I Have A Feeling For You
„We are the fingertips of the force that drives the stars, so do your job and feel“
-Tanya Tagaq, „Split Tooth“
„Dont’t think, feel!“
15.-18. Juni 2022
Laurens Seeman, Julian Kadrnoschka, Emma Peinhopf, Bo Yeong Yun, Karina Kwapil, Liam Che Gräfling, Emma Egger
The world might seem like a strange place at times, especially nowadays. Global challenges like a pandemic, wars and the climate crisis leave us in despair. In moments like this it seemed right to focus on something universal that would be able to touch everyone in some way: the ability to feel. Anger, frustration, euphoria, sadness, indifference, concern, fear, excitement, wonder, love. The exhibition is the result of seven students of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna using their tools to express feelings they have within themselves. They have a feeling for you, so take it.
While coming from he department of Graphics and Printmaking, the first year class does not remain inside the boundaries of a single discipline. The emotions that fascinate and dominate them are expressed in a range of artistic mediums such as drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography and language art. The result is a room packed with emotions that hopefully remind us of the overarching links between humans and the potential of sharing how we perceive the world.
Laurens Seeman let’s you flip through his feelings quite literally with his multifaceted artist’s book Unfassbar Laut. It contains texts by the artist, accompanied by an arrangement of several etchings. More than that, he also exhibits prints to accompany the overflowing feeling that is on his mind: vulnerability. Not to feel but to exhibit one’s feelings and let other people peek inside you is an act of vulnerability and strength. Power and powerlessness, being overwhelmed by everything around him is the emotion expressed in Unfassbar Laut. The arrangement of etchings aims to appear just like the chaos inside. A lot is happening, the viewer might be unable to decide where to look first. Laurens also expresses his concern about feelings like self-doubt, not only in an artistic aspect. He speaks up about being prone to paralyzing emotions.The combinations of prints and texts show how he deals with everything all at once and touch some of the darkest yet softest parts in us. They let you look inside him and take you by the hand like a friend at the same time.
Julian Kadrnoschka presents a delicate and overflowing stream of consciousness. His drawings were produced over months, bit by bit in the moments in-between, the moments spent waiting. He was sketching while the everyday was happening and the wheels were turning. The result is a tapestry of scenes and images, each of them existing for themselves, though also connected through coincidence. The folded Japanese paper, chosen as material, is as see-through and airy as the notions that rush through our heads on a daily basis. The reality we move in naturally influences our thoughts and imagination. Influences that Julian seeks to translate and to make a visible part of the material world.
Emma Peinhopf puts feelings into space. Before her studies at the University of Applied Arts she had already been experimenting with the medium of ceramics and the potential of objects to trigger a feeling in us. She introduces us to her individual language of color and narrative in the shown arrangement of sculptures.
“Something about the way you taste makes me wanna clear my throat” DEVO sang in their 1978 song Gut Feeling. Emma shows us how the theme of gut feelings is more relevant than one might think. It makes you wonder about the immense capacity of our bodies to put emotions into biological processes and raises the question: “How much of my feelings are born out of my mind, and what is constructed by my organism?”. The outcome is walking, shimmery and dynamic twisted organs who wander on the border between Emma’s colorful signature style and an underlying creepiness.
Bo Yeong Yun wanders trough the world with a feeling of wonder. She is distinctly fascinated by special encounters we have everyday, but might not realize actively. These encounters could be with other people, with plants, with the moon, the clouds in the sky or with ourselves in the mirror. The moment of perception that the other is alive, she herself is alive and the moment she is living through is alive as well. A feeling of wonder takes hold of Bo Yeong, an emotion that can not easily be described. Realizing that everyone around us has a life as complex and full to the rim with emotions as our own. Not just humans, but maybe also the Calathea Orbifolia in her room. It may happen just for the blink of a second or it may happen after time has accumulated. It may be transitory and it may be everlasting at the same time. She captures those moments of encounter with her paintings, etchings and lithographs. In each medium she keeps her unique liveliness of the line and creates playful yet elegant artworks that depict an almost obscure feeling of existentialism.
Karina Kwapil’s prints deal with the feelings that emerge out of introspection and observation. Emotions and their depiction have been an ever-present theme in her works. She expresses herself not only in painting and drawing but has become especially skillful in gravure and woodcut printing techniques, which she exhibits in order to show the feelings she has for you and the people in her life. All the aspects of being human and living in a society are wrapped into a symbolic language and message in her works. The protagonists do not convey an ideal but are rather to be seen as ironically exaggerated. This is a tool to serve the narrative and the sake of telling a story and capturing a moment. In the focus of this is also the presentation. Karina loves the big format, the large scale and the over-sized which serve to transport the message of her prints. Thats how she takes over a room and sucks you into a story that doesn’t really let you go. It all leads to what is her purpose: reflecting upon her role in society and how we interact with others.
Liam Che Gräfling’s large scale drawings made with ink and watercolor deal with his feelings of shame and concern about a fateful future. He expresses his frustration and fear when looking at how the earth which we are living on is constantly being polluted and violated. It’s an overwhelming feeling, as relevant to his as to all future generations, more than ever before. Liam’s works contain not only his love and concern for animals and nature. His detailed drawings seem disturbing and gloomy, as he wishes to wake us up from a society with a consumerist way of living. Thus depicting scenes that contain elements of wired bodies and ancient worlds merging into a fantastic dystopian cosmos. You can see both the connection between nature and human – and the presence of love. But also the absence of it and the many facets of violence in our past and future. In the end Liam wants us to start thinking about everything that needs to be done in order to save the planet, but which is continuously ignored.
Emma Egger might seem obsessed, but she is just in love. And very much so.
The emotion of romantic love has been depicted and discussed artistically in past centuries: in fine art, literature, film and music. Also in the context of cultural studies, sociology or psychology. Emma choses to ignore the existing state of the art with relentless determination. She lets herself be overwhelmed and guided by the feeling of being starstruck by a person. Her series of photographs, drawings and prints are accompanied by a collection of objects that document the first months of the relationship. The depictions of intimacy or observations of her partner are confessions made every day when she encounters the human that makes her feel those things. It is a collection of images and objects that metaphorically say: I love how your hands look when cooking pasta, the way you sit in chairs and how your face looks after waking up.
The shown work is not only a colorful love letter full of kitsch but an acknowledgement of her own emotions, which is sometimes scary to put into the world.
Text: Emma Egger