VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Craving Supernatural Creatures


14 January – 13 February 2022
Opening hours: Friday & Saturday: 14:00 – 18:00 and by appointments
Opening: 13 January, 15:00 – 21:00
Finissage: 13 February, 14:00 – 18:00

Nicholas Grafia, Hanna Krzysztofiak, Lisa Signorini, Siggi Sekira
Curated by: Alexandra-Maria Toth

[1]An ashen, gloomy sky –

Barren rock and earthen walls extend in every direction while an array of monsters prowls around.

The brothers Grimm are on the hunt; looking for the original creature, the one tormented by endless rejection; the one, that questions one’s understanding of good and evil. It resembles the Golem; a protector; a servant; the ultimate Outcast; made by people and damned by people. What can that creature teach those little hunters, whose beliefs are endowed with an absolute system of black and white dualism, suggesting beauty to be synonymous with goodness and health, whereas ugliness equates with evilness and disease? In accordance with the hunter’s moralities, normality is opposed to abnormality; ability in opposition to disability. Wicked witches are tragic villains and tiny dwarf’s become undesirable Others, isolated by choice or necessity. “Beware of the brothers” whispers an undead man. For they will tell your story and shame your desire to become godlike.

The undead man, who has been succumbed to the seductive powers of a singing enchantress – the daughter of the sea, waits for the divine hermaphrodite in hope, that they/-them will restore his soul. How many years have already passed? The Siren is dead and buried peacefully between roses. Once upon a time, he had made a memetic object for her  – a magic mirror, that trades shadows and hearts for material wealth; but she died a poor woman, exposed to an evil spell she couldn’t break. And the mirror? Stolen by a mighty queen; and wasted for vanity and greed. The undead man believes that his story is above the sublime. Therefore, he shall not be found by the brothers[2].

[3]Up in the mountains lives a beautiful sorcerer, who keeps all secrets from the world. He collects rare curiosities, such as enchanted teacups and treasures, magic potions and books about the underworld. A prince lies in his bed; Upon wielding an ancient sword, that has been passed down through his royal family for generations, the prince is struck by a curse, that turns him into a sexually insatiable demon at night. Not even the highest level of purification magic can dispel the curse and set the demon free. Each night the sorcerer tries to heal the parched heart of the demon and on the first night of the full moon the demon tells the sorcerer: “Zwei Seelen wohnen in meiner Brust/ Two souls, alas, reside within my breast, and each withdraws from, and repels its brother”[4].

All creatures born by our fantasy, in the last analyses, are nothing but ourselves[5]. Sigmund Freud spent countless years to uncover what is hidden and caused a disturbing transformation of the familiar into the unfamiliar, and vice versa. Some storytellers bring a moral component to the uncanny, suppressing the darkness and glamour of the human soul. The powers, abilities and tragedies of supernatural creatures is experienced upon encountering something that is at once both strange and familiar or when there is a moment of hesitation between belief and disbelief;  With time, the fantastic and all things supernatural turn into a craving for self-knowledge, self-criticism, but most of all self-awareness – given, that no human being is morally or ethically perfect2.

(Alexandra-Maria Toth)

[1] See: Nozomi Ginyoku (2020): Behemoth
[2] See: Claudia Schwabe (2019): Craving supernatural creatures
[3] See: Ayano Yamane (2014): Crimson Spell
[4] Goethe: Faust
[5] Friedrich Schiller





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