Eikon – Issue 109 - Print Matters!

Eikon – Issue 109

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EIKON #109

Artists | Alfredo Barsuglia | Bettina Gruber | Michael Höpfner | Jeremy Shaw | Nina Vobruba |

Thomas Ballhausen | Simon Bowcock | Katharina Brandl | Pia Draskovits | June Drevet | Margit Emesz | Lucas Gehrmann | Synne Genzmer | Maximilian Geymüller | Ruth Horak | David Komary | Carlos Kong | Peter Kunitzky | Fiona Liewehr | Maren Lübke-Tidow | Danièle Perrier | Maria Rennhofer | Ulrich Tragatschnig | Barbara von Flüe | Margit Zuckriegl

Languages | German / English
Dimensions |  280 x 210 mm

104 pages

Ever since postmodernism emerged and reinforced doubts about the existence of a single, absolute truth, the concept of authenticity has fallen from grace. To this day, the loss of this implicit understanding of one truth permeates all areas of life, which is noticeable in an ever-increasing indifference to authorship and copyright—an attitude of “What matter who’s speaking?,” as Michel Foucault succinctly put it as early as 1974 (Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?” in Language, Countermemory, Practice. Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault, ed. Donald F. Bouchard. New York, N.Y.: Cornell University Press , 1980, 115.). No wonder, then, that the present digital oversaturation resulting from the unfiltered pluralism of an “anything goes” mentality (the communication style inherent in this technology is full of acronyms, emojis, photos, and videoclips ceaselessly courting our attention with flashy colors, animated as GIFs, or with added sound) has reawakened our human desire for something simple and straightforward—a core message, so to speak. Against the background of this multimedia form of interpersonal exchange it is consequently not very surprising that populist tendencies—concise, easily understandable statements instead of sophisticated wording—are once again on the ascent, preferably uttered by a strong leader whose competencies often (seem to) lie only in successfully conveying plain messages to the addressee.

The current desire for simplicity also doesn’t stop at the art world’s gate, as Danièle Perrier points out in this issue’s “In Focus,” entitled “What May Art Do?” By adding to and honing arguments presented at the 52nd International AICA Congress on the subject of “Art Criticism in the Age of Populisms and Nationalisms,” the author shows that even actions that originally sprang from political correctness might actually overshoot the target and must therefore be critically examined. In any case, Perrier’s remarks should encourage us to engage in a more sophisticated investigation of what is currently happening in the art world (and elsewhere)—which, of course, in turn means going against the trends of our fast-moving times by not offering society quick, simple solutions. Instead, we ought to call for broader, more in-depth, and perhaps sustained discourse.


The signs of the times are geared toward change. The year 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade—not only according to the Gregorian calendar: EIKON is also entering a new era this spring, an era of new proportions for our institution, as on March 10 we open the EIKON Schauraum, a 25-square-meter exhibition and discussion forum in the heart of MuseumsQuartier Vienna. The Schauraum will be staffed by EIKON two days a week and can be viewed twenty-four hours a day, even after the opening hours. Solo and group exhibitions with artists presented in the print issues are already scheduled for the first year, along with artist talks and panel discussions. This way, we hope to make our program accessible to an even wider audience. We look forward to a personal exchange with our visitors and to this new challenge, and we thank everyone who has supported us along the way: the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture, Civil Service and Sport; the City of Vienna; MuseumsQuartier Vienna and Q21, who are also on the premises. Cordial thanks also go to the team of BWM Architekten, whose minimalist adaptations (perfectly suited to the space) have created the ideal conditions for future exhibitions, presentations, talks, and panel discussions.

EIKON, a magazine established in 1991 and published by the Austrian Institute of Photography and Media Art (Österreichisches Institut für Photographie und Medienkunst), based in the Museumsquartier Wien, views itself as a platform for Austrian and international artists from the fields of photography and media art.

EIKON is a bilingual magazine (German/English) published quarterly. A major feature of the magazine is its close collaboration with the presented artists, which is also reflected in the limited art editions published by EIKON (Edition EIKON). In addition, special issues are published on various occasions.

Having received a great deal of attention since its inception, EIKON Schauraum is a presentation platform in the heart of the Museumsquartier providing free access to Austrian and international photography and media art 24 hours daily.

Additionally, EIKON has assembled a comprehensive reference library, where visitors are free to browse more than 5,000 publications about topics such as photography, fine arts, art history, and technology.

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