Christiane Peschek | F O R E V E R

The erotic alone is capable of opening us to the continuity of being; it alone opens us to the dazzling play of being.” 

Georges Bataille

Christiane Peschek invents strange, inviting landscapes: a gentle valley of cells, damp, grayish-yellow hills, porous mountains of skin, yielding walls glowing in pink, waves of hair.

Yet there is nothing in these landscapes that can be clearly located, assigned, or described; nothing that we can clearly recognize. Do we see macro-images of human skin? Microscopic studies? Dream visions? Generative images developed from data collections of artificial intelligence?

Born in Austria in 1984, artist Christiane Peschek works on a comprehensive sensorium and genre-spanning vocabulary to evoke somatic, ephemeral states. Peschek’s intuitive imagery represents awareness of the body prior to cognition, which is why she reverts to the fluid, oozing, unformed, amorphous to evoke indescribable, pre-linguistic, “oceanic” feelings and states of being. Separation, isolation, and limitation dissolve in a transgressive fusion of all things and bodily states, opening itself to radical simultaneity and ecstatic boundlessness.

Christiane Peschek expands the semantic space of art into the infinite and eternal; yet she always has the body’s unalterable mortality in mind. Transformation and decay as basic principles of human existence bound to the physical form the subtext of this exhibition. What can be represented, said, known, when all things melt, evaporate, congeal? What remains of human beings, of human physique and of human consciousness after the human being? Will the human form survive? How? And why? Where might new forms of human existence emerge between digitality and immediate physical reality that might outlast the end of the Anthropocene? Can the digitally generated image; can generative existence be a redemption from mortality or is it rather the next, logical stage of a coming existence?Freezing and liquefying, melting and evaporating are transitory elements that correspond most closely to unconscious, dreamlike and prelingual states. Christiane Peschek connects such highly speculative, utopian ideas to experiences of digital space and real space. She uses silk as an image carrier – soft, shiny, translucent- as well as ice, water, mirror surfaces, sound, video, and screens.

Growing, expanding, evaporating, freezing, proliferating, flowing: very possible state of the human body resonates in the different materialities in the exhibition space. In them, the artist stages numerous possibilities for reflection and interaction. Renewal and destruction are the simultaneously existing parameters of human experience. The possibility of having the word “Forever” tattooed on one’s skin in the exhibition plays with this knowledge.

Christiane Peschek’s work facilitates complete immersion in an experience that mirrors all aggregates of the body, and asks about the past and a possible future of human nature. The installation enables us to get in touch with a utopian, ephemeral, omnipotent corporeality that exists beyond birth and decay, beyond binarity and evaluation, beyond young or old. The artist designs a future body that appears at once needy, vulnerable and supernatural.

Christiane Peschek’s idea of the “generative body,” which emerges from a process of fused, digitally generated, and modified images, supersedes the idea of the transplanted or cloned body that fascinated science, technology, and art in the 1990s and 2000s. It creates a distinctive form of a loving genesis of future bodies directed towards care and community that is at once utopian, artificial, and not least ecstatic. The erotic component of this kind of artistic, transgressive corporeality, which Christiane Peschek focuses on at the core of her oeuvre, is palpable in all aspects of her work, extending into installation, sculpture, and performance.

Magdalena Kröner