essenssache

background and artwork

the artwork emerged from the need to reflect on current practices in agriculture and the food industry, and the need to develop a creative reflection on this. various types of media and techniques are used. wax paintings, objet trouvés, materials taken directly from nature and photography on different types of background are compiled into installations.

the wax paintings show haptic, abstract brushwork on base materials. it is important for me to use raw materials that are natural and come from fair and sustainable production.

in one instance, that is natural-coloured linen sourced from local farms in austria, in another, natural-coloured wild silk taffeta from india, pongee, beeswax, wood, handmade paper or baryte prints. the materials are carefully selected. as much as possible, i use natural materials which bring with them a long tradition to accentuate the nativeness of the material as a basis and a canvas for my art. silk has been manufactured in asia for around 5000 years and linen was first produced in egypt between 4000-5000 b.c., from where it was quickly introduced to the mediterranean area.

i believe that the speed at which change happens nowadays does more harm than good to us. in my art, the old is assigned a new meaning. it clearly shows that old methods resonate with nature, or else they would not have survived hundreds, sometimes thousands of years of manufacturing processes and applications. and this is exactly what my work tries to show. i want to show starting points for retaining traditional manufacturing processes, since they are in unison with nature and humanity. the word “tradition” can easily be misunderstood, which is why i would like to use the word continuum* here.

 

continuum

* an established process, the continuum, is the heart of the production process.

the continuum was observed over many years (centuries), it was tested, improved and developed, it is in unison with nature, the environment and humanity. it forms the core – the base. this continuum can now, as required, be supplemented with new experiences and techniques. (this makes me think of the idea of a train, but i dare not say this metaphor will capture all i try to say with it just yet, and would like to reserve the right to revise my metaphor).

similar to a train moving at a comfortable speed, any number of passengers may board or get off the train. freely, just as they would like. and now i imagine, how this continuum can be modified, depending on which new developments (modern, trends) arise; it could also be called fine tuning. the continuum itself however is not changed. this is an experiment to only amend those processes, that have prevailed, to a point where they foster ecological balance, without impacting it negatively. at the same time, it means openness to the new, where it makes sense and serves humanity.

for example, the use of new technologies to facilitate tiring, monotonous and difficult handiwork, to save and reuse resources. in doing so, our quality of life can increase comfortably. we can expand our thinking, and thus gain a holistic approach to viewing the world, which does not put money at the core of it, but most importantly, the quality of a product, the conservation of resources and sustainability, environmental and health consciousness, aesthetic values, social elements, the joy of doing and doing together, all these components should at last possess the same value as money, and be key factors in deciding where, when and how goods are produced and distributed.

for the past 6 years, i have been working on a broadly defined work called “essenssache”. in an overall number of 7 work blocks, i examined the theme of eating, food production and agriculture in a number of various ways. extensivly researching i tried to approach to the topic in different ways.

in extensive research, i have tried to approach the theme in different ways. it was crucial to me to show various components. of course i cannot call myself an expert on the respective areas, but i have nevertheless tried to gain profound knowledge on the individual topics and have dedicated respective sets of work as well as around a year of research to each.

i have dealt with the following topics:

the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture, land grabbing and its background, systematic exclusion and economic migration, economies and ecologies linked to it, alternative projects looking at and portraying alternatives. for means of research, i looked at a number of various media, such as documentaries and discussions in public television that i recorded as well as screenshots, which i use in artistics ways, film screenings, motion pictures and nonfiction and interviews with affected involved engaged people. parts of the work look at various methods used in agriculture in a critical way, others show the impact these agricultural and economic policies have on a large number of countries and their inhabitants. in my research i follow the same topic akin to a continuum, to examine various aspects. this is the method: uncovering various facts and dimensions, viewpoints and possibilities to establish a comprehensive overview. because any topic requires a holistic approach to be examined thoroughly. i aim to show many aspects without aspiring for perfection, because circumstances change continually and any matter is always part of an ever-changing environment. there is so much to discover and explore. i follow an open mind and open, fluid perspectives. i strive to think in as many different ways as possible, to collect as much different information as possible, to talk to as many people from various social, cultural and professional backgrounds as possible. this is my main concern: to not merely look at things from a cognitive viewpoint, but to also include the heart and the hands. i use a number of different types of media and techniques.wax paintings, objet trouvés, material taken directly from nature and photography on different types of background are compiled into installations.

 

the work blocks

wax
monopoly cards
land
mud pie
there is a wall of poverty
fieldworx
rest in a wheat field