15. May 2018 @ 18:17

To the gallery / To the text

Image credits: Günter Kresser

In her series of works Fantôme Exceptionnel, Heidi Holleis refers to the concept of Hauntology, which lately popped up especially in the electronic music scene. The term was coined by Jacques Derrida, who, in a way, therewith articulated a cultural diagnosis, which states that Europe is possessed by its ghosts. Theories, ideas and ideologies that seemed to be passé still haunt and shape the European mind-set. Derrida particularly had in mind the theories of Karl Marx that, after the end of the Cold War, were considered to have failed but are still valid and appealing in European thinking today – since the last financial crisis even more. The late Mark Fisher took a broader view of the term, referred it to pop music phenomena and warned against drifting off into a mere nostalgia mode (Fredric Jameson), in which you cannot draw a specific picture of the present anymore due to an excessive nestling into the past. This would mean that history, as a sequence of significant phenomena, or history with a dialectic promise of the future, had an end – and with that, history itself, as it was thought of up till now. In her small format collages, Heidi Holleis uses vintage-looking photo shoot pictures from fashion and lifestyle magazines, which can be seen as ghosts of the fashion industry, as well as the soot from burning candles, which expresses the ephemeral floating and therefore unboundedness of Hauntology. The paintings seem to be light, too light, but their supposed nebulous nothingness becomes heavier the more you look at them. Desubstantialized arrangements, which thus abstract corporality, demand attention with their sheer presence. “Capital is at every level an eerie entity: Conjured out of nothing, capital nevertheless exerts more influence than any allegedly substantial entity.” 1


(René Nuderscher)

1 Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie, London, Repeater Books, 2016, p. 11

(Translated by Maria Magdalena Larch)