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Pro(s)thesis & Posthuman Complicities

Event Label
Organisational Units
Location Description
Picture Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Location Venue (1)
Main Building
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna
Location Room (1)

Opening hours: Tue-Sun, holydays (17.04. and 01.05.),10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
xhibit: free access
Paintings Gallery: regular entrance fee - please visit

Curators: Berenice Pahl, Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
Architecture: Dorit Margreiter
Artists: Renate Bertlmann (AUT), Lisa Bufano (USA), Virginia Chihota (ZIM), Chitka (Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová) (CZE/SVK), Erika Fransson (SWE), Kerstin von Gabain (USA/AUT), Judith Hopf (GER), Rebecca Horn (GER), Anne Imhoff (GER), Birgit Jürgenssen (AUT), Mari Katayama (JPN), Brigitte Lang (AUT), Roberta Lima (BRA/AUT), Kumi Machida (JPN), Iris L. Moore (CAN), Nadine Rennert (GER), Barbis Ruder (AUT), Toni Schmale (AUT), Anne Schneider (AUT), Evelin Stermitz (AUT), Angela Su (HKG), Viktoria Tremmel (AUT), Anna Vasof (GRC/AUT)

Posthuman Complicities
Curators: Andrea Popelka, Lisa Stuckey
Artists: Viltė Bražiūnaitė (LTU/AUT) & Tomas Sinkevičius (LTU/SWE), Joey Holder (GBR), Paul Maheke (FRA/GBR), Jennifer Mattes (AUT), The Otolith Group (GBR), M. NourbeSe Philip (CAN), Stefanie Schwarzwimmer (AUT/DEU) , Wolfgang Tillmans (DEU)

Opening | 09.03.2017, 7.00 p.m. xhibit
Welcome address | Eva Blimlinger, Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Introduction | Berenice Pahl and Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein, Andrea Popelka and Lisa Stuckey, curators

xhibit and Picture Gallery

Booklet Pro(s)thesis

Pro(s)thesis: Virginia Chihota, I no longer fight for myself , 2012, screenprint on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary

The exhibition Pro(s)thesis explores the technological penetration of the human body, which has been culturally accepted in the meantime on a large scale. The field of problems opening up with this development reveals the human physique as the central medium of the access to man, its vulnerability providing the anthropological premise for the machinations of power structures.

Insight in the exhibition Pro(s)thesis , 10.03.-14.05.2017, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Paintings Gallery
in the foreground: Toni Schmale, queening machine , from the series Fuhrpark, 2012, powder-coated Stahl (color Ral 1005), concrete, polyurethane (Biresin 450)
in the background: Peter Paul Rubens, Boreas entführt Oreithya , around 1615, oil on oak wood
Photo: Lisa Rastl
© Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Though the upgrade culture doubtlessly implies increasing possibilities of living one’s life in accordance with one’s wishes, it also entails the risk to assist the functionalization and reification of the human body. Considering this sufficiently postulated crisis of the human body as an opportunity offers the perspective of a room for maneuver, as suggested in posthumanist and postfeminist discourse, not least thanks to the transformative possibilities offered by biology and technology. The body is lent a self-empowering potential if regarded as a constructive component.

Pro(s)thesis: Mari Katayama, bystander #016 , 2016, lambda print. Courtesy of the artist

Relating to the collection of the Paintings Gallery, the course of contemporary art practice developing out of xhibit modulates the poetic-metaphorical potential of the prosthesis and invites to oscillate between past and present images of the body. The views of artistic practices opening up to visitors draw out and reinterpret the participation in power-structural orders, revealing the potentials behind the appearance of technical perfection.

The show focuses on feminist artworks that, with irony and humor, run counter to normative claims. Thus, the souped-up prosthesis, as an art artifact, turns into an effective sign of self-invention and self-empowerment.

Insight in the exhibition Pro(s)thesis , 10.03.-14.05.2017, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, xhibit
from left to right.: Rebecca Horn, Performances II, Bleistiftmaske/Pencil Masc , Video 1972, Viktoria Tremmel, Sich Eier selber nähen/Sewing One's own Balls , object, 2010
© Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Bildrecht, Vienna, 2017

Posthuman Complicities

Booklet Posthuman Complicities
Graphic: Stefanie Schwarzwimmer
Installation views: Manuel Carreon Lopez,

Posthuman Complicities: Paul Maheke, Tropicalité , l'Île et l'Exote, 2014, video. Courtesy of the artist

Posthuman Complicities presents artworks concerned with the Atlantic, the deep sea, and concepts of fluidity. The ocean features as a place of violence and resistance. Colonial archives are fragmented and dislocated in terms of both language and image in order to visualize blank spaces created by historiography.
The filmic and poetic exploration of the Zong massacre constitutes the core of the exhibition. In 1781, the British slaver Zong sailed from Accra to Black River in Jamaica. 150 slaves were thrown overboard into the sea to drown because of economic interests. This incident can only be reconstructed on the basis of the documents surviving from the lawsuit between the slaver’s owner and the insurers. Both the poet M. NourbeSe Philip and The Otolith Group deal with the massacre and its aftermath.

Insight in the exhibition Posthuman Complicities , 10.03.-14.05.2017, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, xhibit
from left to right.: M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong!, Page 96 , detail, 2008, Stefanie Schwarzwimmer, Algorithmic Nature , mixed media, 2017, (Un-)Mapped (with cat paw detail) , acryl glass, 3D print, steel, textile print, 2017, Hemispheres (with turtle shell detail) , 2010, Viltė Bražiūnaitė & Tomas Sinkevičius, A Romance of Many Dimensions , 2017, video
Photo: Lisa Rastl
© Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Paul Maheke treats the body as an archive and means for reimagining subjectivity. His work raises such questions as whether violent history can be turned against itself and made productive, or how a body may live a desire beyond the norm.
Stefanie Schwarzwimmer examines the artificial creation of unnatural-natural realities. Her playful treatment of cartographic materials highlights the constructive feat behind measuring the world.
Joey Holder, oscillating between art spaces and online milieus, reflects on digital culture. For many of her current installations, she collaborates with marine biologists to critically map the way DNA data of deep sea organisms are skimmed off.

Jennifer Mattes, using found footage, looks into Jean-Antoine Watteau’s paintings. The idea of the courtly-aristocratic society withdrawing to Cythera, the island of love, which we find represented in her pictures, is deconstructed as a utopia.

Posthuman Complicities: Stefanie Schwarzimmer, (Un-)Mapped (with cat paw detail) , 2017, mixed media. Courtesy of the artist

Wolfgang Tillmans published a poster campaign before Great Britain’s impending withdrawal from the EU. The title of one of its pictures was “No man is an island. No country by itself.” Global islandization and the destruction of bridges make the possibility of new communities vanish behind the horizon.
Viltė Bražiūnaitė & Tomas Sinkevičius’ rotating pistol self-reflectively mirrors the violence of the white cube. The site-related work interweaves a metadiscussion with the concrete and physical position of the exhibition space’s here and now.

Queer feminists and people of color have radically challenged the prevailing category of the human. Their anti-discriminatory approaches have paved the way for posthumanism. They thematize the accompliceship with the help of stories of othering that haunt our present. These stories’ and joyful resistance is the subject highlighted in this exhibition.

As of 03.02.2017