Photographs by Maria Petschnig.
Fotohof Editions, 2011. 68 pp., Color illustrations throughout, 6½x8½".
Of all the performance artists who use their body as a subject, none is more original or just plain funnier than New York-based Austrian artist Maria Petschnig. Deeply influenced by the outrageous Viennese Actionist movement, no one today is more likely to make viewers squirm with discomfort as she turns breasts, genitalia and fat into carnival-funhouse faces and mysteriously icky lumps. This book, an overview of Petschnig’s video and photo works of recent years, looks at how the artist uses clothing to re-frame her body parts, creating images that are not what they seem at first glance. Underneath it all, Petschnig seriously addresses issues of beauty, sexuality, identity and voyeurism, unafraid of becoming grotesque to make her points about the uses and abuses of the female body. With essays in English and German.