HOFFMANN

Erinnerung / Gedächtnis des Körpers. Unterwäsche der sowjetischen Epoche
St. Petersburg, Niznij Novgorod, Moskau, Krasnojarsk, Wien
HERWIG HÖLLER

Nicole Wermers: French Junkies
Produzentengalerie, Hamburg
MAREN LÜBBKE

Books

Image: / Images. Positionen zur zeitgenössischen Fotografie
Passagen Verlag, Wien 2001
REINHARD BRAUN

Inge Morath: New York
Edition Fotohof im Otto Müller Verlag, Salzburg / Wien 2002
MAGDALENA VERENA FELICE

Politik und Sinnlichkeit. Boxing, Runway und Social Graces von Larry Fink
Powerhouse Books, New York 1997, 2000 und 2001
MARIE RÖBL

Reinhold Misselbeck: Prestel-Lexikon der Fotografien
Prestel, München 2002
Michael Koeztle: Das Lexikon der Fotografen
Knaur, München 2002
TIMM STARL

Claude Cahun: Ècrits
Éditions Jean Michel Place, Paris 2002
FABIAN STECH

Über die gewandelte Ästhetik US-Amerikanischer Kriegsführung
Ridley Scott, “Black Hawk Down”, 2001
HIAS WRBA

Imprint

Publisher: Manfred Willmann. Owner: Verein CAMERA AUSTRIA, Labor für Fotografie und Theorie
All: Sparkassenplatz 2, A-8010 Graz

Editors: Christine Frisinghelli, Maren Lübbke
Editorial assistants: Manisha Jothady, Heidi Oswald, Anja Rösch, Nora Theiss

Translations: Allison Plath-Moseley, Wilfried Prantner, Richard Watts