Steven Cohen is regarded as the most prominent performance artist of his homeland South Africa. In his work, whose radical mode of expression is reminiscent of the strident performances of representatives of the original American queer movement, he engages political and religious discrimination. Cohen himself leads the life of a member of a minority in multiple ways: he is a South African with white skin, a homosexual and a Jew.
The response of the forty-four year old artists to discrimination is provocation. His medium is his own body, which he charges with graphic symbolism by means of grotesque costumes, strange mask-like make-up and bizarre accessories.
In the project space karlsplatz Cohen will present his performance “Dancing Inside Out” live at the exhibition opening and on the nine following days. At the center of the half-hour performance is Cohen coming to grips with the persecution of the Jews under National Socialism. “Dancing Inside Out” is Cohens’ first appearance in Austria.
The exhibition will also show other costumes which Cohen wears in his performances and several of his best-known videos ? “Chandelier”, “Broken Bird” and “Maid in South Africa”.
Curators: Silvia Höller, Gerald Matt