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Annelies Senfter
Coming to See

Opening: Fr, 13 October 2017, 8 pm

Even if art is luminous in itself, keeping an unperturbed course and revolving around its own axis, it is still illuminated by the world of reality. If art’s pure mirroring effect is relentlessly veiled today, we should not assume that the tumult now enveloping the world will long persist without poetic reflection. Surely parallel with the future will arise new light, new love and new, fruitful life.
Max Reinhardt, 1917

For the exhibition Coming to See Annelies Senfter quietly stitches together some elements from Schloss Leopoldskron, which the theatre director Max Reinhardt, whose words are above, owned and renovated until it was promptly confiscated by the Nazis in 1938 after the Anschluss of the same year. The exhibition is however neither a portrait of Reinhardt nor homage to his work in the theatre. It is rather a modest collection of items that the artist has photographed or included in the exhibition, which all circulate around her current concerns as an artist living in Salzburg, which all have quite sporadically and organically collided with the sentiments of Reinhardt as quoted above. Further, these sentiments have found (or re-found) a temporary solace in the artist’s act of bringing together the exhibition’s components. Namely, Senfter has photographed an antique mirror that was once owned (and gazed upon) by Reinhardt, brought a plethora of acorns from Schloss Leopoldskron into the Kabinett space, and included another mirror also once owned (and gazed upon) by Reinhardt (and recently acquired by the Schloss in a Berlin auction) in the actual exhibition.

Annelies Senfter’s work is situated between photography, research and poetic investigation, and investigating notions of memory and trauma. Her work resonates with an urge to uncover repressed subjects without stirring up negative sentiments. Thus this exhibition brings together these few elements, including the artist’s photographic work, to take a glance back 100 years and weigh upon not only the time caught between that moment and ours, but also to weigh upon the immediacy of our collective present. Surviving through all that time is art, the great and pure mirror upon which we as a people may gaze. And if we choose not to gaze at this reflection, the reflection is still produced for others to see, nonetheless.

From the hallway, before entering the exhibition and coming to see all its contents, we glimpse a large-scale photograph of an aging mirror, partially in shadows, that continues to produce a reflection despite wearing its own years quite visibly. The tones and colors are mournful and have a touch of autumn melancholy to them. Marks and imperfections adorn the mirror, like failing skin on a face. In the central gallery, a great, framed mirror stands in the middle, surrounded by the hundreds of chestnuts. Akin to Reinhardt’s own words, these brown seeds from Leopoldskron’s trees, many of which have stood themselves through turbulent and quieter decades, promise new generations of life as long as light continues to fall upon them.

The Salzburger Kunstverein wishes to thank Thomas Biebl and Daniel Szelényi of Schloss Leopoldskron and the Salzburg Global Seminar for supporting this exhibition with the loan of the recently acquired mirror, once owned by Max Reinhardt.

Annelies Senfter, born 1980 in Lienz, lives and works in Salzburg and Lienz.

Annelies Senfter, Untitled, 2014/2016, archive pigment print (detail)

Annelies Senfter, Untitled, 2014/2016, archive pigment print (detail)
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Annelies Senfter, Untitled, 2014/2016, archive pigment print (detail)