• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Hans Scheirl

In the context of Austrian art from the1960s and 70s, the early films of Hans (Angela) Scheirl represent a significant developmental milestone at the interface between experimental film, public-space actions, performance, music and forms of expressing lesbian and queer sexuality. Hans Scheirl (at the time Angela Scheirl) made a total of eighteen short films between 1979 and 1984, all of them in the Super 8 format, and apart from a few exceptions both in color and with sound. In these earliest examples of his artistic work, Hans Scheirl anticipated important elements which were to characterize his later work both in film and in painting.

Scheirl sought out opportunities to experiment artistically in various fields. The early 1980s saw him mounted public-space bodily interventions in the city of Salzburg such as lying down on the touristy Residenzplatz with a shaved head, or ostentatiously peering into a sewer grate. He made music with a group of individuals called “8 oder 9” [8 or 9], experimental sounds and noises, improvisations—an aspect of his work which plays an important role in films. Art consisted in trying things out, in dealing with things playfully. This also applied to his way of dealing with sexuality, as Scheirl ascertained in an interview. He answered the question of whether his “queer-lesbian referentiality” had manifested itself very early on by saying that it had been his experimental interest which was more in the foreground, with Viennese Actionism—as experienced not least via the films of Kurt Kren—having been an influence. It was not about a conscious “search for signs”; it was more about “the freedom to do something which one sees nowhere.1 Also influential for Scheirl were the films by Peter Kubelka and VALIE EXPORT, as well as specific actions performed by the latter.

It’s easy-to-work-with quality and low-cost were also factors which made Super 8 film an appropriate medium for Scheirl’s realization of his artistic goals. In part, these films also show specially filmed performances for which special staging, shooting schedules, costumes, objects and music were required. A further element consists in inserted fragments from television footage and from self-shot views of Paris or New York. “We called them ‘home movies,’ even though we were actually thinking more of Andy Warhol than of a nuclear family.” (Scheirl)2



1 Johanna Schaffer and Dietmar Schwärzler, „Rot Weiß Rot: Oder die Eingrenzung der potentiell ausufernden roten Farbe. Ein Gespräch mit Hans Scheirl = Red-white-red: or the enclosure of the potentially overflowing red color. A conversation with Hans Scheirl,” Rohstoff, Fanzine 2 (2005): 8.

2 Barbara Kraus, „Dynamik der kreativen Schizophrenie = The Dynamics of Creative Schizophrenia. Hans Scheirl in conversation with Barbara Kraus,” in Let’s Twist Again. Was man nicht denken kann, soll man tanzen. Performance in Wien von 1960 bis heute = What One Can’t Think, One Should Dance. Performance Art in Vienna from 1960 to Today, eds. Carola Dertnig and Stefanie Seibold (Gumpoldskirchen/Vienna: D.E.A. Verlag, 2006), 295.

1956, Salzburg / AT

Scheirl studied Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria) from 1975 to 1980. In 2003 he received his master degree in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London (UK). Scheirl works as artist, filmmaker and since 2006 as professor for Contextual Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Being born as “Angela”, he is occupied with topics such as sexuality and gender.

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