After returning from years of war coverage, Peter van Agtmael tries to piece together the memory, identity, race, class, and family, in a landscape which has become as surreal as the war he left behind.
Alexandra Baumgartner’s works are mostly based on found photographs as well as furniture and everyday objects.
Through minimal interventions, juxtapositions and spatial arrangements, she places her mostly anonymous source material in new contexts. Her work extends across different media (collage, installation, painting and object art) and to downright conceptual approaches.
Historical portraits are regularly the subject of her interventions. Images get materially cut or sewn, painted over, and sometimes a new layer of “behind” is opened by burning parts of the image. It is often subliminal tones that Baumgartner is looking for: premonitions, absurd and disturbing moments, a disquieting atmosphere.
The material is examined autopsy-like. Baumgartner’s interest is not in the original context of the source material, but rather in finding a new content, a view of hidden abysses. It is an analysis and elaboration of the fragile relationships between deeply personal feelings and external constraints, between nature, which determines man, who again tries to control them, but remains basically nevertheless inferior.