press release

The works of Markus Proschek use history as a reference system. Taking the austere visual materials of artwork and architecture from the Austrian-German Nazi period, Proschek mingles them with those from other historical contexts. The results, in his often meticulous paintings, propose a revised history where, for example, sculptures from the Third Reich are placed seamlessly within post-war interiors. This ambiguous displacement of the past exposes collective memories of relics and personal fetishes. Proschek mixes these together in his paintings, objects and installations to create an alternative documentation of a national past which appears accurate, yet is far from it.

For his first solo show in the UK, Proschek will show a selection of works which illustrate his approach to, and usage of, aesthetics in art history and the presentation of art. In paintings like “Das Urteil” he intertwines references to postmodern art with Nazi emblems. He depicts the fascist museum space, uses “classical“ sculptures and confronts them with strange materials like beeswax (notorious from the works of Joseph Beuys ), tiles, modern minimalistic shapes or fragmented geometric forms. The products of this process are hybrid forms, no longer belonging to any of the featured contexts, but creating their own system of references. By doing so he leaves the viewer puzzled, trying to make sense of these ambivalent relationships.

Born in Salzburg in 1981, Markus Proschek received an MA in Fine Arts from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2008, the same year his works were granted the STRABAG art award. In 2009 he received a scholarship from the BMUKK. Proschek has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions in the Hellenic-American Union (Athens) and Galerie5020 (Salzburg), and group shows in art institutions in Austria, China, Czech Republic, France and Italy.

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 sixth year in 2011 with a new programme of collaborations between emerging Austrian and UK artists in the ACF gallery.

Markus Proschek
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