Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl “Invitation of the Soft Machine and Her Angry Body Parts”, Austrian Pavilion at Giardini della Biennale, Venice

Welcome to the Tender Device!
It was William Burroughs who, in the early 1960s, in his eponymously named lower-up novel, explained the human entire body as a ‘soft machine’, consistently besieged ‘by a wide, hungry host of parasites’. In the meantime, the ‘soft machine’ has morphed into a cyborg-age overall body cipher. In narratives and in fact, humans and devices normally merge in amazingly new, at times critical approaches. In this way, they push discourse. With their exhibition “Invitation of the Soft Equipment and Her Angry Human body Parts” Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl playfully and humorously make numerous aspects of up to date body discourses resonate. Knebl and Scheirl renovate the Austrian Pavilion in the Giardini into an open phase that invites the viewers to discover the ‘spaces of desire’ staged by the Viennese artists. In this non permanent staging, the two unfold their inventive universe with paintings, sculptures and pictures, as a result of textile will work, creating and online video, to a trend selection and a journal. The Tender Machine materialises in the sort of a literal ‘exhibition being’ whose person pieces merge into an natural, living complete. The pavilion is remodeled into an inviting, ‘heterotopian’ place wherever art, effectiveness, style and design, fashion and architecture occur jointly in enjoyable, ironically humorous, futuristic hybrid forms.
— Karola Kraus, curator of the Austrian Pavilion

Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl are two artists whose works are characterised by quite a few links between art, performance, layout, trend, general performance, sociocultural phenomena, and architecture, consequently focusing on present discourses of world wide relevance.
They create phase-like installations, entitled “Invitation of the Gentle Equipment and Her Angry Body Parts”, in which they unfurl their entire inventive cosmos – from paintings, sculptures, textile performs, photographs, textual content, and video to a manner assortment and a special magazine. These hybrid ‘spaces of desire’ upset standard notions of museum shows and shake up the hierarchies of artwork and style and design, of substantial and minimal.
The artists deal with the mechanisms of identity building, in which wish and sensory practical experience participate in a main job. They assemble multilayered dynamic areas, in which the viewers on their own develop into actors and may possibly expand their horizon via curiosity.

Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl aim on the structural disorders of the Austrian Pavilion’s symmetrical architecture, which is each divided and linked by a colonnade. Every single of the two key areas bears the mark of just one of the two artists. Although the two particular person positions stay distinctive, they are also in dialogue with just about every other. So the different elements, modes of procedure, symbols, and types look to oscillate in between the two displays and are duplicated and mirrored. The facet pavilions earmark the artist duo by way of a reflecting illusionist spatial predicament.

Jakob Lena Knebl’s expansive installation elude crystal clear-reduce classifications. It displays the artist’s present interrogation of the 1970s, particularly the sociopolitical problems and the background of artwork and design and style of that decade, and reflects their powerful impact on the present day. Important areas in this context include identification and the prospects of its transformation, the sites of its staging, and the question of co-producers and mechanisms of exclusion. The scenography of Knebl’s do the job in the pavilion is dominated by opulence. A sci-fi landscape extending the size of the pavilion’s rear wall sets a surreal scene that appears at the moment utopian and dystopian. It is framed by a metal framework impressed by the architecture of the Centre Pompidou. Daily life-sized hybrid sculptures of ceramic, leather, fibreglass, textiles, and steel that challenge the arbitrary dividing line among art and layout share the exhibition room with people. Classical craftsmanship is put together and interwoven with polyurethane casts primarily based upon electronic, 3D printed types.

Ashley Hans Scheirl’s set up is a stroll-in self-portrait as a painter. A purple velvet curtain is pushed apart by the artist’s painted hand. As in a theatre proscenium, we see a staggered arrangement of flat parts of scenery that at the identical time make up the levels of this fold-out portray. As we enter, two various-sized eyes regard us from the rearmost wall with an ambivalent emotional expression. Over is a white, lengthy-haired pubic mound, from which an oversize tube operates into the room. It ejaculates a clear yellowish ‘liquid’ into the room, leaving a puddle beneath the curve of a prolonged hairstyle. From atop a shaggy hill, medicine-spewing tank guns are trained covetously on a shiny chunk of gold. An angrily gaping mouth adorns a living-place wallpaper from the 1970s. Behind it, a piercing ring is thrust by a cloud-shaped sky. Turning all around, superior above the entrance, the customer sees a cushioned anus excreting a golden worm of paint into the area.

The two artists’ joint installation is characterised by a dynamic juxtaposition and intertwining of diverse, seemingly paradoxical spaces, kinds and pictogramme-like symbols that all seek to garner the visitors’ attention with their personal unique devices. The readers, in transform, become protagonists in this piece, setting the surroundings in movement with their bodies.

At Giardini della Biennale, Venice
until November 27, 2022