Foto Buch "UNTITLED 2020"
The project-artist book is a mixture of vernacular analog photography of 11 ordinary families from Graz and Vienna, who document their self-isolation period during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two artists Veronika Dirnhofer and Margarita Keller distributed compact points and shoot analog cameras and asked people to observe their life for 2 weeks. The project aims to explore the issue of creativity in terms of forced circumstances, how the slowdown that we all face can influence people with different backgrounds, ages, and various living conditions. Besides collaboration with other people, the artists also took part in this experiment by sharing their very personal experiences during the isolation. They question identity formation and fragmentary perception of the body and mind, mixing ceramics and photography media. Such a social collaboration also opens the possibility to cross boundaries in the perception of art in ordinary life, which sometimes seems quite far, disrupted from each other, when art could be taken like something confusing, untouchable, or supreme. This book blurs the boundaries between things we used to call art and non-artistic perspective. It visually contemplates and shares different stories, pushing forward all the outlooks and serves as a documental archive of vague, vital, or even crucial periods in people’s lives.
“In the spring of 2020, many of us found ourselves spending much more time at home than ever before. This new and unavoidable situation let us reevaluate the importance of our surroundings and people in it. And, while being under the lockdown the view to inside and outside at 360⁰ angle was discovered by many staying in the same situation. Thus giving us a possibility to understand and record these moments from new or very different perspectives. Captured by people themselves, this documentation of their surroundings during the recent lockdown becomes preservation of a historical period of time, which most of us are starting to forget”. (Justina Špeirokaitė | August, 2020)
"In spring 2020, many of us spend much more time at home than ever before. This new and inescapable situation made us re-evaluate the importance of our surroundings and the people in them. And during the lock-in, many who were in the same situation discovered looking inwards and outwards at a 360⁰ angle. This gives us the opportunity to understand and record these moments from new or completely different perspectives. This documentation of their surroundings during the recent lockdown, taken by the people themselves, becomes the preservation of a historical period that most of us are beginning to forget." (Justina Špeirokaitė | August, 2020)
Margarita Keller (Marharyta Muzyka) (b. 1994, Ukraine) is a visual artist living in Austria. In 2018, Keller graduated from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia at the Faculty of Asian Studies. Far from her academic background in Chinese, she has settled into individual artistic practice within visual media, which allows her to observe and work with contemporary issues. The main art and research works deal with the connection between humanity and nature, mortality,mental and physical transformations, post-Soviet impact, exposed beauty, self-perception and the diversity of lifestyles.
- Sep 17-23 2020 QM&A group exhibition, Vienna, Dessous Galerie (by Flüchtlinge Willkommen Österreich and Improper Walls Kulturplattform)- photo book presentation "UNTITLED 2020".
- Jul 18. - Sep 20 2020 Noorderlicht international Photo Festival, Niederlande
- Jul 2020 Red Carpet Showroom Karlsplatz, Wien
- Nov 2019 "Ping Pong #2" Solo mit Agnes Prammer, Wien (Female photographers Gallery mit Unterstützung von SHIFT Wiener Kulturförderung)
- Jan 8. - Feb 3. 2021 Photo Graz 020. Biennale der steirischen Fotokunst
Publications, photo books
- "Ping Pong. at the slightest touch", 60 Seiten
- "UNTITLED 2020", 144 Seiten
- Bad to the bone Mag (Paris)
- PERJUSMAG (New York)
- C-Heads Magazine (Österreich)
- Lesnouveauxriches Mag (Wien)
- YUGEN MAG (London)
- KALTBLUT Magazine (Berlin)
- LADIES DRAWING CLÜB ISSUE#6 (Russland, Sankt-Petersburg)
Veronika Dirnhofer is an Austrian artist mostly working in drawing, painting and ceramics. She is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Drawing department.
In 2015 she started a weekly drawing course for refugees with a group of supporters on a voluntary basis. For more than 4 years they have been meeting regularly to experience not only a new way of communication through the method of drawing and recently also dancing, but also to be supported when arriving in a new home by creating a relationship, a space for meetings and exchange. More: solidaritymatters.com.
About her art, Veronika says: "My paintings became more and more abstract, but my actions became more and more concrete. Maybe I don't need the projection surface of the image anymore, although the image production is still at the end. But as something resistant, wild, free." (From the interview with Claudia Voit)