Elke Silvia Krystufek

Download Augustin Artist's Insert

Artist’s insert in Augustin, no. 510 (publication date: July 29, 2020) & Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna, Fall 2020

Elke Silvia Krystufek (b. Vienna in 1970) has always employed a characteristically confrontational attitude as her core artistic strategy. At times in ways that are provokingly straightforward and at others more oblique, Krystufek regularly makes it her mission to touch upon current political, art historical, and personal topics from an emancipatory point of view without ever resorting to kid gloves. Portraits and other figurative elements often appear at the center of Krystufek’s paintings, while the backgrounds quote fragments of poems and prose. These textual elements seem to directly address the viewer, making language an integral part of her painterly and also sculptural language. Krystufek’s personal brand of feminism is furnished with confrontations and provocations that, at heart, reveal her preoccupation with the struggle of women to decide their own identity and politics, especially in public discourse.

For KISS, Elke Silvia Krystufek will erect a funerary monument at Karlsplatz to commemorate the involuntarily shaped, falsely chronicled, and misrepresented biographies and deaths of women in general and of her own mother, Hedwig Krystufek, in particular. Departing from a very personal and complex moment of grieving that involves a complicated family history, Krystufek’s grave-cum-monument points a finger at the distorted lives led by many women, the result of unchosen – and often externally made – decisions that manifest themselves even after their deaths. But Krystufek’s monument is also meant as a celebration of her mother’s life, her wishes, and those interweaving elements of life that connect three generations of women – Krystufek’s mother, herself, and her daughter – through artistic expression.