Exhibition opening – Kunsthalle Krems: At home with the hybrids


At first glance, they “seem almost monstrous”. Says the one who invited her. At second glance, they look almost familiar. And at third glance? Do they all have something human, the creatures that have moved into the Krems Kunsthalle since today, Saturday.

Whereby: “We planned it last year,” says Kunsthalle director Florian Steininger. And he “noticed” the creator of the creatures, Patricia Piccinini, who was born in Sierra Leone and lives and works in Australia, at the 2003 Venice Biennale. And he himself was “looking for something hyper-realistic”, something that “just fits into our pillared hall”.

There, on the upper floor of the Kremser Kunsthalle, they “live” for a good six months, the around 50 installations with Patricia Piccinini’s “Hyper-Hyper-Hybrids”, which are always about “relationships”, according to the artist. And about “overcoming boundaries”. In the first room, a woman in a blue dress is holding a giant baby in her arms. There is a girl in leggings and ballerinas sitting in the next corner, weighing a little something. There, in the next room, someone else reads Kafka on a beach towel, while a mom monkey lovingly looks after her offspring a few meters away and a creature with armadillo armor at the back and a big belly in front of its light blue cave is smiling to itself.

They look life-size and lifelike, with fine faces, gentle eyes, shimmering skin and shiny hair. But something is always a little different. The girl in the corner has arms and legs like a monkey, the something in her arm has a mouth but no head, the eagles, who like penguins have their eggs in their laps, have human faces, the “embryo” looks like one Bright red painted body part of “Iron Man”, the crawling child has no nose, but bat ears, the lovers in the safari tent have predatory claws and the “Young Family” from 2002 – the oldest, but perhaps most famous of Patricia Piccinini’s works in Krems – has Wrinkles and stains like an old person.

“Of course we could have staged it with darkened light and individual spots,” says Florian Steininger. Instead, the walls in the columned halls were painted in Easter egg colors, pink and blue and yellow, with a lot of space between the creatures, videos and drawings as a supplement and a “panic room”, in which, above all, people breathe loudly. Finally, you can get lost in the central hall on the ground floor, in the forest of strange, moonlit plants, in which Patricia Piccinini’s creatures appear here and there.

“Embracing the Future” is the title of the show, which is the only stop in the German-speaking region in Krems, from today, Saturday, to the prescribed “Easter rest” from Maundy Thursday. And (“hopefully”) after Easter until October 3rd. Because: “We have”, says the Kunsthalle manager, “extended the running time once.”


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Exhibition opening Kunsthalle Krems home hybrids


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