Archive: NÖ Lower Austrian Culture Award 2018


Ian Wieczorek

The work of the Irish artist Ian Wieczorek can be seen at the exhibition showcasing the winners of this year’s Lower Austrian Culture Award at the NÖDOK in St. Pölten. He currently resides in Krems in the context of the AIR - ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Niederösterreich programme.

In his artistic practice, Wieczorek explores the ways in which digital technology shapes contemporary society and everyday life and influences our social and cultural identity. In his preferred medium, painting, the artist draws on low-resolution photos or film stills which he finds in newspapers and, more often, on the Internet, such as images of prisoners, innocent convicts, or even burning cars. Through the act of painting he subjects these images to an aesthetic reappraisal. By placing the focus on details or removing backgrounds, the artist shifts the images to a more general level, simultaneously de-contextualising and obscuring the content depicted.

On view at the exhibition, the series "Crossing" (2017) reflects on the very topical theme of borders as a physical barrier, showing unidentifiable human figures in the attempt of climbing over border fences. Wieczorek wants to avoid the images to be interpreted as a purely political comment and considers the border fence to be a strong symbol of division in general, which well-nigh inspires human resistance. The recent video piece “Compulse” (2018) engages in a dialogue with the paintings. It shows excerpts from an infrared surveillance camera that recorded migrants crossing a border illegally, displaying them as indistinct silhouettes. The location is impossible to identify and, not unlike the blurred paintings, the vague and unclear images turn the scenes into more generalised and universal images of fleeing and crossing borders.

Winners of the 2018 Lower Austrian Culture Award
23 Nov 2018 – 27 Jan 2019

Honorable Mention:
Ernst Skrička

Recognition awards:
Christina Werner
Ines Hochgerner

Gino Alberti


Curator: Günther Oberhollenzer

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