15. Mar

Shots of Normality

Vanessa Beecroft, Rineke Dijkstra, Jeanne Dunning, Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler

16.03. - 05.05.1996

In 1996 Vera Vogelsberger exhibited five female artists, all of whom have since been very successful and have made international careers. Rineke Dijkstra (Amsterdam), Jeanne Dunning (Chicago), Vanessa Beecroft (Milan) and the twin sisters Christine and Irene Hohenbüchler (Vienna) are now represented in numerous large exhibition halls and have been operated with this very problematic word in important international exhibitions, the 'Other ' defined here as normality. 


Five artists showed their recordings of normality - zooming in from social phenomena to private moments.


Vanessa Beecroft

The nine photographs presented documented the performance A blonde dream, which took place in the Schipper & Krome gallery (Cologne) in 1994. 30 women with (ill-fitting) blond wigs, dressed differently, old-fashioned underwear combined with uniform-like, high-necked tops, were standing, sitting or leaning draped against the wall in the gallery. They looked impassive, some not moving, others moving about the room. The role of Edmund, the anti-hero in Roberto Rosselini's film Germany in the Year Zero (1947/48) was given as the initial. Triplicated, de-individualized, the 'model' collapses, further goals do not exist.

The moment of directionlessness, of ignorance, of aimlessness was captured in the photographs. This moment also affected the viewers of the performance. They also didn't know about their role, felt 'abnormal', maybe embarrassed and wandered around just as aimlessly.


Rineke Dijkstra

The six portraits showed nameless young people on beaches in Europe and the USA. Dijkstra monumentalized people on the threshold from childhood to adulthood, while the insecurity of the pose conveyed intimacy, the inner world and the outer space. Public and private were intertwined through the use of flashlight on the scenic beach. Melancholic realism, existential loneliness, no smile, no commitment were expressed.


Jeanne Dunning

The artist's four photographs direct a zoom to 'places' on the human body, such as the ears, the back of the knees or the mouth. At first glance, the viewer identifies something familiar - and then, encountering his own voyeurism, recoils in irritation. On the one hand Dunning alienates by exaggerating, on the other hand she gives the impression of trust by adding anomalies to a seemingly 'normal' situation. Fragments of the biological become places where social ideas and constraints can be read and differentiated perspectives are released.


Christine and Irene Hohenbuechler

Light, slides, texts, photos, plans, showcases, diary entries - Christine and Irene Hohenbüchler expanded two-dimensional media through bulges and spatial connections into complex structures. "What we call normal is a product of repression, denial, isolation, projection and other forms of destructive action against experience. It is radically alienated from the STRUCTURE of BEING."*


*Christine, Irene and Heidemarie Hohenbüchler, CH1 1992-95. Stuttgart Okatagon 1995, p.21


Text: Andrea Hörl