to linger, and to reclaim;
to restore the possibility
of breaking up,
to be with one another,
to quarrel and to reconcile.
We form unions and
make this place
„Union“ at Jesuitenfoyer is an index-like overview over the recent body of work by Barbara Kapusta. In her installations she imagines altered forms of cohabitation and creates scenarios which reflect the predominant modes of habitus and communication. Kapustas work focuses on the emergence of social fields, the organization of language, and the production of joint output by diverse bodies.
Barbara Kapusta links the body with the quest for identity and the fluidity of gender. A body that loves, suffers, ages, is a vulnerable body, at the heart of identity politics. Several sculptural forms made in delicate media such as porcelain or ceramics are meant to represent body parts. They look both shapeless and pending shape, familiar but hard to pin down, known yet ‘other’.
The gender-less technological protagonist of her video „Dangerous Bodies“ has a body which, throughout the duration of the video, is constantly wavering: at times inflating, occasionally shrinking, always reshaping. The body appears to be reshaping in response to its changing conditions and its various mental states. Its shape is therefore unpredictable, uneven, uncontrolled. Is what escapes our knowledge potentially dangerous? And if so, are politics and power the main questions here and is the body an agency of both?
Barbara Kapustas objects, films and text-based works have been shown in, among others, Europa Antike Zukunft, Halle für Kunst Steiermark, Graz (upcoming 2021); Enjoy, mumok Vienna (upcoming 2021); The Leaking Bodies Series, Gianni Manhattan (2020); Hypersurface, ACF London (2020), Dangerous Bodies, Kunstraum London (2019), Hysterical Mining, Kunsthalle Wien (2019), The Giant, Gianni Manhattan (Vienna 2018), Vice Versa: Our Earth is Their Moon, Our Moon is Their Earth (Prague 2018), Empathic Creatures at Ashley Berlin (2018), In Middens, Gianni Manhattan (Vienna, 2017), Instructions for Happiness (KUP, Athens 2016), Das Begreifen, and The Language of Things, 21er Haus (Vienna, 2016), The Promise of Total Automation, Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna, 2016).
She is the recipient of the Otto Mauer Prize 2020.