Yvonne Oswald & Tatiana Lecomte “Void”

Austrian Cultural Forum NYC

poster for Yvonne Oswald & Tatiana Lecomte “Void”

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Curators: Danielle Spera, Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna and Astrid Peterle, Chief Curator of the Jewish Museum Vienna

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York presents the exhibition VOID, uniting two photographers, Yvonne Oswald and Tatiana Lecomte. The show, curated by the Jewish Museum Vienna, marks the first under the helm of new director Michael Haider. VOID draws attention to forgotten aspects of Jewish history in Austria and questions the possibility of coming to terms with traumatic experiences through images.

By bringing together these different artistic positions, curators Danielle Spera and Astrid Peterle, Director and Chief Curator of the Jewish Museum Vienna respectively, prompt a discourse about commemoration, its representability and communication—aspects of the work of remembrance with which the Jewish Museum Vienna is confronted on a daily basis. The Austrian Cultural Forum New York is an ideal place to conduct this discourse in a global context—not least because of its roots in the “Austrian Institute” which was decisively influenced by Austrian Jewish émigrés.

Oswald’s work captures the absence resulting from the expulsion and murder of Jews after the so-called Anschluss. The once luxurious Südbahnhotel on the Semmering mountain pass was the cultural hub of the fin de siècle society outside Vienna and, until 1938, a meeting place for numerous Jewish guests. Personalities such as Arthur Schnitzler, Sigmund Freud, Karl Kraus, Peter Altenberg, Gustav Mahler, Franz Werfel, Stefan Zweig, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, all of whom decisively shaped the cultural and intellectual life of the twentieth century, were closely connected with the Semmering and the Südbahnhotel in their work. Lecomte, in turn, explores issues of pictorial memory through studying the “unrepresentable” quality inherent in every photographic representation. Her photographs of mounted birds call key aspects of photography such as the accurate reproduction and documentation of reality into question. Concerned with the adequacy of reproductions to communicate memories, these photographs become a reflection on the pictorial representability of the unimaginable experiences of the Shoah.

Yvonne Oswald, born in Salzburg, studied graphics and photography at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, the Parsons School of Design in New York, and the School for Artistic Photography in Vienna. Her works have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. She has published fourteen photo-text books on various topics and regularly photographs for various international magazines. She lives and works in Vienna. www.yvonneoswald.at

Tatiana Lecomte was born in 1971 in Bordeaux. She studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, at the Univer­sity of Applied Arts in Vienna, and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. In addition to photography, the artist also works with film and interventions in public space. She lives and works in Vienna. www.tatianalecomte.com



from March 12, 2019 to June 16, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-03-11 from 19:00 to 21:00

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