The Danubiana Museum will be showing “Shaky Times,” works by Xenia Hausner from various periods. All are narrations about the world we live in. Xenia Hausner paints people, delving without sentimentality into the failures her protagonists experience, constructing a shorthand from daily life focusing on love, loss and the insecurity of our presence in our times. Her works depict society - they are deeply personal and yet radiate far beyond the parameters of the individual.
The artist’s large, intensely colorful works draw the viewer into the mysterious world of interpersonal relationships. Mainly women, powerfully expressive, inhabit the stage she sets for her images, women who seem to be testing roles, contrary paradigms, alternative possibilities to the thousands of years of patriarchal history.
Hausner’s ambiguous scenes, which she develops through elaborate scenarios involving various characters, merge into a seemingly fleeting moment captured as painting. Hurt, love and loneliness become the subjects of vigorous, dramatic moments. Xenia Hausner stages image fragments and transforms them into images that defy fixed interpretation.
What she reveals by means of her typically expressive technique are not explicitly readable scenes, but rather codes of ambivalence, which the viewer is left to decipher. In that respect, the viewer becomes the painter’s accomplice and renders a final interpretation of the work through personal visual involvement.
Hausner incorporates elements from various cultures, contradictory landscapes of life, into a new, fragmented reality. One sees an Asian and a European girl, both wearing school uniforms, posed in front of a Coca Cola billboard. It becomes evident how globalization has caused cultural differences to falter.
Three Western women, standing in front of a North Korean propaganda poster – Hausner staged this scene using models. To bring back to mind Hong Kong’s notorious “Cage People” she constructed a cramped shack in her studio. In Hausner’s version a European woman and an Asian woman cohabit this makeshift shelter. The world outside supplies the buzzwords - Hausner’s studio functions as a counter world. Her pictures tell stories about survival in shaky times.
Xenia Hausner’s works have been exhibited at numerous galleries, art fairs and museums such as the Shanghai Art Museum, the Today Art Museum in Beijing, the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Albertina in Vienna, the Batliner Art Foundation Belvedere Museum in Vienna, the Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum in Berlin, the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, the Museum Würth France Erstein, the Würth Collection in Oslo, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, collateral to the 57th Venice Biennale 2017 – “Glasstress” Palazzo Franchetti in Venice, the Forum Gallery in New York, Seven Bridges Foundation in Greenwich/USA, the Paul Allen Family Collection, USA, and the Serendipity Arts Trust in New Delhi India.