The Portrait in the Films and Photographs of Ulrike Ottinger
13.11. - 18.12.2005
In her films and photographs Ulrike Ottinger investigates geographic zones in remote corners of the world, such as Mongolia and Ukraine. She uses both fictional means and documentary narrative structures. In her associatively connected voyages, the artist is primarily interested in exploring the periphery of cities, countries, and societies. Against this backdrop she captures the unfolding of human splendor and misery, realities and illusions, surfaces and depths. Ottinger’s aesthetic tends to be theatrical and to exaggerate banal existential realities. Literary and historical figures appear in her films and photographs, e.g. Dorian Gray and Joan of Arc, but there are also eccentrics and freaks, who can be grouped together with pronounced artificiality into tableaux vivants.
Ulrike Ottinger’s microcosms are elaborately decorated thanks in part to her passion for collecting. She has archives full of objects and images of all kinds, which she has accumulated on her globetrotting jaunts. She often draws from this stock to adorn her artistic curio cabinets,which in turn negotiate the societal issues of gender and character, power and sexuality from many different angles. Ulrike Ottinger (*1942), who lives in Berlin, is a well-known filmmaker. Retrospectives of her work have been shown at MOMA in New York, Tate Modern, London, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, among other venues. In 2002 she was represented at the documenta 11.
Curated by Dr. Gerald Matt, Director of the Kunsthalle Wien A selection of her films will be shown at the Kunsthalle Wien in conjunction with this exhibition project.