Innocent Bystanders

Installation views: Fotogalerie Wien, 2023 und Secession Wien, 1991
Fotos: Michael Michlmayr (1–3), Jochen Traar (4–5)

B&W photographs on monochrome papers, 30 pieces:
80 x 140 cm, 50 x 60 cm, framed

Innocent Bystanders – Unschuldige Dritte 1 is a multi-part work created in 1991 specifically for the lower level exhibition space of the Vienna Secession… Vegetables and genetic structures flanked seven large photographs of the priestesses who guarded the secrets of fertility at the ancient Shrine of Vesta in Rome.

… If you combine the individual parts you will find yourself confronted with a discourse that was prevalent in the 1990s, about our “bodies in society”, i.e. identity, gender issues, gene manipulation and the interests of capital. And last but not least, exhibition visitors, the “innocent bystanders”, were directly addressed as “the silent partners […] of history”.

Ruth Horak: The Photograph is One Word in a Sentence in:
Werkschau XXVIII – Andrea van der Straeten burning down the house.
In: Fotobuch 66/2023, Fotogalerie Wien

Parts in possession of: MUSA – Wien Museum, Federal photography collection – Museum Rupertinum Salzburg, Austrian and German private collections.

See also: exhibitions