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Being an / no Island

The experience of being thrown back onto oneself due to linguistic and cultural barriers in other countries, and while not entirely cut off from people, still in a certain isolation with one's thoughts, formed the basis for the project in the autumn of 2019. Memory places emerge like imaginary islands, blending, overlaying, and renewing themselves. Stemming from travels, island experiences, and ultimately the unexpected isolation we've experienced in recent years, the project revolves around the individual and society. It delves into the question of whether we can ever truly be alone or if we are always part of a whole, as John Donne expressed in a poem: "No man is an island."

Elisabeth Wedenig conceived the project pre-COVID-19 in 2019 and received the Austrian State Scholarship in 2020 for it. Her solo exhibition, "Being An / No Island," was on display in the winter of 2020/21 at Galerie3 Velden. Simultaneously, she implemented 50 satellite exhibitions under the title "Leaving the island to become an island" in Austria, England, Greece, Hungary, Germany, and Japan. The artist lent watercolors from the series to individuals for their living spaces or workplaces. The images took on the role of visitors and travelers, while this was denied to us due to lockdowns.

The borrowers provided titles and texts for the images and submitted photos. Micro-exhibitions could be followed on the artist's blog. Starting from sending a painting to London, a new project branch emerged with students, which became part of the exhibition "Heterotopia" at the Chelsea College of Fine Arts in London. Three works by the artist were featured in the group exhibition "(K)ein Mensch ist eine Insel" at the Künstlerhaus Wien in the summer of 2021. In the winter of 2021/22, another solo exhibition took place at the Kulturforum Amthof in Feldkirchen under the title "Zusammenschwimmen / Treffpunkt für Raumreisende," where the traveled images and documentation came together.


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