Alexander Viscio presents:
I have been making self-portrait photographs since I was
a teenager to entertain myself. I am influenced by
feminist cultural criticism and writing on gender,
photographers like Cindy Sherman, Duane Michels, and
Nikki S. Lee, and vernacular fashion.
I am an alumnae member of A.I.R. Gallery in New York
City. I've had solo shows in Chelsea (NYC), upstate New
York, Portland, and Iowa. I am in the Brooklyn Museum
of Art's Feminist Art Base.
I live in Brooklyn. In the daytime, I work as a lawyer
under a secret alias. I love animals.
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Thank You Mystery Artist
“Lady Musgrave Reef” and
The work of Petra Maitz.
When ever I’m back home I like to pass by some of the
public art venues that are more abundant these days and
accommodating to especially politically responsive projects
and Broadway Windows at 10th and Broadway would be
one of them. Not all the works appearing in this street
corner window location have the arresting staying power
to keep me from Gonzalez-Gonzalez if I’m heading
Rappraxiscope: the device that enables one to avoid
the trip wires of an over saturated media hyperbole.
With titles like “chickpull/St. hippolytus”, “Bubblemation”,
“x-rated/hermaphrodite in outer space”, “Galloping
horse/muyStrRB”, “Body with/without Organs” and the
more placid “Man Walk Fast”, it can almost be construed
that there lies behind one of some of the most gorgeous
brown stone facades in Brooklyn, an irritated scientist
disenfranchised by budget cuts in research and
developmental projects with a penchant for portable
technologies and a reminiscent impulse.
The work of Craig S. Feder.
I approach Craig’s imagery with a good portion of formal tolerance.
That isn’t in anyway an attempt to enter a dialogue with his pictures
looking for a side exit; I simply find it necessary in order to see the
paradoxical qualities inherent in the informalalities of his technique.
There seems to be a rather predatorial approach to the way he advances
on some of his subjects while at other times, (and these are the
moments when it seems most serendipitous and hence engaging for this
viewer), he stumbles upon a moment that creates fortuitous content and
utilizes the cropping tool to make it seem intentional.
Make no mistake, this guy is talented and caresses my sensibilities and
exposes my desires and prejudices quite well. In fact I think it is in light
of his rogue modus operandi that he exploits some of the most
hysterical yet horrifying, titillating, moving and exasperating images that
I’ve ever seen from a dude with a job in such a monolithic iconoclastic
museum on 5th Avenue.
56 reasons not to go out at night.
The work of Deborah Sengl.
We can all seem like angels adorned as villains with wall paper for body
armor. Most of us cut and paste our way though life with 16 battleship
shades of lipstick to go with the welts in the practice of self-breeding
luxury and the chase for amusement. Even those hired to protect us
come off as style council equipped with Gucci camouflage with an
itchy finger to let loose a torrent of hostility and administer a new line of
angst. This could be the preface of an otherwise normal evening out on
the town capped off with a obligatory binge at a convenient
Wüstelstand, (imbiss) after drinks galore and bad sex leaving us asking
what is that smell and how did things get this bad?
Text: Alexander Viscio
I like to travel. I find it a reasonable way to challenge my “OK impress me” and “take my breath away” wish fulfillment. Of course I’m seldom held in rapture by
expansive vistas and deep set panoramas. To tell you the truth I’d much prefer to fall from a plane into a canyon rather than contemplate and take in at a distance, the
view some municipal architect’s design had regulated for me and my fellow thrill seekers who are simply not quite ready to get back on the bus. I always find myself
observing other peoples’ reactions to the location and surroundings and spy out how they navigate towards the most perfect vantage point
in which one can see it all.
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Rhythmic Forms Summoning Psychic Reverbs from Times Square.
Multi media works by Bettina Schükle
Holding a conk shell to the ear to imagine the sea.
Fabric off the streets of Trivandrum, India are pleated and then stretched over rectangular wood
constructs that range from 5 to 10 centimeters in depth and 60 to 150 centimeters in width and
height. When confronted with Schülkes’ “Textile” series, there is a stillness in the work that insists
the viewer experience the rhythms of the folds in the fabric that administer a local anesthesia and
render the viewer experience the rhythms of the folds in the fabric that administer a local anesthesia
and render the viewer sedate enough to receive cryptic codes inaccessible to the prejudice of the
I entered the “Austrian Contemporary” show here at the Essl Museum in
Klosteneuburg with much eagerness. It’s an exhibition focusing on the next up and
coming enclave of emerging artists in Austria in which the painter Ingrid Pröller is
included. Ironically in light of its title, I discovered a moderately recurring theme in
this show to be “The Landscape” with a “seen but not heard” compliancy as if it were
being considered as an alternate form of subject matter for portraiture with a
clandestine approach particularly in the “Multi Media” installations. That is not to say
“The Landscape” cannot be re issued to provoke our historical references to the
genre, but in the context of “Contemporary Art” perhaps its best to be direct when
taking on such an endeavor and share with the viewer one’s point!
