Maria Wirth

Corporeality and the entire spectrum of its significance for human beings reaching into psychic reality and creating identity - for the artist and the philosopher, this is the guiding theme of her paintings, mixed media works and graphics.

 

The human body as the carrier of socio-cultural codes which serves to classify and evaluate every individual in society is both a source of inspiration and a principle to be overcome in her artistic positions. The body is a socio-political object, a place of standardization and normalization. For women and people of so-called non-heteronormative sexual orientation in particular, the question of their own bodies as a necessary instrument for establishing identity has been and is problematic since mankind. For the media generation of the 21st century with its communication technologies based primarily on visuality and intimacy, this fact is of even greater importance.

 

Against this background, Maria Wirth's works aim to simultaneously call up and counter the categories of modernity based on the biological-anatomical as well as the Gender body. The “protagonists” of her works oppose any classic model, refuse any canon of anatomical aesthetics and measurement. Instead, they develop their very own physiology, which seems to come from an extra-terrestrial world. In fact, it is a world that is very seriously linked to the life and experience of the artist. She dresses the autobiographical components in a vagabonding, colorful imagination in order to condense supra-individual questions of contemporary life.

 

Although figuratively and stylistically standing in a surrealistic tradition, the works are the direct opposite of any illustration or visualization of given concepts. On the contrary, concepts develop in every creative process: hermetic concepts that arise from a dialogue of form- and color movements developing individually and immanently during every artistic action. Ideas such as “the feminine”, “the masculine”, “the hermaphrodite” or “the intersex” detach themselves from their classification function and become fluctuating principles of artistic composition. Where the artist wants to penetrate, is all that condensed, entangled, ambivalent of existence, which in every word language has to dissolve into terms and lose its opacity. Here, the realm of words ends, conceptual thinking reaches its limits.

 

Where Maria Wirth extends the deconstruction of gender, body and identity categories by including animals, mythical creatures and chimeras, she ties in with ancient ideas of body and soul and their timeless metaphors. The hybrid creatures and companionships of different species that arise from this follow aesthetics beyond anthropocentric conventions and stir the question of their legitimation. What begins as a confrontation with distorted, overstretched, fragmented, sometimes absurd body shapes and poses leads behind the facade of the cultivated human and domesticated animal entity and in this way to the fundamental question of naturalness, beauty, yes, reality.