press release

Elke Auer and Esther Straganz use found objects, poems and quotidian materials to create installations, performances and wearable sculptures exploring the micro-politics of gender, sex and sexuality.

For "Lick Our Souls" at the Visual Arts Platform, Auer and Straganz will work on becoming wave - a giant wave of many hands, legs and souls, rolling fast, wild and unstoppable, collecting all kinds of vectors of collective queer intelligence. The result will be a complex multi-dimensional arrangement, an inter-zone where all kinds of possibilities and conflicts suddenly appear, causing a ridiculous chaos of violent happiness.

Citing Elizabeth Grosz, they remind us that "there is an instability at the very heart of sex and bodies...and that what any body is capable of doing is well beyond the tolerance of any given culture."

Elke Auer (1980) and Esther Straganz (1979) have been working in tandem since the turn of the millennium. Both artists graduated in 2005 from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Over the last two years they have been working first and foremost on the notion of monsters. In 2008 they assembled "The League Of Extraordinary Bastards" and invited a handful of hysteric monsters to develop a new collective of elastic bodies, operating particularly with an expanded definition of drag to flee the powers of normalisation. In a turbulent soul licking performance launching their first solo show in the UK, Auer and Straganz will turn the gallery space into a bastard battlefield and translate their interdisciplinary reflections on the body into marvelous monstrous moves with an energy that is both welcoming and confrontational.

The Visual Arts Platform is curated by Eva Martischnig and Adriana Marques and presents emerging artists from or working in Austria, through residencies, artist's talks and critical symposiums. The Visual Arts Platform began in 2006 and continues into its fifth year in 2010.

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Elke Auer, Esther Straganz (GirlsOnHorses )
Lick Our Souls
Blended Bodies and Golden Loopholes
Kuratoren: Eva Martischnig, Adriana Marques