Eva SchlegelVisual Artist, Curator
Conceptual artist Eva Schlegel lives and works in Vienna. Born in Hall, Tirol in 1960, she studied at the Academy of Applied Arts, Vienna with Oswald Oberhuber. Until 2006 Schlegel was Professor of Art and Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 2011 she was commissioner of the Austria Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Maestro Arts represents her for special projects.
Her multifarious practice encompasses photography, paintings, installations, and public projects. Focusing on themes of materiality and the ephemeral and how the interaction of the two influence the audience’s perception of space. Past works included a kinetic rotor installation based on Morse code, large-scale photographs of blurred female figures, and intimately-sized pornographic paintings. With these works, Schlegel traces the ephemerality of codification–from the translation of recently decommissioned military code to the constructed image a woman creates for herself.
No Man’s Space, a monumental series of mirrors on truss structures at the Voestalpine Open Space above the OÖ Kulturquartier in Linz, Austria, explores Schlegel’s recurring theme of fracturing, faceting, and abstracting architecture. This architecturally scaled installation enables the viewer to experience a maze of angular fragments of steel, glass, sky and space. Schlegel physically manipulates the experience of real space and time, by fracturing and interrupting the viewer’s gaze. Due to their angulations, at no time is the viewer able to see their own reflection in the multitude of mirrors, yet through strategic placements, the sky comes to the ground and walls become windows. The eye is denied the hard line rationality of familiar architecture and the grounding effect of gravity, the architectural space is abstracted, the viewer is freed from function permitting the imagination to roam and encourage the mind to reimagine the experience of place.
Eva Schlegel has worked with architect Damian Minovski and space architect and researcher Barbara Imhof, to create Cosmic Mist, a room installation making visible that which is often invisible to the human eye.
Video, light and sound installations offer a completely different approach to the infinity of the universe and the gigantic dimensions of space-time. The exhibition focused on representing the direct link between science and art, with art being created by an artist in residence at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) and also by a scientist at CERN. The project was a collaboration between the NHM Vienna and the Institute of High Energy Physics (HEPHY) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Invited by Harald Szeemann in 2004, Eva Schlegel created three in-situ projects at the Novarits campus; a walkway, four stairways and two entrances to underground garages.
Designed like a Japanese Pavilion with blurred texts, the walkway refers to a group of works from Schlegel’s oeuvre. The path leads through glass panels printed with blurred text, like oversized pages of books. The blurred text seems to float in front of the landscape which is gently obscured behind. The glass panels are placed irregularly, in groups of two or three, sometimes alone, like sliding doors, opened loosely. When the sun shines through the glass, the shadow of texts are visible on the floor. The texts are blurred photographs printed on the glass panels with weather-proof silk- screen. The motifs are different text structures; poems are placed next to blurred interviews and academic texts. It was important to create a lively, varied and asymmetric sequence of openness and protection and to assure a permanent view on the surrounding park. The elements of the walkway are exclusively out of steel and glass and are echoed in all projects on the site.