Valentin Ruhry


>>      Mira hatte ein Handy und zwei Flügel [Mira had a Mobile and two Wings]

>> at galerie5020 in Salzburg

Elke Auer / Esther Straganz, Elisabeth Schmirl, Sabine Jelinek, Maruša Sagadin, Valentin Ruhry

Curators: Margarethe Makovec + Anton Lederer

Sigmund Haffner Gasse 12/1
5020 Salzburg

Opening: Wednesday, December 3, 7 p.m.
Duration: December 4, 2008 - February 7, 2009
Opening Hours: TUE - FR, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.,
SA, 10:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

On July 5th, 2007, we received the invitation from the Salzburg gallery Galerie 5020 to make a selection from all the submissions for the 2008 programme. A challenge and an honour! Yet, which course of action to take? How to form an exhibition from the approx. 160 submissions? But in fact the answer to these questions had already been concisely pre-formulated in Ms Hildegard Fraueneder's email: … " indeed, it should be about filtering out on which issues artists are preferably working at the moment, what concerns they're having, which formats they're working in. It is less about a selection guided by content principles but about a feel for up-to-date art production." Following these directions we have selected 4 individual artists and one collective whose works, artistic strategies and content focus we regard as truly up-to-date.

But who is Mira? And what does she have to do with the exhibition? The exhibition's title takes up the initial sentence of Dimitré Dinev's debut novel Engelszungen [Angels' Tongues], published by Deuticke in 2003, and slightly alters it: Miro is turned into Mira. Dimitré Dinev lumps together different realities in this initial phrase: 1. Miro. A male first name that together with the author's name defines a certain cultural context; 2. mobile phone. The mobile represents the contemporary world in this sentence but it can also be seen as a symbol for the apparent overcoming of distance. 3. Wings = angels. In the very first sentence the book's plot is presented as something that cannot be grasped with our five senses alone.

The meanings that can be extracted from this one short sentence can be applied to the works of art presented in this exhibition. Among other things these works of art try to get at the bottom of situations of everyday life, they play with identities and stereotypes, deal with feminist positions, with contemporary communication culture and, eventually, with nothing less than an analysis of our society of the spectacle.