I like my neighborhood to contain a little bit of consequence. It keeps things on their heels and nothing is taken for granted. No one bumps into each other without
acknowledgement and a steady stream of alertness maintains an edge that wards off entitlement. Ones comfort-zone is always challenged to a greater or lesser degree
and ones’ safety isn’t a given “right of passage” but is negotiated continuously.
“zeitraumzeit” is “space[of]time” It’s translated this way in the catalogue produced by the Künstlerhaus, Wien for the show of the same title. To commemorate the
140th birthday of “the first society building in the entire German-speaking world”… 1. The Künstlerhaus gave the task to two curators who apparently held stead fast
to the adage, “greater in numbers”, 93 artists to be exact.
Photography from Manfred Unger.
I haven’t been able to find the time to get one myself, but if I did I’d want to
make sure that the tattoo would make me look like any one from this troupe
of “mystic” human beings in this suite of images by Manfred Unger. Except
perhaps for the hooded one that even though sports a zippered grin, I just
couldn’t get myself to accept this garment as a fitting accessory of
adornment yet it remains a strangely delicate touch for the feel of this
ensemble of photographs.
Paintings from Paul McDermott.
At times I think it if wasn’t for the New York Times insert in “Der Standard” I would not only fall prey
to the dead stare of my fellow commuters on the U-Bahn, but would miss on all the hot topics that keep
us informed, or from this perspective on the eastern side of the Atlantic, forewarned!
From the infighting of the “Sisterhood in the office” who sabotage each other’s ascent to power, to the
on going saga of the emerging kill joy anti dexterous E-book that make Tuesday afternoons
Mr. Wu’s Terms of
The work of Judith Page
I once worked for a Japanese corporation who appointed an officer from the imperial navy as director.
He’d always say that to polish an apple one inadvertently destroys its surface. Such was the qualifying
sanctum for his leadership tactics and the collateral damage he’d produce amongst the staff.
There seems to be a rather mischievous sprite in the way Judith Page produces portraits of family
members, acquaintances and others found in the album of her career. These are not particularly
complementary portrayals that one can sometimes be painfully commissioned (obligated) as an artist to
corroborate the vanity of a major benefactor. In fact most of the portraits come off as grotesque
examples of burn victims from catastrophic events who some how managed to get out alive at the
expense of their face.
In the climate of big ideas, how to camouflage the lack of skill with a manifest of cynicism in
place of wit and multi million dollar projects that lobby on the platform of social and
ecological awareness and sensitivity only to pad the pockets of those issuing the permits
necessary to sell “Water to a Bridge”, I still can’t believe someone tried to push running water
in Manhattan as “Art” with a $30 Million overhead. Which is about 60 percent of the amount
allotted to the arts in the “Stimulus Plan” that just squeaked by from the worlds’ new
The Gamma of Improbabilities and the work of Michael Kienzer.
Ambulance chasing through the streets of Kampala with Peter Garmusch.
I’m a real fan of Steely Dan and as big a fan of their LP cover designs. “Aja” for instance has that
disassociated mysterious connection to the content of the album that somehow becomes plausible
only after listening to what is now the entire CD.
So why deliberately choose an example of Flemish1 painting to kick start this particular article on the
photography by Peter Garmusch? Who went to the capital city of Uganda and took some audacious
portraits of bicycle merchants and car-wrecks no one walks away from, some of which would cost
the same as his digital camera that is before they themselves were rendered road-kill on the streets of
Well it might be a stretch but as a child I’ve always found the back grounds of these paintings to be
almost as intriguing as the fore grounds’ fundamental axis of content that ends up flattening out
everything else behind it in what always seems to be rolling hills with serpentine trees hovering over
secret twisting paths leading to mysterious dwellings.
In presenting the following two suites of photographs contrasts and alliances are bountiful and leave
open a vast array of interpretations…
Bicycle merchants and their colossal pay load.
The scrim Mr. Garmusch erects splices the picture plane into a shallow depth of field and places a
veil over an insolvent environment. The back drop stages and propels the subject matter (men with
bikes and a towering cache of merchandise) to the fore-front with and aura of majestic servitude.
