Andrea Büttner. Beggars and iPhones

Andrea Büttner (*1972 Stuttgart, based in London and Frankfurt/Main) engages diverse formulations of media with non-verbal articulations of people. These approaches originate from tensions between inner and outer life, social and cultural contexts.
The gestures and attitudes conveyed by body language is one of her main interests, which, translated into visual signs, are readable over time and remain comprehensible, such as gestures of bending, veiling or stretching hands. For example, Büttner reduces the figure of Ernst Barlach’s sculpture Verhüllte Bettlerin into the old-fashioned artistic medium of a woodcut. Despite these steps of abstraction and historical distance, the content remains clear.
A new “gesture” practiced by many is evidenced in the manual touching of a touchscreen. In her iPhone etchings Büttner turns contact tracks recorded by the device and therefore invisible for the user into large-format color prints that are reminiscent of “gestural” paintings or drawings.
In Stereoscopic slideshow from the White House collection (mosses and field trips), you can see two people in different poses – leaning over, crawling on the ground – who search among the meadow beneath them. The potential of falling down and gravitational pull, expressed in this scenario, serves Andrea Büttner in principle as a means of the subversion and overcoming of boundaries of form, stability and authority.
In the Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz Andrea Büttner created a scenic situation which reverses common notions such as the inside and outside, the perceptible and hidden.

Curator: Lucas Gehrmann