Opening: 27 June 2001, 5.30 pm
Exhibition: from 28 June till 28 July 2001
The work of Marine Hugonnier (born 1969, French, now living in London) conjures up a kind of hyper-reality. Her ideas and concepts are based on the fundamental idea of stretching perception and providing an expanded consciousness for the lived moment. The dimension of time and its dynamics play a decisive role. In various exhibited works which stand paradigmatically for her entire work - time is recreated through the viewers participation, for example with the works Candle, Flower, Still or Interlude.
The first consists of a burning, scented candle, which exhales the odour of a just extinguished candle, thus creating a tight weave of the present and future, a type of an expansion of the future into the present for both the object and the spectator. A similarly fragile materiality is shown in the work Flower, which presents, like Candle, an emblem of the convention of vanity. The fresh flowers are almost imperceptibly injured in their naturalness: They have been "painted" with a flower spray that encances their colour. Thus, Hugonnier creates an image which views the presence with new eyes by reorganising the symbolic order of the real. Still shows a bottle of water next to a glass filled with water. From time to time it emits a storm in a glass of water by means of a hidden motor. Once perceived, the observer attempts to discover the source of the irritation and must finally realise that there is no definite sign in the immediate area which could explain the waters movement: expectation and experience connect in their temporal crossing. The vibrations that make the water gently shake reminds one that nothing is still on the face of earth; everything is in motion at a cellular level. A similar sign for absence is shown in the neon piece "Interlude", which refers to the moment "in between", or a "non productive time", that here receives a function and identity of its own.
All of these contextually complex works that finely enlarge the borders of the portrayed object show a minimalist form along with an enormous sensibility for the materials, which is also evident in Marine Hugonniers films from the Highlights series. In their projective energy, they change between the absent and the present.
Due to the new political constellation in Austria since February 2000, Marine Hugonnier was asked by Camera Austria to contribute an issue the magazine was publishing in reaction to the elections in 1999. She conceived an event that will be filmed for the exhibition in Vienna dealing with Austrias political past and present situation. Hugonnier has invited a woman to Vienna, who survived the Holocaust as a child in the orchestra of Terezin, playing the piano. In Vienna, Anna Hanusova will play a piano piece by Arvo Pärt at the opening of the exhibition, which will be broadcast live throughout Austria on national radio Ö1. This piece of music is related to childhood and thus conveys a part of her personal history and Austrias political past. Posters displayed in Vienna and a newspaper advertisement in Der Standard announce this event which we are hosting in cooperation with museum in progress. Ms. Hanusovas performance at the ORF studio will take place at the same time as the opening of the exhibition at the gallery, where the broadcast will be received via radio. Marine Hugonnier will make a film with the recording of Hanusovas performance, clips of the guests at the gallery opening and shots of urban scenes of Vienna which will provide a contemporary reflection and make visible historical references. This film can then be viewed during the remainder of the exhibition.