8 JULY – 13 AUGUST 2022
COLLABORATIONS is pleased to present a solo show by one of Austria’s foremost contemporary painters, Xenia Hausner.
The work of Xenia Hausner acts like a reclamation of moods; moods as a tool that has the function and the honour to present our emotional lives as fact. Women have been refining this tool for centuries as a way to explore the intersections of culture, power, and possibility. Dissembling your mood is a means to retaining power; it brings you strangely closer to capitalism, to all the “norths” Western culture has created. To make your character open, with the expression of your body, eyes, and face, renders you more vulnerable, more of a “south”.
Imagine the paintings of Xenia Hausner as a proposition to dramatize, revealing through the portraiture of real people – mostly women – all that we know and fear about intensity, joy, cheerfulness, but also melancholy, apathy, and sadness. Moods and knowledge are unequivocally connected to one another. Have you ever thought about the fact that women can never escape the system of moods? If women have no mood whatsoever, they will be seen as “cold”, and if expressive, a bit foolish, or perhaps just not strong enough. Oh! Can painting actually reverse this fate? Painting has been absorbing faces for centuries. Painting knows about this problem. By giving intense emotions to all the elements in her paintings – the human as well as the non-human – Xenia Hausner creates a world that is filled with women, while bringing the interpretation of their gender and roles to an end. Her work is engaged with questions of self-knowledge, and the ability to speak for one another, and in that sense, to know one another.The historical space painting has afforded to portraiture turned painting and painter into keen and generous observers, with a special and privileged access and language to present the ways in which our feelings are affected and how they in turn affect our world. Painting others allows us to truly see them, and seeing others has the ability to break our isolation from the world – an isolation that was so deeply felt during the pandemic. Painting others, in contrast to other forms of depicting presence, like in movies or on social media, is able to reveal through its archaic forms defend the relevance, indeed the power, that ordinary moments, gestures, and sentiments can have.© Text Chus Martinez
© Images CCA Andratx