Opening: Tuesday May 17, 2022, 7:00 PM

Preface: Gue SCHMIDT (project room MAG3)

To the works: Berthold ECKER (Curator, Wienmuseum)

To the artist: Gerald BAST (Rector of the University of Applied Arts Vienna)

Duration: 17.05.- 10.06.2022
Opening Hours: TUES. - FRI., 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
You have created the mighty wild bull.
Now fashion his image, let him be
a match for the storm of his heart,
Let them vie with each other,
so Uruk may be rested.
The Epic of Gilgamesh

Questioning has long established itself as a common property of language, at no expense to its existential significance. As in all her artworks of the past few decades Eva Choung-Fux has adopted a questioning approach and directed it primarily at herself. Her works are not remote visual questionings of realities, but the expression of an artistic biography capable of providing the artist with answers, much in the way a mirror does. And the artist is happy to include the viewer in that dialogue. Time and time again she asks herself the question, Quo vadis?

Thus, the titles of the individual works, each compiled into a small series, represent an attempt to activate the options of answers to similar questions. Indeed, each question is embedded in the realm of images, with diversity of design as a guarantee of artistic intent. The artist lives out this quest for that which is possible, which then articulates more truth in the large and small series than an immediate image in a photo-realism sense. Indeed, the artist does not convey that simple realism even in her purely photographic works.

For the artist, art is the creation of an idiom, beyond words themselves and what might be experienced spontaneously through the retina. The eye becomes the auxiliary agent of thoughts and of the hand that formulates as it shapes. Her experiences as she consistently developed simple xylographic printing techniques, making minimal adjustments to the printing block, could have led to a narrative image reproduction, had the artist not acted out of the experience of the dominance of thought and experience. Each work has an existential background that connotes her biography and her age.

The art of xylography is like writing and making notes. Thinking leads to philosophy and to images. Seeing the world means bringing order to it, explaining it. Seeing leads to expression through reflection. Seeing be comes understanding, with the image leading to the autonomous picture. Experiences become visual vectors. In his essay on Parallele Kunst [Parallel Art] Friedemann Malsch wrote, 'Within the distinction in artistic activity between "being an artist" and "making works of art" every form of aesthetic activity that is not institutionally secured tends to be anchored in the person of the artist himself than in the products of his output.' (in: Kunstforum international, No. 17, 1992, p. 115). Art as a parallel attending life; a reminder of the 'parallel action' in Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities?
No, on the contrary. Eva Choung-Fux does not invent parallel life-actions to protect herself. She involves herself as part of her art, with social and political responsibility assuming an ever-stronger role with the passing years and impelled towards expression in the works of art.

Dieter Ronte, 2015

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