TTe exhibition “Glasstress” is a collateral event at the 57th Venice Biennale. Adriano Berengo and his curators Dimitri Ozerkov and Herwig Kempinger have brought great names of the international art world to Venice: Ai Weiwei, Paul McCarthy, Thomas Schütte, Brigitte Kowanz, Ugo Rondinone, Karen LaMonte and Erwin Wurm – to announce only some of the 38 involved artists.
Alfred Weidinger interpreted one work that particularly touched us:
Xenia Hausner’s Concept Temple/Market
Xenia Hausner has been involved with Chinese culture and with the ambivalent role art and culture play in the many-faceted interaction between politics and society as it exists on the Chinese mainland. Communication between the living, the dead and the undead plays an important role in this society. The tradition of funerary objects is in particular linked with it. Paper imitations of consumer goods are constructed by hand, sold in supermarkets and ritually sacrificed and burned on the Day of the Dead, the Qingming Festival. Not only are these paper objects supposed to ease the journey to the beyond for the dead, they are also supposed to enable those left behind to make contact with their departed.
Xenia Hausner is fascinated by the belief in this cult which has even managed to outlast the especially difficult period of the Cultural Revolution. She collected these sepulchral paper objects and in the space of her studio they have come to reflect materiality and credible substance. As elements, carefully worked into her world of images, they ostensibly fulfill the function of formalistic and color accents. On a much deeper level, however, their transformative role works as a link between the earthly world and its projection of paradise.
Thanks to Adriano Berengo’s project “temple/market” Xenia Hausner has literally resurrected the burnt paper objects like a phoenix from the ashes. The fire that through the act of burning has robbed the objects of their earthly substance becomes an element of their rebirth, transforming in the sphere of thought the materiality of the paper objects into the artistic medium of glass and in this way rendering them omnipresent.
Curated by Dimitri Ozerkov; Herwig Kempinger; Adriano Berengo
VENICE, Palazzo Franchetti, San Marco 2847 (Campo Santo Stefano)
11 May – 26 November
Open everyday from 10am to 6:30pm