Mara Mattuschka - Deficiency mutant

Lucy, 2009, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm

Opening Wednesday, 10th of February 2010, 7 pm
Exhibition lasts until 30th of April 2010

"3x3" 9 Films of the last 30 years from Mara Mattuschka, presentation 7th of April 2010, 7pm

07.04. - 13.04.: 3 Films of the 80s
Les Miserables, (1987, 2min)
Kugelkopf (Spherical Head),
(1985, 6min)
Danke, es hat mich sehr gefreut (Thank you, it was a pleasure), (1987, 2min)

14.04. - 20.04.: 3 Films of the 90s
S.O.S. Extraterrestria, (1993, 10min)
Unternehmen Arschmaschine (Task Buttmachine), (1997, 17min), together with Gabi Szekatsch
id, (2000-2003, 12 min)

21.04. - 30.04.: 3 Films of the 00s
Königin der Nacht (Queen of the night), (2005,1min)
Burning Palace, (2009, 33min), together with Chris Haring
Plasma, (2004, 11min)

The painter, performance artist and filmmaker Mara Mattuschka, exhibits from 10th of February 2010 in the Knoll Gallery Vienna her new works – paintings that carry the viewer away into an intermediate world where strange deficiency-mutants walk abroad.The own body as metaphor for existence is still in the foreground of Mattuschka’s paintings, but it has changed and assumes new shapes. The body and the ego as origins for different roles and personalities become diaphanous and absorb impressions of the environment. “The human being is a deficiency-mutant, it is mutating due to a deficiency”1, explains the artist. She refers to an imperfect condition of organisms, which aren’t able to produce particular substances. Therefore they are dependent on assimilating them from the environment. Mattuschka herself calls the animals absorbed in her new paintings “symbolic condition-animals”.Her familiar figure reveals a new face, namely the one of a horse or the one of the famous pre-hominid Lucy, which is still the most important intermediate species between human being and great ape. Through the distorted and dancing-like attitudes, as well as the inconvenient perspectives – both incisive aspects in the cross-genre art of Mattuschka – a grotesque dialogue is arising between the viewer and the scene on the canvas. The animal heads communicate the unspeakable, which remains untold in their innermost. Only their attitudes, glances or grimaces give an indication. “It’s always a seeking human being, but what are we searching for today? It’s that ‘being hurled into the world’ ”2, comments the artist. A phrase Martin Heidegger coined for the human existence for which wherefrom and whereabouts remains unknown.But Mara Mattuschka opposes the being lost and the being human something: Her individual spectacle. This can be seen, besides her paintings, in a choice of films of the last thirty years shown over the last three weeks of the exhibition. Mattuschka visualizes the grotesque as Harald Falckenberg described it: “The grotesque establishes an alternative world to the civilized forms of truth, beauty and the good. It represents the archaic, the strange, and the other, beyond regularity and logic. […] The most important means of the grotesque are inversion, deformation and mixture, merging into a common concept of the ‘consorted world’ “.3 The exhibition invites in this world of deficiency-mutants, just in the meaning of Bachtin: “The grotesque body (…) is a becoming one. […] he is gulping the world, and the world is gulping him […].41 Mara Mattuschka in conversation with Ulrike Payerhofer.2 ebd.3 Harald Falckenberg, Goodbye: The Role of the Grotesque in Contemporary Art, in: Grotesk! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit, catalogue on the occasion of the exhibition in the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2003, p. 184.4 Michail Bachtin, Rabelais und seine Welt, 1995, p. 359.Text: Ulrike Payerhofer

Text: Ulrike Payerhofer