The light bestows an almost monolithic yet contradictory air of sovereignty. The translucency of the
fabric applies a texture that registers the forms behind it and is reminiscent of the surface of a canvas
romanticizing the circumstances lurking in the rear
Contemporary art is braved in both radical and provincial terms and
for someone like me, who perhaps should develop a more
compulsory position if I’m going to write about such topics, am
amused to great lengths in the disparity in the artists’ approach in
such a land of agricultural grandeur. Sure there’s the antics of the
“Goo Squad” and the cosmetic hysterics of her “poor fortunate
one” persona and the countries’ real claim to notoriety but doesn’t
know it, their own dark prince who’s the only one with nerve
enough to summon up mystic truths from the nonsensical, and then
there’s the soft shell anecdotes of “one minute sculptures”. But if
one allows themselves to take pause and be anesthetized long
enough from this banner parade they may discover in the distance
“A man’s home is his castle, atelier and fitness centre.”
Burg Seebenstein, 47°41΄44΄N 16°8΄39΄E Niederösterreich.
To keep warm one forages through a near by forest. Trees are mark
|“From Ludicrous to
The work of Herwig Kienzl.
Micro accumulations by the
glow of a night light.
The work of Michael Part
Estheticism, Quality and the Beautiful are the entrails of Romanticism. In the
hands of the over competent can result in Utopian renderings of pleasure driven
signals that seem to catwalk through ones’ perception without being padded
down and challenged.
In the latest project space to open up by a co operative of artists at Praterstr.48
Wien, three images (photograms) by the Viennese artist Michael Part are
projected on a wall. Directly across from each was a slide projector acrobatically
perched at waist level atop fold-out skinny metal stools creating a gauntlet. At the
opening the viewers
I was peaking into the windows of galleries
along Schleifmühlgasse to see what’s goin’
on in route to beat the early Saturday
morning rush for fresh fish at near by
Naschmarkt when I came upon a show at a
“OHNE MARIE GEHT AUCH HIER NICHTS!”
(Same Here, No Dough, No Go) by Patrick
Baumüller at the Michaela Stock Galerie in
The work viewable only from outside this early in
the morning came across nonchalant yet suspicious
in this particularly small but engaging space. A tin
roof “Mélange Cheminée” associated with a shack
to bootleg gin billows splintered conversations and
other audio through multiple air vents and took up
most of the floor space. A Spiro-graphic string
contour drawing of the hood armament of a Rolls
Royce “Spirit of Ecstasy” greets you at the door.
On the opposite wall is a large photograph of
especially prickly cacti with a declaration from
Marie Antoinette, “I’m afraid of being bored”
inscribed. A gang of Spiders the size of basketballs
made of black bendy-straws held together with
black tape for bodies the size of human hearts cling
to the ceiling like flies on a wall.
To best describe what happened between Bell Street
Project Space and The Hex and Amer Abbas’ ‘Temporary’
Gallery in Vienna I thought it best to go through some of
the things that happened before the show opened. But first
I should explain that Bell Street Project Space is an
offspace in Vienna’s second district that Marita Fraser and
I have run since 2006. The Hex was an offspace run by
Jason Dungan and Maria Zahle in a spare room of a flat in
Bulk mailing post cards from the Dead.
Artists who were in ear-shot, down stream of or on Matthew Rose’ email list, were invited to produce 500, 4
x 6 post cards on the topic of Death inspired by Ray Johnson's “A Book About Death”, and celebrating Emily
Harvey, the late art dealer.
With You Tube, Facebook and even Bing, challenging the “Post Card” for space on my refrigerator, it’s a clever
strategy to invite artists to muse on the topic of Death as a way to organize a show.
Obstructions to a view.
Paintings by Walter Strobl.
The horizon is buoyed by a Castle nestled on a mountain side just above a glistening river
framed by the foliage of vascular trees and sumptuous plants; a scenario of bounty and
sustenance in the thicket of rural fertility…but not in Walter’s landscapes.
Air vents, sky-lights and what the painter describes as other “Autonomous objects”
obstruct potential panoramic deep sky vistas launch by urban rooftops, becoming primary
subjects that actually barrage the “window frame” to claim its territory. These coordinates
in 18 century European Landscape Painting are sacred ground and dutifully reserved for
parasols, fisher men with satchels draped across their shoulders and horse drawn
carriages receding along serpentine roads that seduce the eye to follow into the green
The Stop-Gap between here and Ragnarök.
The work of Michael Nitsche.I immediately come to a “stop” when I’m about to
enter a show with a title unabashedly appropriated from an iconic emblem of
the music industry in the states. It tells me, “Stay away ‘cause it ain’t your
favourite boys doing the beastie with some hotties the way you like it in your
dreams”. Most likely it’s some schmuck grunt artist from some crack east of here that
had to strap-on content because it wasn’t there to begin with.
|"Hang Gliding with a LazyBoy" 2010
Through out the last decade Alexander Viscio has produced a series of works referred to as
“Vehicles for Another Landscape” that include his own active presence inside the work itself
as navigator and less as Performer. True to his nature of inciting suspicion in the way we
read his installations, Viscio makes the viewer aware of their own spatial relationship to his
work and the space they occupy.