Exhibition Embassy of the Netherlands/ Therapy BlauW Preview 2017

Therapy BlauW – A fictional resort in our frantic world The Dutch-Austrian art exhibition Therapy BlauW is part of the cultural programme of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Austria. Initiated and conceived by Austrian photographer and visual artist Esther Vörösmarty, it features her works realised in collaboration with interdisciplinary creatives and the works of artist Helene van Duijne (AT/ NL). In addition to artist’s Helene van Duijne independent contributions, textile art works by Teresa Grandits (AT), and Rietveld graduates Vere van Hal (NL) and Iris Woutera de Jong (NL) are integrated into Esther Vörösmarty‘s work and the exhibition, due to the artist’s long engagement with fashion. The impossibility of attaining complete safety within the speed we are moving at, is one of a story to tell. This exhibition aims at exploring this topic further across different artistic media and disciplines such as sculpture, photography, porcelain objects, installations and textile art. During this ever-present acceleration, constitutional vulnerability, hindered ability for overview and changing elements of identity prevail. Esther Vörösmarty’s photo series “Stressnesse I & II” can be read as a symbol for such incapacity to withdraw from that speed, with motorbike racing suits emblematizing gravity and distance to one’s own body. Her work “Helmut I-IV”, a series of porcelain helmets with pressure marks highlight our vulnerability and transience. Also the porcelain face pieces “PI, PII & PIII” are such memento mori as the chin – the human body’s weakest part – does not support massive pressure or strokes. The cycle of falling, dying, getting up again, and renewal is also the basis of many therapeutic approaches. Esther Vörösmarty’s photo series “Otonamaki I & II” explores Japanese healing techniques used to relieve or cure psychological and physical injuries whereas the series “Dainesse I & II” shows the attempt to reconnect human with nature. Captured in sculptural images these works attempt to find a method for new forms of living and to reconstruct by a process of deformation and manipulation. The video work “Caribbean queen” Esther Vörösmarty realised in cooperation with Victor Urturbia frames all these topics raised. Esther Vörösmarty’s photographic and video works feature the sculptural works of textile artist Teresa Grandits and enters into a dialogue with the sculptures of Vere van Hal and the video “DEFORM” of Iris Woutera de Jong. In view of our frantic lives, the artists are exploring the various interrelations between traditional working methods and long-established conceptions of life, on the one hand, and the technological and general acceleration of our times, on the other, in order to put forward new perspectives on the immanent ambivalences. The colour blue (Dutch “blauw”) stands for aspiration and tranquillity in psychology of colour, but it is also in reference to the venerable Dutch tradition of porcelain production with its famous “Delft Blue” as a memento for such a nostalgia. Helene van Duijne’s work “cookie” connects the traditional concepts of horses as a symbol of velocity and a popular motive of traditional porcelain painting with today’s internet age with its new threats of Trojan horses and cookies. Her light boxes “out of the blue and into the black” and “there’s more to the picture than meets the eye” on the other hand resonate with our – often imagined black – psyche and the fact that all information in the cosmos, in particular memories, is saved on different media and carriers. Childhood memories of Dutch lifestyle and interiors have also inspired Helene van Duijne’s objects and installations with shells. Text: Antje Prisker

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