30.09.2022 – 26.11.2022, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna
Opening: TH, 29 09 2022, 7:00 pm
Duration: FR, 30 09 2022 – SA, 26 11 2022
Artists: Stefan Panhans & Andrea Winkler, with an accompanying programme by Sunny Pfalzer
Curator: Katharina Brandl
We are apparently under fire. If it’s not the viruses, it’s the refugees that turn into effervescent waves in political rhetoric; if it’s not the climate change and the looming end of the world, it’s the endless cycle of finance market crises. One flirts with building walls, eagerly peps up the CV under the keyword “lifelong learning”, and stows away every last penny – all in the name of personal risk management in the face of systemic failure.
HIIT is the acronym for the fitness trend “high-intensity interval training”. The workout regimen promises explosive exercises that efficiently – maximum output in little time – deliver the best results. With reference to how we all navigate in times of great uncertainty, this training asks: Is it even possible to train so hard, to adapt so well that we can withstand our crisis-ridden present? The exhibition HIIIIIIIT by Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler testifies to the paradigm of social and individual resilience in our present time (including the associated overexertion), mirrored in the modes of its performance by the individual.
Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler’s artistic paths have intersected time and again: for instance, Winkler outfitted Panhans’ videos, thereby influencing his moving images; in turn, Panhans’ cinematic gaze affected Winkler’s sculptural and installation works. Since 2017 the two artists increasingly worked in a more pronounced collaboration, resulting in a series of compelling video installations, which will be presented for the first time in a duo exhibition in Vienna alongside other individual works by the artists.
In their two-channel video installation Border Control (2021) they – in collaboration with a group of dancers – performatively investigate and artistically transform border patrol training sessions on Austria’s southern border, basic education for new employees at security companies, and military bootcamps. DEFENDER (2021), a video performance with musical quotes, gushes with incessant and downright obsessive slogans of continuous self-optimization recited, spoken, and chanted by (spiritual) motivation trainers, along with text passages from SUV advertisements, which bear astounding parallels. In the miniseries and installation HOSTEL (Stefan Panhans, 2018, assistant director and set design Andrea Winkler) five cultural workers perform the Sisyphus task of surviving in the culture industry.
The exhibition reflects the personal and societal conceptions of risk management and resilience while asking: How do we accomplish our compulsive attempts to safeguard ourselves from chronic systemic crises under the constraints of a neoliberal society, which increasingly loads almost all responsibility for success or failure upon the shoulders of the individual, all the while pursuing but one goal – apparent economic growth?
Stefan Panhans lives and works in Hamburg and Berlin. He works primarily with the media of video and photography to investigate the medial character of our present time, the (power) structures behind processes of digitalization, and their effects on our thoughts and bodies. His works have been presented at diverse film festivals, amongst others: Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; La Panacée, Montpellier; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen; mumok Kino, Vienna; EAV Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro; Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Fluentum Collection, Berlin; Camera Austria, Graz; Goethe Institute, Porto Alegre; W139, Amsterdam; and EDITH RUSS HAUS for Media Art, Oldenburg.
Andrea Winkler lives and works in Hamburg and Berlin. The artist creates spatial installations with a scenographic impression. She recontextualizes the semantics of objects – such as barrier tapes and chains – which intervene in the space choreographically. Winkler studied at the HKBK Hamburg and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Her works have been presented at, amongst others: the nbk and the ngbk in Berlin, Kunsthaus Aarau, Devening Projects in Chicago, Shedhalle Zürich, Kai 10 | Arthena Foundation Düsseldorf, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and Istanbul Modern, Istanbul.
Their latest collaborative works have to date been presented in solo and group exhibitions and festivals at, amongst others: HMKV, Dortmund; Tabakalera, International Centre for Contemporary Culture, San Sebastian; Transmediale in HKW Berlin; Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin; and Videonale in the Kunstmuseum Bonn. In 2022 they can be seen at the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, and the Kunstverein Rosa Luxemburg Platz in Berlin.