Fremdkörper/ Forgein Bodies 2014

By the end of the 19th century, Austrian anthropologist Josef Szombathy (1853-1943) takes a remarkable series of ‚Antropometric photographs‘ of Viennese people. Containing some exemplares showing Viennese women in posing positions next to the measuring instruments, this series appears to be remarkable, counteracting the usual visual language known from this kind of studies.

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Nicole Prutsch

For her solo exhibition Prutsch transposes her work with the glass negatives of Szombathy‘s shots into the gallery space, staging a photo series and a video installation of the same-titled film versions ‚48 bodies from the Szombathy study‘ (2014). Within the choice of the pictorial material, the artist addresses the theoretical implications of the reduction of the body to a measure, extended by the modern individual within the socalled ‚Quantified self‘; self surveillance via little machines, sensores on the body, programms on the laptop, apps on the smartphone. Both, Anthropometry and modern self measurement, as well as photography and film are techniques to transfer an object or a body into another order, for documenting, studying, observing etc. The conjunction of the methods is addtionally emphasized within the video installation evoking only an illusion of measureable bodies by overlay and projection. Thus Foreign bodies can also be seen as a study of ‚the foreign body‘, that appears to be, since the beginning of the digital age, mostly a question of the medium. In cooperation with HR Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Maria Teschler-Nicola, Head of Department, Department of Anthropology, Museum of Natural History Vienna

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