K8 Hardy; André Butzer and Christian Eisenberger

K8 Hardy; André Butzer and Christian Eisenberger


K8 Hardy, Eau d’K8, 2014. Courtesy Karma International, Zurich.

August 21, 2014

K8 Hardy: YDRAH 8K
André Butzer
Christian Eisenberger

August 22–September 18, 2014

Künstlerhaus KM–
Halle für Kunst & Medien
Burgring 2
8010 Graz
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm, Thursday 11am–8pm

T +43 (0) 316 740084
info [​at​] km-k.at


YDRAH 8K, presented by the Künstlerhaus KM– , is an exhibition of new works by the artist K8 Hardy (b. 1977 in Fort Worth, Texas; lives in New York). Her works of art garner performative energy from various fields and studies, frequently from the area of fashion, for example, and generally from current forms of representation and modi of self-presentation in digital-based social networks. In the process, she avoids committing herself to a single artistic medium, eludes artisanal virtuosity in photography, sculpture, and video, and produces as if drawing on a gigantic maelstrom of self-documentation and fashionable, queer-visionary transformation of identity.

In a video work designated as “Outfitumentary” by the artist, which is shown in the exhibition in condensed excerpts, she has been documenting her opulent and frenzied changes of clothing since 2001, along with the related signal change within a lesbian subculture and projections of yearning in general. This documentation of a quest for self-invention and the critical examination of identity-seeking and related mediatic breaches lead the fashion items being worn in front of the camera to lose significance. Also evident is the act of refocusing on the artist herself as immersed in perpetual change and the similarly shifting sites of self-documentation playing out here. This high-velocity switching of roles and the concurrent societal pressure to cultivate and express one’s image is one of the themes long explored by Hardy. This aims to challenge the role of the artist, along with the authentic embodiment of this role, within veritable capitalist systems of reproduction and the formatting of the self manifesting there. In her unconventional, artistic elaborations, which take the form of sculpture, light boxes, or photographs, Hardy is likewise concerned with lending visibility to emancipatory means and potentials.

KM– is pleased to present new paintings by André Butzer (b. 1973 in Stuttgart, Germany; lives in Rangsdorf) in the venue’s main exhibition space. Here Butzer’s artwork encounters the work by artist Christian Eisenberger, who is being shown in parallel. The pieces on show are part of the series of so-called “N-Bilder” (N-Pictures) initiated in 2010.

All black-and-white paintings in this cycle are united by an alignment to the incalculable dimension of “N,” which is in turn derived from “NASAHEIM,” another neologism spawned by the artist. For André Butzer, this “NASAHEIM” is a utopian place, faraway and beyond reach, comparable to a depot of endless size, where any conceivable colour is available. The picture itself keeps perishing there, only to simultaneously re-emerge again and again like a permanent trust. The actual motif is the image as a whole, connected to the beholder’s perception thereof. It follows that the paintings evince a stringent continued development within Butzer’s oeuvre, going back to the formal structures already established in his earlier works. Moreover, the “N-Bilder” reference the basic pictorial direction and the clear proportions of the picture beyond worldly geometry. Brushwork, shifts in colour, and fore- and background of the painting are all ignored, inviting the viewers to precisely discern the contrasts between chromatic verticals and horizontals that are so constituent for the pictures.

Christian Eisenberger (b. 1978 in Semriach, Austria; lives in Vienna) has specifically worked on a series of comparatively low-key sculptural and painterly works for which he processed the basic material of wood and the canvases used only minimally and with a very raw touch. This “leaving-it-almost-untouched” approach taken by Eisenberger has allowed him to generally succeed in thematising and underscoring the crucial and reciprocal relationship of dependency between material effect and artistic intervention so inherent to each and every work of art. Accordingly, the works compiled at the KM– and arranged in an opulent, space-encompassing installation do not help to clearly verify the origin of the wood employed—whether its shape was formed through exposure to natural influences at its source, or whether (and to what degree) it has been subjected to artistic processing by Eisenberger. Of focus here is a critical questioning of art-related genesis myths and terms of authorship—having once again topped the agenda of this artist vaunted for his bustling activity—in addition to issues related to the context dependency of perception and the pursuit of making visible the operant potentials of auratically charging objects and materials by exhibiting them in classic contemporary exhibition venues, as well as the planes of meaning inherent to each transfer of context.

Both shows are accompanied by publications.


K8 Hardy; André Butzer and Christian Eisenberger at Künstlerhaus KM–
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August 21, 2014

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