The artistic practice of Claudia Märzendorfer (*1969 Vienna, lives in Vienna) includes projects that elude conventional expectations about art as a production process. Her works of art—whether volatile installations made of dust particles or precarious ice sculptures like playable LPs fashioned from frozen water—tend toward the ephemeral and non-recurring. They’re about shifting and subverting normal situations, as is the case with the knitted (re)construction of truck replacement parts and a three-dimension-
al wall drawing. Driving her artistic undertakings is the non-acceptance of given circumstances, the temporal nature of time being the most essential element. At the same time, a wealth of knowledge about external determinants, conditions, and practices is part of her process of producing art.
It all began with a truck tire that Märzendorfer made in 2005 as the first in a series of “replacement parts for trucks.” Now, a group of works called “silent running” (2005 onward) contains, besides five knitted truck tires, other parts, including an exhaust pipe, a gas tank, headlights, and an engine block. Before starting production, the artist studied designs for motors and machines, made a series of drawings of them, and designed knitted patterns for tire tread and snow chains. The faithfully detailed “replacement parts” are made by hand over a period of months. Stitch by stitch, the large objects slowly take on shape. With the organic tangle of pipes and chambers, “Motorblock” (2012–13) resembles a heart, or mechanical, technical entrails that have come to exist on their own. From the start, however, knitting is a manufacturing process that implies an absurdly elaborate work process. Considering the generally accepted notion that efficiency and optimization are necessary, the production method chosen is not so much an anachronism as it is a conscious, deliberate opposition to a market-oriented, instantaneous society: it’s an anarchic aspect and a thoroughly political statement. As is the case with her ephemeral ice sculptures—whose process of disintegration begins at the moment they’re presented—as well as her temporary three-dimensional works and wall drawings, the artist is fueled by a perspective free of the concept of functionalism.
In the exhibition spaces at the Künstlerhaus in Graz Claudia Märzendorfer arranges the large block of works as if they were in a storehouse full of replacement parts, and leads visitors in the larger section of the space through an empty archive that allows images to form in one’s mind, thanks to the delicate, site-specific wall drawings and the monologue of a fictional archivist. Editions made on this topic will be presented within the framework of the exhibition.
Claudia Märzendorfer, (*1969 in Vienna, grew up in Graz, lives in Vienna) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, under Bruno Gironcoli. In 2014 she received the Outstanding Artist Award for Fine Art from the BKA, Vienna Section Art.
The exhibition will be on display at two sites, in Maribor and in Graz. Märzendorfer has been working on the four-part sculpture for eleven years now, and has knitted seventy-two kilometers of wool to date; this corresponds to the distance between the two exhibitions sites of Graz and Maribor.
An edition titled “unter ein Bild” (Beneath an image) will be presented at the opening, with an introduction from Ruth Horak. There will be fifty prints plus twelve artist prints; the edition was made with the kind cooperation of the City of Graz’s “Kunstsammlung.”
Solo Exhibitions (selection)
"Reisegruppe schöner Männer," Fox-Offspace, Vienna (2016)
"kollektive Collage," Bildraum Bodensee, Bregenz (2016)
"shared space Attems," Rhizom at Palais Attems, Graz (2015)
"Silent Running, Ersatzteile," Showroom Vice Versa, Berlin (2014)
"CM Motor,“ vorAnker, Anker Brotfabrik, Vienna (2014)
"Als er das Messer in die Sonne warf," Jesuitenfoyer, Vienna (2009)
Projects, Commissions (selection)
"Unter ein Bild," project with Municipal Art Collection Graz Graz (2016)
„Raspberry," Competition for design of public square in Ybbsitz, Art in Public Space Lower Austria (2016)
"Vom Lift aus begangen liegt alles im Parterre," pinboard project, Site-specific Art department, University for Applied Arts, Vienna (2015)
„WANDABWICKLUNG," (temporary wall drawing), BIG Headquarters, Vienna (2014)
"Der Gedanke kann warten, er hat keine Zeit,“ radio play for Ö1 - Austrian Public Radio (2013)