Jakob Lena Knebl & Ashley Hans Scheirl — Pavillon autrichien — Biennale de Venise 2022


Mixed media

Jakob Lena Knebl & Ashley Hans Scheirl
Pavillon autrichien — Biennale de Venise 2022

Past: April 23 → November 27, 2022

Curator Karola Kraus is presenting Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl in the Austrian Pavilion at the 2022 Biennale Arte, two artists whose works are characterised by numerous links between art, performance, design, fashion, performance, sociocultural phenomena, and architecture, thus focusing on current discourses of global relevance.

Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl develop stage-like installations, entitled Invitation of the Soft Machine and Her Angry Body Parts, in which they unfurl their entire artistic cosmos — from paintings, sculptures, textile works, photographs, text, and video to a fashion collection and a special magazine. These hybrid ‘spaces of desire’ upset conventional notions of museum presentations and shake up the hierarchies of art and design, of high and low.

The artists deal with the mechanisms of identity construction, in which desire and sensory experience play a major role. They construct multilayered dynamic spaces, in which the viewers themselves become actors and may expand their horizon through curiosity.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS’ WORK From dandy to camp to bohemian and counterculture, from flamboyantly staging the self to being the solitary, introverted romantic: At least since the invention of modernism, artists have had a role to play within the operating system of art. These social role allocations are always also attached to gender, sexual orientation, skin colour, and status. Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl have set up their stage within the coordinate system of this construct that employs desired as well as forced identities, undermining it — and rehearsing their own play by mixing up systems and producing hybrids that deal with the identities of styles, media, materiality, contexts, aesthetics, and movements throughout the history of art and design. Instead of indoctrinating their audience, the artists want a human exchange at eye level: a joyous sensory invitation to join them in their journey to utopian spheres, thus making alternatives imaginable.

The jumping-off point of Jakob Lena Knebl’s spatial strategies is often a photographic staging that puts the body as well as constructions of identity and desire in relation with sculptural objects and spaces both material and social.

With this approach, she creates three-dimensional — at times walk-in — installations, settings, and dramatisations that connect the private with the public sphere. The installations often see the juxtaposition of different aesthetics, media and materials in an intense atmosphere. Knebl takes her references from the histories of art and design as well as the movements that have connected the two fields.

Ashley Hans Scheirl’s artistic practice began in the late 1970s, for which she has employed a multitude of different media. She*he went on to dedicate the next twenty years to the moving image. With more than fifty films and the transgender cult classic Dandy Dust, Scheirl has been one of the pioneers of the queer movement in the arts.

Since the mid-1990s, painting has taken centre stage, a type of painting that viewers experience as installations — which is to say in its incorporation of architecture, contexts, objects, video loops, and, not least, by the way the visitors move through them.

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Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €25.00

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The artists