Zadrazil, Martina: Weikendorf 2012


Engaging with the notions of perception from the inside and from the outside as well as the way you see yourself and the way others see you, Petra Feriancova's project WEIKENDORF centres not only around the Kunstraum Weikendorf as an artistic object created by Michael Kienzer, but also around the local community in which it stands. Her work is divided into two corresponding parts, one of which addressed the artistic perception of the village and took the architectural and space-connecting character into consideration, the other was based on the perception and responses of local residents to the place they live in. The rules established by the artist impacted on the visual impression of the work, which in places, such as where existing givens in situ and reactions also went beyond her control, so exploring the subject of empirical observation and knowledge or understanding. Intended for the showing of contemporary art, the generally peripheral position of the Kunstraum Weikendorf also contributes to its decontextualisation. According to Michael Kienzer's concept, the interior of the art space opened itself up through the shop window-like glass frontage, the gallery space itself remained closed for the duration of the exhibition. Feriancova took the element of reflections in the glass, which provides information about the space's setting, as the subject for her project WEIKENDORF and for the concept for the interior, using the medium of photography. Here, the artist decided to follow the view from within the Kunstraum outwards from the point where the rear wall-filling analogue b/w photographs were on display, framed by the architecture of the space. So from the outside a perspective was introduced into the gallery space and rendered visible from outside which cannot be seen in such a way under 'normal' circumstances. The entire production process, up to and including the making of the photographs is to be regarded as a way of exploring the given space, a way to locate and appropriate it. To find out more about the village, Petra Feriancova decided to ask local residents for help, and invited the inhabitants of Weikendorf to cooperate with her — many of whom contributed to the appearances of their homes, some also having built their houses themselves, and cared for, renovated and continually made improvements to their community and so know it very well. The presence of the new gallery space means significant new input as it is constantly changing and being filled with new exhibitions — this time by local residents themselves, too. So the artist asked local residents to select or take photographs that expressed something about their lives in Weikendorf with the aim of presenting in the exhibition what it is that they, local residents, attach value to, what is important to them, what they suggest should be shown in pictures. All of these photographs were organised into genres, like still-lifes, portraits or landscapes, and shown during the course of the exhibition.

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