From performative photography to digital field studies
Margot Pilz (b. Haarlem/NL, 1936) is a pioneering Austrian conceptual and media artist. Her experimental and performative approach is already evident in her earliest photographic works. In conceptual terms, her oeuvre is informed by the avant-garde scene of the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue present an in-depth survey of her oeuvre, highlighting the significance of her performative works in the photographic medium and her groundbreaking contributions to new media and digital art.
Radical, actionistic, feminist, self-determined
Flouting conventional generic and disciplinary boundaries, Pilz has continually explored novel techniques and materials and unflinchingly broached social taboos and probed stereotypes. Radicalism, activism, feminism, insistence on self-determination: these ideas have guided her in life as in art, as her numerous conceptual photographic series illustrate. She was one of the first artists in Austria to integrate digital technology into her work, and in 1986, she started using computers to take her art beyond the confines of analogue photography. Public space has long been an important concern for Pilz, as her performances and actions in public settings culminating in the legendary project “Kaorle am Karlsplatz” (Vienna 1982) attest.
In 1991, she collaborated with Roland Alton-Scheidl to develop the interactive media sculpture DELPHI DIGITAL for the Ars Electronica festival in Linz. Users were invited to post on mailbox bulletin boards, asking questions about environmental policy and democracy – issues that are no less controversial and pressing today, and so Pilz and Alton-Scheidl revive the media sculpture as an interactive installation to which users can contribute by connecting their smartphones to an autonomous PirateBox.
Foto: Trotz dem, no. 2 from the 7-part foto sequence, from: "The White Cell Project", 1983, black-and- white photograph, 40,5 x 50,7 cm