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Eröffnung: Fri, 20.09.2024 | 20 Uhr
Großer Saal
21.09.2024 - 24.11.2024

The Color of Energy

For the exhibition, The Color of Energy, curator and director of the Salzburger Kunstverein, Mirela Baciak, has won fourteen international artists that participate in this two-chapter exhibition, which premiers Chapter I of The Color of Energy at viennacontemporary and opens Chapter II the week after at Salzburger Kunstverein. 

Among the artists, Sophie Jung presents a new performance that tackles climate anxiety. Through a blend of sculptural and performative elements, she explores the profound grief and frustration tied to the climate crisis. Her performance challenges viewers to confront their climate dread, using mythical and contemporary allegories to transform this anxiety into a call for collective action. Linda Lach’s (PL) interest lies in understanding how fragile or sensitive data is maintained and protected, drawing parallels to ecosystems and homeostasis. In her semi-transparent works that utilize aluminum in combination with resin, she features motifs such as stars, clouds, and drops—elements that challenge traditional anthropocentric views of technology and advocate for a more balanced perspective, while acknowledging technological systems’ inherent properties and limitations.

Oleksiy Radynski (U) presents his film Where Russia Ends (2024 an essayistic road movie that interrogates the overlooked histories of settler colonialism and environmental destruction in Russia-occupied indigenous lands. Shubigi Rao’s works from the series These Petrified Paths address the impoverished and dying landscapes resulting from settler colonialism, emphasizing how the extraction processes, particularly fossil fuel and rare metal extraction, necessitate the destruction of topsoil and fertility.

The expansive paintings of Veronika Hapchenko (UA/PL), who employs an airbrush technique to evoke visions of the future and space. Her painting Demeter after Ivan Lytovchenko (2023), is a reinterpretation of Ivan Litovchenko’s 1982 mosaic Creation, crafted in Pripyat, Ukraine, before the Chernobyl disaster. Judith Fegerl (AT) captures energy and tension in objects that push the boundaries of traditional sculpture into a novel state through the conduit of electric currents, while Bertille Bak (FR), in her video installation Mineur Mineur, reflects on her personal history—her grandparents were Polish miners conscripted into the coalmines of Northern France at thirteen—to confront the issue of child labor. This persistent scourge still robs approximately 150 million children worldwide of their childhood, dignity, and health.

Liv Bugge’s (NO) film presents oil fields with names like Goliat, Draugen, and Maria, situated on the Norwegian continental shelf and accompanied by public geodata. The footage of individuals intimately engaging with crude oil, reminiscent of a somatic therapy session, accentuates a tactile and emotional exploration of oil—a cornerstone of Norway’s affluence. Interspersed with archival images of oil rigs, both monstrous and oddly captivating, the film juxtaposes Norway’s old and new romanticisms. Bugge’s work stirs the public discourse on oil’s paradox as a treasured yet problematic resource, deeply woven into the nation's fabric.

VCT STATEMENT ENERGY: The Color of Energy
Co-Produced with Salzburger Kunstverein

Curated by
: Mirela Baciak
Curatorial Project Assistant: Erka Shalari

Chapter I: The Color of Energy: Sara Bezovšek, Liv Bugge, Judith Fegerl, Veronika Hapchenko, Katrin Hornek, Sophie Jung, Linda Lach, Ursula Mayer, Shubigi Rao, Guan Xiao | viennacontemporary, 12–15 September 2024

Chapter II
: The Color of Energy: Bertille Bak, Sophie Jung, Edson Luli, Ursula Mayer, Oleksiy Radynski, Shubigi Rao, Emilija Škarnulytė, Guan Xiao | Salzburger Kunstverein, 21 September–24 November 2024

With the kind support of ERSTE Foundation.

Supported by Trampoline, Association in Support of the French Art Scene, Paris.

Image: Shubigi Rao, Linear AyB, 2023, videostill, courtesy of the artist.