“Mein Raum” is the deceptively simple title of Eva Mohringer’s new exhibition of photographs. They appear to roam a broad personal landscape of strayed-across details and interiors that have taken her fancy; yet on closer inspection you find yourself working hard at deciphering the images.
Architectural details such as ceiling corners are aestheticised into geometric forms and so transported into the realm of abstraction; stripped of context and perspective, almost unrecognisable, they could just be finely painted angular blocks of colour. Then again, other pictures seem to offer reality and true perspective at first glance, but are in fact false corners: shots of crates photoshopped together into impossible angles with shifting edges that suck you into a riddle of perception, and which, as Mohringer puts it, “irritate your sense of balance” as your mind gropes for “barely perceptible borders”.
Further, straightforward shots offer documentary evidence of vanishing architectural spaces, such as the corridors of an abandoned swimming pool in Lassnitzhöhe. By taking their photograph, and so investing them with a value and an aesthetic of decay, she redeems and rescues these lonely spaces in an act of visual archaeology. The graffiti scrawled on their walls expands this narrative: “Zum Ausgang” is the apt message of one, all crumbling black and white dilapidation but for two bold stripes of pink and yellow neon spraypaint; yet “We won’t die” proclaims another, topped with a defiant, life-affirming squiggle. Who came here before, who did the spraying? One can only wonder.
So you come to realise that what binds these disparate images is a celebration of the found and nearly lost. The artist recognises the meaning and aesthetic of these overlooked spaces and features, and salutes them. It’s also a way for Mohringer to claim them as her own: this is her particular view of the secret worlds she has discovered, offered as a puzzle for the viewer to decipher. A picture of an ornate, ancient doorframe inside a Schloss offers a glimpse through into a bare room filled with people milling around, like a doorway into the artist’s memory—but no more than a glimpse.
Eva Mohringer’s photos are on show at the Da Loam studio and fit very well alongside the forms of Selma Etareri’s magnificent, delicate ceramics. In the back room, a series of pictures of black, sooty spiderwebs documents the aftermath of a boiler explosion a few months ago here in Eterari’s workshop: another coincidence of mishap, disrepair and transience that is given an exquisite, fragile pattern and meaning when captured by Eva Mohringer’s lens.
Die Ausstellung dauert bis 12. November 2011
im Da Loam Kunst & Keramikstudio Selma Etareri Mariahilferstraße 11, 8020 Graz Tel. +43 (0) 316 81 73 38 www.selma-keramik.at
MO, MI, FR: 10.00 bis 14.00 und 16.00 bis 18.30 Uhr
DI, DO: 16.00 bis 21.00 Uhr
SA: 10.00 bis 16.00 Uhr
Eva Mohringer-Milowiz, geboren in Hatzendorf, Gymnasialzeit in Köln und Graz, Architekturstudium bis 1970, seit 1970 Mitarbeiterin im Bundesdenkmalamt, 1970-71 Stipendium in Paris, 1973 und 1999 Mitarbeit bei den Ausgrabungen in Ephesos.
Zwei erwachsene Kinder.
Fotografie mit Selbstausarbeitung seit dem sechsten Lebensjahr, Teilnahme an der Photokina in Köln 1956 und 1958.