One (Upright), Third (Upright), 5 (Moving), Futures
The notion of a post-humanistic leave-taking of human beings plays a central role in Barbara Kapusta’s artistic practice. Against the backdrop of an impending climate apocalypse on a planetary scale, the body is understood as transformative and collective.
Her cast aluminium figures in front of KUNST HAUS WIEN form a fluid trio, an alien-like formation reminiscent of stick figures whose entities are activated through heat, metallic and shiny. They appear like spectral figures from a dubious future, their physical presence emerging from a parallel reality. These sculptures larger-than-life in their poses tell a story of transformation in which bodies and identities are subject to a malleable process. In terms of iconography, they evoke figures from fantasy and sci-fi films. Their appearance, which at first sight seems threatening, quickly gives way to sympathy for these apparently galactic beings who, for reasons unknown, find themselves on Earthly terrain; with sagging shoulders and arms far too long, they pose the question: ‘How to make the world work?’ (R. Buckminster Fuller) On their surface, the self is mirrored with the Other and the environment; opposites are evened out. Indeed, one of the artist’s fundamental themes is how external influences and ecological disasters also inscribe themselves in our humanoid bodies, putting their resistance to the test.
While the giants themselves remain silent, tension-laden sounds pulsate in the video visible through a window. In a fiery speech a voice speculates about another world, beyond growing economies and fossil fuels. The spoken and written word, the invention of a new script, spin a dense web that sketches out possible futures despite end-times notions and climatic fever dreams.
* 1983 in Vienna, lives and works in Vienna.
In Barbara Kapusta's artistic practice, the posthumanist adoption of the human being plays a central role. Against the background of an impending planetary climate apocalypse, the body is understood as transformative and collective. Her alien-like figures cast in aluminum on the forecourt of KUNST HAUS WIEN form a fluid trio that, with the video visible through a window, flamingly speculates on another world, beyond growing economies and fossil fuels.