Eva Schlegel

Imaginary Spaces

10 Mar - 22 Apr 2017

Eva Schlegel - Imaginary Spaces , installation view
Imaginary Spaces
10 March – 22 April 2017

Eva Schlegel’s new big format works depict the abstraction of architectural space. Minimalistic and ethereal, mostly in tones of white grey and black these photographs allow the viewer to focus on the surrounding in a way that would not be possible in a real space in real time. As they refuse a rational viewing of familiar architectural directness as well as the grounding via gravity, these photographs free the viewer from the intended function of the building and allow the phantasy to wander and invite one to experience space in a new kind of way.

This new body of work, part of the artist’s continuing series of blurred spaces, asks the viewer to reconsider the role that architecture plays in society and in one’s psyche. An extension of the artist’s larger than life blurred women series, this body of work forces the viewer to confront architecture as a set of constraints that program human activity. The works reposition hallways, walls, corners, beams, and portals through an abstract lens in order to interrogate how the establishment of architectural space is designed to affect and govern physical actions, and thereby to influence the construction of one’s persona. Similar to how blurred women asks us to consider the stability and construction of one’s identity, blurred spaces asks the viewer to think about the effects of subverting the solidity and rationality of architectural space.

Fracturing, faceting, and abstracting architecture recurs as a theme in Schlegel’s permanent interventions as well, such as in No Man's Space , a monumental series of mirrors on truss structures at the Voestalpine Open Space above the OÖ Kulturquartier in Linz, Austria. This architecturally scaled installation enables the viewer to experience a maze of angular fragments of steel, glass, sky and space. In this work, the artist physically manipulates the experience of real space and time, by fracturing and interrupting the viewer’s gaze. Due to their angulations, at no time is the viewer able to see their own reflection in the multitude of mirrors, yet through strategic placements, the sky comes to the ground and walls become windows. The function is to establish a system of movement through space that is free from the confines of rationality.

Eva Schlegel * 1960 in Hall in Tirol, Austria lives and works in Vienna. Eva Schlegel's work includes photography, photo-based objects, and experiential and immersive installation works. Using varied media such as photography and video on lead, mirror or glass, her work is often rooted in scientific phenomenon and questions the limits of perception of common viewing habits. Since 1995, Eva Schlegel has completed numerous public art projects in Austria and abroad and is collected by over 40 major institutions including the Albertina Collection, Vienna, Austria, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, Austria, Norton Museum of Art, Miami, FL, Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck, Austria, New York Public Library, New York, NY, TEUTLOFF PHOTO + VIDEO COLLECTION, Bielefeld, Germany. She transformed office buildings, universties and public spaces in the context of public art projects in Basel, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Vienna, Munich, Mikulov at the Festspielhaus St. Pölten and in London. The works by Eva Schlegel have bin exhibited in numoerous solo exhibitions like San Francisco (Gallery Wendi Norris), Kopenhagen (Galerie Bo Bjerggaard), the Museum of Applied Arts Vinna and on a regular base at Galerie Krinzinger. In 2011, Eva Schlegel was the Commissioner for the Austrian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, where she was previously represented as an artist in 1995. Her works have been presented in further important Biennials, like the 15th international Biennial of Architecture, Buenos Aires, at the photobiennial Moskau, twice at the bienniale in Sydney, at the moment there are to of her works exhibited at the Kochi-Muziris Bienniale in India and recently her work has been shown at the Curator’s Highlights oft he Paris Photo 2016.

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