Opening event 24 April, 7-9pm
To mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of what has become the EU, the 12 Star Gallery in Europe House is organising a season of exhibitions featuring students from Europe's leading art schools.
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, celebrating their own 325th anniversary, has been invited to present the work of two of their students - artists Antonia Strauss-Wagner and Sophia Hatwagner from the Art and Photography Class directed by Martin Guttmann.
In her installations, Sophia Hatwagner explores conditions of perception, using elements arising from common personal, historical and media-related experiences. She deals with the exhibition space as raw material, and highlights inherent elements, to emphasize and make structures visible. Her site specific practice deals with the overlapping from physical space with the imagined social space and with the viewer’s perception in the context of the art exhibition. For her exhibition in the 12 Star Gallery her use of the space revolves around images that generate social identity. In this case images of the EU that should help construct and enforce an identity, like the iconic image of the 12 gold stars on blue background. This well-known symbol, which acts as an object of common identity for all members of the European Union, is currently in crisis. The individual nations of the Union describe and regulate their internal cohesion to a great extent through myths. But the imagined community, Europe, lacks these strong myths, symbols and historic background at the supranational level. An European community whose identity is based solely on economic success, however, quickly reaches its limits as soon as a crisis arise in this field. Rituals and symbols on a visual level should unite the EU, creating a shared narrative, but the question of the medium arises. Sophia Hatwagner 's interaction with the space intends to generate questions around these topics.
Antonia Wagner-Strauss’ artistic practice focuses on representations of the body in dialogue with photography. In different work processes she uses her own body as a tool and projection space to reflect over oppressive society structures and to question unstable concepts as identity, body and gender. To expand the possibilities of representation the human shape is replaced by sculptural objects, associating the sculpturality of the body and photography. In her photographic work Traces on the Ground – Manifestation of a Body in a Place, 2016, conceived for the exhibition at the 12 Star Gallery, three red marble cubes are placed in a field. The dispersed cubes are symbolizing remains of the process of marking of a territory with stones that ultimately failed, associating pieces of a broken border. They are embodied traces that make us think of missing bodies, restless movements through landscapes and migration. The represented body is fragmented, divided and is spreading out to different places. The artist often works with contradictory elements. Hard, raw or manufactured materials meet natural, delicate matters. This ambiguity creates an exposed but empowered state and image of materialized corporality.
10:00 – 18:00, Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).