Her subjects are withered plants, moths from butterfly cages, dead flies from the windowsill, the shell of a stag beetle which she found while taking a walk. Nature in a state of mortification and decay, matter whose dissolution is imminent, the last step of the eternal cycle as motif and content of her pictures is rendered photographically exact and in real size down to the last detail.
It seems as if Alexandra Kontriner wanted to preserve moments of transience to keep them from vanishing completely. She keeps delicate remnants of past existence, arranges them, makes them interrelate. Vulnerability is depicted as a damaged body, a ruptured wing or missing antenna, as if something that ceased to exist were to be shown or pointed towards isolation, loneliness, loss.
From time to time she inserts tiny emblems into the bodies of her animals, symbols of transience, life and death. Sketched screens and strict perspectives subject the depiction of nature to a formal order and show the artist’s interest in the relation of reality and principle, nature and human being. Symbiosis is given precedence over the opposite in her works.
Bursting open and questioning thought patterns and visual habits is what lies at the center of her photomontages. She makes jellyfish hover over mountain ranges, lets a giant dung beetle crash into a landscape full of wind turbines or makes swan necks coil like snakes. The components of the montages are clearly discernible and through their overlapping create unexpected, exciting, sometimes provocative effects. Photography as a technique does not play a role in this context. The medium is but a means to an end, which is why she has been taking her pictures with the help of her cell phone camera since 2009.
A child’s gaze, observing, marveling, questioning, the fascination for things placed in different contexts, the retrieving of what was lost, the discovery of the magnificent in the minuscule, the absolute in the unremarkable is what characterizes the artistic expression of Alexandra Kontriner. (Thomas Eder)
THOMAS LAUBENBERGER-PLETZERThe works focus on the line:
Typographic images derived from specially designed fonts and based on the form of the square
Silhouettes of familiar things, motifs and the surrounding space
Reduction in terms of depiction and material as well as condensation and serial arrangement are distinctive characteristics of the works
MARCO SPITZARMarco Spitzar’s new series „Scholar Bones“ is the logical continuation of his project “A Matter of Size”. Again he ventures into the realm of relations to bestow a new dimension on the depicted figures and objects.
The pairs he combines in his new works could seldom be more diametrically opposed. Attached to oversized legs are toy-sized figures and objects. The figures themselves turn out to be eye-catching and represent a new reality detached from everyday life.
Another feature of this new series is that Spitzar resorts to previous subjects. What is especially worth mentioning is the motif of the UHU-flask: Spitzer attaches this well-known object to his scholar bones where it comes to rest in a balancing act. Balancing in general is a priority topic in his latest works which becomes especially apparent in “Pretzel-Balance on the Beach”. This new motif epitomizes the filigree character and difficult balancing act of his world. On the whole, a new intricacy is to be noted in Spitzar’s series. For a start, take the motifs, for instance, which enable a diachronic perspective of the representation of his image details. Spitzar cuts his own, new path, leading away from the mere imitation of his previous works. He combines the legs with a second pair – human beings or objects -, changes their appearance and thus creates a new reality. (Klaus Feldkircher)