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07 Jul 2017


Looking at the Present through Rear-View Mirrors, exhibition view. Photo: WEST.Fotostudio

LOOKING AT THE PRESENT THROUGH REAR-VIEW MIRRORS // Eva Egermann, Stefan Hayn, Kerstin Schroedinger, Vladislav Shapovalov
Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen


Duration of the exhibition: 19 May – 29 July 2017 Opening hours: Wed–Fri 11–18, Sat 11–15


+43 512 581133

Kunstpavillon of the Tiroler Künstler*schaft
Rennweg 8a
6020 Innsbruck

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Eva Egermann
Stefan Hayn
Kerstin Schroedinger
Vladislav Shapovalov

curated by Andrei Siclodi

19 May – 29 July 2017

Opening hours: Tue – Fri 11.00 – 18.00, Sat 11.00 – 15.00

KUNSTPAVILLON, Rennweg 8a, 6020 Innsbruck

Looking at the Present through Rear-View Mirrors ist the concluding exhibition of the 2016-17 Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen. The exhibition is the outcome from close examination of the projects and working methods of the Fellows Eva Egermann, Stefan Hayn, Kerstin Schroedinger and Vladislav Shapovalov. Their artistic approaches, fields of investigation, and overall themes formed the starting point for the exhibition concept.

The exhibition Looking at the Present through Rear-View Mirrors is concerned with the state of contemporary existence and its conditions, actively incorporating historical narrative threads whose significance has been lost from general awareness or suppressed, but which might help to constitute an understanding of the present day. Fifty years after the initial publication of a much-cited aphorism by Marshall McLuhan in The Medium is the Massage ('We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future'), it is also necessary to question this statement critically regarding its current validity. In this regard, the exhibition also focuses on that moment of perception when present and past seem impossible to distinguish, and not least on the question of what extension in time such a moment can withstand.

In order to understand this better, one could imagine the following scene: one is sitting behind the wheel of a car a few moments after narrowly avoiding a dreadful crash. Looking into the existing rear-view mirrors – there are usually three, one inside and two outside, but in our case the number is only significant in the sense that it is plural – shows us an image following the same event, which is now several seconds past in time, but each in a different section. The perspective is always slightly altered, and although capable of assuming the overall picture, one will never be able to reconstruct a precise overall picture from these separate images. And nonetheless, what is perceived as the immediate past is also part of one's own present: once again, is the impression given, one has narrowly escaped a potential catastrophe. And the important thing now is to understand, to process what happened.

This multiperspective observation now signifies an extension or relativization of the unilateral view of the 'most recent past', which McLuhan formulated in his text dating from 1967, when he attested a quasi-ontological conservatism to human beings, which they would always reclaim whenever confronted with 'completely new' (technological) situations. In today's society, which appears to be generally dominated by neo-conservativism, the multiperspective viewpoint – also of the immediate past – emerges, whether it appears obsolete or not, as a potential escape route from paralysis. This exhibition can be interpreted as a contribution to this approach.

For additional information on the exhibition please visit our website