Where have you been? It’s alright we know where you’ve been.
I was excited to be at the opening of Eyes-On 2016, the European Month of Photography in Vienna. The opening show was Looking for the Clouds: Contemporary Photography in Times of Conflict at Musa, an exhibition from various artists depicting events between 9/11 and 2015. The focus of the show could be straight from an episode of Person of Interest, where Harold tells the viewer: ‘The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. … I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything.’ As far as I can see, the only difference between reality and the TV series is that in the fictional world, the system is secret. The place was pretty packed, well … it was the opening, so I’ll go back for a better look at a later date.
#scary #bigbrother #1984
Another machine inspired exhibition is the wonderfully thought-provoking WILL – The Lifesaving Machines from Reiner Riedler, showing at the Josephinum until March 2017. In a series of images, redolent of creatures from Star Wars, WILL depicts the panoply of medical machines used to support and prolong life, from a simple prosthetic to a complex humanoid robot. Riedler didn’t want to show the human conditions that demand the use of such equipment, choosing instead to create images that humanised the machines, resulting in a powerful narrative that embraces hope, confidence and security – the very antithesis of the emotions evoked by public surveillance equipment.
If you don’t have the chance to get to Vienna for the actual show, you can at least buy the book. I can’t find details of suppliers at the moment (I already have mine from the kickstarter campaign) but drop me an email (del [at] delbarrett [dot] com) if you’re interested and I’ll find out!
Still haven’t quite mastered the craft of iPhonography – I thought I’d taken a lot of snaps at Reiner’s opening, but seem to have a lot of video clips of the floor and an unnecessary number of pix of my feet.
Sex in the City
My must see for my next trip will be Sex in Wien – Lust. Kontrolle. Ungehorsam at the Wien Museum, Karlsplatz. For the purposes of providing a link to the show, I absent-mindedly just googled “Sex in Vienna” – oh my, oh my, talk about something for everyone …
Most of the EMOP shows don’t start until November so I’ll be reporting back at the end of the month. Meanwhile, armed with catalogue, street-plan, transport apps and post-it notes of every colour, the brain will be going into overdrive working out the optimum route to see as many shows as possible.