fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Birgit Jürgenssen
La Biennale di Venezia

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Birgit Jürgenssen

1949 – 2003,  Austria


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Austrian-born artist Birgit Jürgenssen produced a wide array of photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and wearable garments before passing prematurely at the age of fifty-four. She offers a sharp feminist perspective in a Viennese art world dominated by both the transgressive masculinity of Vienna Actionism and the conservative mores of the Austrian bourgeoisie. Jürgenssen’s experiments blend matters of identity and being, Freudian psychoanalysis and Surrealism, while maintaining a degree of distinctively utopian political thinking. In her surreal drawings from the 1970, bodies are shown both in metaphoric and literal terms: the well-dressed, part-crustacean figure in the drawing Fehlende Glieder (Missing Limbs) (1974); the nude seated body with the unmistakable furry head and upper back of a black cat in Ohne Titel (1977); and the small knives developing animal traits in Ohne Titel (1974), revealing the erotic, psychological, and emotional drives burning just beneath the surface of things. In Froschschultergürtel (Ergänzung zum menschlichen Bewegungsapparat) (1974), the relations between the boundaries of the inner mind and the external body become ambiguous, with a shield of bones strapped to the outside of a swimming-capped and bikini-clad woman’s body. Whether fantasy or nightmare, here, a representation of femininity is attached to something unfixed and altogether unknowable.

Madeline Weisburg

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
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