Holiday on Ice (call it horizon and you will never reach it) 2020

The exhibition presents the results of several artists’ confrontation with the loop and reveals its inherent ambivalence between standstill and movement, between hopelessness and departure.

Curators/Text: June Drevet, Andrea Popelka, Stefanie Schwarzwimmer

Rendering: Stefan Pani

Of continuous threads, time warps, and image folds. Of the entrancing tactility of the club. Of earworms and cochlear labyrinths. Of moments when the heart opens up and closes off again. Of incessant production and of halting, of stopping and going on. Of going backward and going down, of waiting and tiring. Of the oft-eyed old seen anew through elastic pupils. New Views on Same-Olds is about the crises of our time, current and structural ones. Who or what lays out the direction in which things are going? And what happens in the in-between, in supposedly immomentous moments? The participant artists each find their very own approaches to figures of nonlinear, nonprogressive time. They narrate time in a different way, make it circulate, rewind, and layer it. Movements like that of the loop facilitate pausing. Through continuous repetition, they expand the accustomed view, they prompt taking a fresh look and making a fresh start, again and again, speaking up anew, again and again.

For photographer Susanna Hofer, childhood memories of shiny dresses, perfectly pinned-up hair, the beaming smiles, the fluent moves of figure skaters make for the starting point of her series Holiday on Ice (call it horizon and you will never reach it). The artist depicts the sport that tolerates neither accident nor mistakes by photographing TV broadcasts from the time and personal chats of figure skaters directly off the screen. An interpretation of the expression “running on knives” (of the writer and former figure skater Barbara Zeman) appears as a realistic 3D rendering. Hofer’s photographic practice sets out at the interface of still life and tableau vivant, sculpture and advertising photography. Unlike the classical still life, though, she does not negate narration but interweaves a documentary social interest in her meticulously composed pictures. The melting ice, a typical motif for a still life, thus turns into a vanitas picture—but with a sociological twist: it also stands for the clock ticking for the teenagers who train under extreme competitive and time pressure as their sports careers usually come to an end already in their twenties. For presentation, Hofer likes to use formats offered in online shops for personalized photo gifts. The photographs seen here, for example, were printed on a wallpaper and a merchandising product, by which Hofer alludes to the short-lived nature of her subject matter.