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Opening Reception VOID by Yvonne Oswald and Tatiana Lecomte
March 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join the Austrian Cultural Forum for the opening reception of their new exhibition, VOID. Curated by the Jewish Museum Vienna, the show unites two photographers, Yvonne Oswald and Tatiana Lecomte, to draw attention to forgotten and repressed aspects of Jewish history in Austria.
Michael Haider, Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
Danielle Spera, Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna
Yvonne Oswald, exhibiting artist
Eric Huebscher, President of the US Friends of the Jewish Museum Vienna
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
On view from March 12 to June 16, 2019, VOID juxtaposes Yvonne Oswald’s photographs of deserted rooms of a former grand hotel in the Austrian Alps with Tatiana Lecomte’s pictures of mounted birds from the collections of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. 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 reflections on 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 thus become a contemplation of the pictorial representability of the unimaginable, traumatic experiences of the Shoah.
By bringing together these different artistic positions, curators Danielle Spera and Astrid Peterle 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.
VOID – YVONNE OSWALD & TATIANA LECOMTE
March 12 – June 16, 2019
Austrian Cultural Forum New York
11 East 52nd Street, New York
open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.