The paths into the pictures are often winding or even impenetrable. The publication released to accompany the exhibition "Still Life: Obstinacy of Things" imbues these irritating moments with a sense of productivity. As a decisive constant in the still-life tradition, it maps out the rejection of narration on the one hand and establishes its own semiotic systems on the other. What does this mean for visual culture? And how ca we learn to understand or even jointly explore the work of the twenty-six contemporary artists presented here? It quickly becomes clear: Hardly any or the artists presented see themselves as "still-life photographers." Isn't it, for this very reason, the point to let go of traditionalist genre concept? The book attempt to do just this–without letting go of the sill life as a pictorial form. Instead, the idea is to shed light on its relevance to everyday culture in the present moment, an aspect mastered by the sill life from the very outset, but also to once again advocate the autonomy (or even obstinacy) of artistic agency and visual practices. With an understanding of the "still life as a form of conceptual art" (Martin Pronghorn) this endeavor will surely succeed.
Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili (GE), Dirk Braeckman (BE), Moyra Davey (CAN), Tacita Dean (GB), Gerald Domenig (AT), Harun Farocki (DE), Hans-Peter Feldmann (DE), Manuel Gorkiewicz (AT), Jan Groover (US), Matthias Herrmann (DE), David Hockney (GB), Leo Kandl (AT), Annette Kelm (DE), Elad Lassry (IL), Zoe Leonard (US), Laura Letinsky (CA), Sharon Lockhart (US), Anja Manfredi (AT), Barbara Probst (DE), Ugo Rondinone (CH), Lucie Stahl (DE), Andrzej Steinbach (DE/PL), Ingeborg Strobl (AT), James Welling (US), Christopher Williams (US), Andrea Witzmann (AT)