What Is Real What Is Not (or: Establishing Truth in Time) Kunsttankstelle Ottakring In this exhibition in the Kunsttankstelle Ottakring and the Masc Foundation, international artists question the truth content of photography under the title “What Is Real What Is Not”, making this year’s theme of the Foto Wien, “Photography Lies”, the artistic object of research for the 5 artists’ positions in each location. The exterior of Kunsttankstelle Ottakring shows works by artist Aljoscha. The photographs, which were created in March 2022, show institutions and schools dedicated to the integration of mentally and physically challenged individuals in Ukraine. Above peoples’ heads, there are bright organic sculptures. With the bioisms, his sculptural signifiers of hope, the artist is looking for a hidden reality. For the people who even further vanish into invisibility with the cruelties of war. The photographs by the artist are also presented in the rooms of Kunsttankstelle and thus serve as an introduction to the exhibition. With the presence of war in our minds we enter the rooms of the exhibition and feel collective memory awaken: How does society remember history? How truthfully was it depicted, and how should we/ how would we like to remember it? These are the questions that Peter Wenninger addresses in his work Uncanny Valley, in which he uses the animation method of pixilation in order to scan the image frame by frame. Wenninger’s film work O, on the other hand, is more concerned with the individual’s own perception, which can be shaken by a discrepancy between the environment and its inner world; in the film, it is submitted to endless scrutiny. The third film work in the exhibition might be called an animated anthropological documentary: Hardi Volmer and Urmen Jõemees’ Buried in Europe looks into the rites of remembrance and recollection of the dead and offers insights into a variety of cemeteries in Europe. Elvira Faltermeier again lifts the individual photograph from the animation and shows her shots, which were made of the Viennese Capuchins’ Crypt for Volmer and Jõemees’s film when their travel was limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Anna Vasof’s work The Line of Life shows the palm of a hand seen on the screen of a mobile phone that seems to be held in it. While the motifs of the aforementioned works are taken from a present and past context, Vasof’s photography turns towards the future as seen in the lifeline of a palm. As when with a soothsayer, we try to make out the influence of these lines on the life we are shown. But are we capable of an honest, true assessment in spite of the insertion of the filter of the image? Or does the image also distort what we will have seen in the future?
In 2007, the KUNSTTANKSTELLE OTTAKRING was founded in memory of the Dichter family (www.sammlungdichter.com) by the artists Roland and Richard Schütz (co-founder of MASC FOUNDATION). The former gas station was available as a precariat for exhibitions until 2014. In 2014 the KUNSTTANKSTELLE OTTAKRING was saved for artists all year round for presentations, lectures, exhibitions, low budget productions.