Ulrike Lienbacher

Ulrike Lienbacher is interested in the body as the medium of an individual, socio-cultural history from which the values and norms of a society can be read off directly, values such as those ascribed to purity or cleanliness (associated with order) and dirt (associated with disorder and menacing danger). In her drawings she addresses the (exclusively female) body with precise lines limited to contours, stereotypical figures put onto the white paper. Lienbacher draws young women in a variety of poses and gestures as they go about intimate routines—washing themselves, combing or drying their hair—or in their underwear. The bodies of these women, some of whom are naked and girlish, are often fragmented. All eye-contact is avoided; even when the figures are portrayed with their heads, they are looking away from our gaze, consistently creating the effect of a subtle, erotic interplay of absence and presence. Lienbacher  trains her critical view on the discourse pertaining to hygiene and health, how we relate to filth and cleanliness, and the cult of fitness and wellness.Thus she establishes a formal contrast between her reduced, “clean” flowing lines, reminiscent of classicistic shapes (albeit intentionally fractured), and the “impure” (“abject”), meticulously extracted motifs.

Lienbacher’s range of artistic media encompasses sculpture, drawing, photography and video; she employs all of these to deal with her main theme, that of the human body. The artist succeeds in packing her sharply perceptive diagnosis into dense and abstracted forms. Her art condenses the cult of the body and product fetishism, discipline and the pleasure principle, heteronomy and autonomy, the pressure to perform, and self-forgetful autoeroticism in a highly complex manner. Lienbacher links and transforms these respective categories in order to capture them on the aesthetic level in an object or an image that tells of these experiences while also transcending them.



1963, Oberndorf, Salzburg / AT



Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
(c) Tte Artist, photo Rainer Iglar
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