HAST DU LUST?
Art proved to be an essential tool to draw attention to social and environmental issues throughout history. After speaking about the general shame surrounding the symptoms of mental disorders, for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we are using contemporary art to discuss the role of mental health within the context of sexual pleasure. With the persevering stigma and lack of sex education, we need every opportunity and medium to open up a discussion on these topics, particularly their interconnectedness. Nine artists selected via open call brought up topics that uncovered still only a fragment of what prevents us from enjoying our bodies in an individually truthful way. The previous century’s sexual revolution, while liberating a few, didn’t erase deeply rooted systemic issues. Not only a very few of us were taught to seek pleasure and embrace it in a unique way, many of us question how deserving of feeling it we are in the first place. This high level of lack of self-worth is particularly present in the abuse survivors ––a theme that the exhibition’s focus opened up inevitably. Whether dealing with the consequences of another’s attack or the almost invisible phenomenon of auto aggression, it all comes down to the fact that no one is experiencing violence for the first time when causing it.
Presented artworks can then be perceived as witnesses to the harm done to our collective self, proving once again that mental health is societal health.
They remind us that we still live in a patriarchal society where desperate women seek misogynistic and scientifically inaccurate procedures of hymen reconstruction to avoid everything from feelings of shame to physical death and where men are the ones deciding abortion rights. Even in a democratic country with relative access to the procedure, fear of unwanted pregnancy can strongly affect mental health and erase the pleasure from intercourse. While these struggles disproportionately concern women, body-image issues affect everyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Combined with a religious glorification of suffering, sexual stigma, generally present homophobia, transphobia, racism, a lack of diversity and natural bodies in popular culture, along with media (mis)representation of mental disorders –– the context-dependent pleasure can be almost impossible to achieve for many.
The project Hast du lust? invites us to look at social phenomenons from a different perspective, to recognize neglected parts of ourselves mirrored in another’s intimate story but also to contemplate the role of a bystander –responsibility and the consequences of being the one who watches.
Group exhibition and events
at Improper Walls
● Vernissage and performance by Marko Markovic: May 25, 7 PM
● Exhibition: May 26 – June 24, opening times We-Fr, 3-7 PM
Artists: Agrina Vllasaliu, Daniel Hill, Linda Bergstötter, Margrit Barner, Marko Markovic,
Merybell Nabilah Reynoso, Michael Robert Jimenez
● Open Mic by ZIMT: June 2, 6 PM
● Installation “(un)telling pleasure” by puro conjuro (part I): June 8, 7 PM
● Vorführung des Kurzfilms AUTOAGGRESSION von Martin Willibald Meisl: June 9, 8 PM
● Installation “(un)telling pleasure” by puro conjuro (part II): June 24, 7 PM
Erika Farina is a tailor and fashion designer based in Vienna. Asta Cink was an actress and dancer and eventually found her way to photography through
performance art and now works with lens-based media.
Vernissage and performance by Marko Markovic: 25 May, 7 pm
Exhibition: 26 May – 24 June,
Opening hours: Wed-Fri, 3-7pm
Location: Improper Walls, Reindorfgasse 42, Vienna 1150
Agrina Vllasaliu, Daniel Hill, Linda Bergstötter, Margrit Barner, Marko Markovic, Merybell Nabilah Reynoso and Michael Robert Jimenez
Open Mic by ZIMT: 2 June, 6 pm
Installation “(un)telling pleasure”
by puro conjuro (part I): 8 June, 7 pm
Screening of the short film AUTOAGGRESSION by Martin Willibald Meisl: 9 June, 8 pm
Installation “(un)telling pleasure”
by puro conjuro (part II): 24 June, 7 pm