Through repetition and self-consciousness of the act, and interpreted in regard to its intended environment, the pose takes the form of composed and deliberate performance.
The photographic works ”Pose 1 - Marina Abramovic” and ”Pose 2 - Veronika with the veil” are allegories on the classic disciplines of painting and sculpture; at the same time participating in the current discussion on the possibilities for exhibition of performance art works. The moving object and the unmoving subject recognize themselves in the immobility inherent in my performative works. The works take the form of two freestanding life-size displays along with a joint portrait, ”Pose 3 - Artist with rector and a guinea pig,” and were designed specifically for the office of Eva Blimlinger.
Press text: Veronika Merklein
Pose 1 - Marina Abramovic is the first part of the series. The composition of the picture refers to a documentation photo of Marina Abramovic’s performance ”Rhythm 0” (1974). This is a performance I got to know in 2003, and had only experienced through its documentation materials. When I started to work on Pose 1 - Marina Abramovic in 2011-12 I asked myself for the meaning of the framing of a photograph in the context of performance art and its medialization. What does it mean to point out the frame, place it in different way to have a fresh look on a known (hi)story?
The title Pose 2 - Veronika mit dem Schweißtuch (Veronika with the veil) refers to the biblical figure ”The veil of Veronica”. The name originates from vera (lat.), ikon/ikona (lat.), eikon (greek) = the true face, the true picture. The red spots on my face and torso could be interpreted as flushed areas from time spent in a sauna, so the face-cloth gains a totally different meaning. If the face-cloth in the Christian context shows the face of Jesus Christ, mine would just show a big female breast. In this case, what would it mean if the ”true” face” turns out to be ”big female breast”?
The portrait Pose 3 - Künstlerin mit Rektorin und Meerschweinchen (Artist with Rector and Guinea Pig) (Eva Blimlinger, the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) is the last part of
the exhibition ”triptych”. The rector’s body type in connection to mine leads me immediately to the image of family portraits of early photography or Dutch painting of the 19th century. On one
hand it is about a definition of a heavy and also political body identity and what’s more a negotiation of terms like power, gender, status and cultural capital. The exhibited portrait is a
different one to the one on the postcard. The sitting and standing positions alternate. The relationship between the sitting and the standing element raises the question of power. In portraits of
royal or aristocratic families the more powerful one has the privilege of sitting. The king as the resident, the throne as symbol of power, which comes along with a sacrificed mobility. Later on
one can compare it to the bourgeois act of sitting on chairs, furthermore the act of contemplating and calculating (see ”Vom Reisen, Weggehen und Sitzenbleiben.” Irmgard Bohunovsky-Bärnthaler,
At the same moment standing can be a gesture of power in the sense of freedom of mobility. In Giotto’s paintings, for example, the taller person is the more important one. This impression is reinforced by the careful holding of the guinea pig, a restricted mobility of the seated; the positions can interpreted in both ways.