In her sculptural scenarios Verena Dengler relates art objects from the model collection of the MAK to cross-references to the applied arts and popular culture. She links these further to her private fashion and textile collection as well as to her own collages, embroidery, and painting. In her aspiration to subvert generally accepted aesthetic formulations, Denglers vision collides with cultural remodeling, individual appropriations and paradoxical imitations.
Among other things, Dengler combines a piece of English wallcovering material from the MAK Textile Collection with her own works by inserting various Laura Ashley patterns. She tracks down aesthetic features as they are reflected in a Viennese Social-Democratic policy of education culture in an abundant array of posters from the MAK Collection of Works on Paper. Spurred on by her interest in specific phenotypes and institutional over-emphasis she deliberately employs prototypical museum displays and installs them quasi as visors marking oblique ways of seeing things. She exaggerates linguistic translations of artistic forms of expression by integrating writing and texts in her works.
Verena Denglers predilection for textiles consistently permeates her work method. She interweaves public functions with private passions for collecting and is intrigued by the identification potential inherent in objects. Anno O., alias Bertha Pappenheim, fascinates the artist both in her role as a Jewish feminist and also as a collector of lace and metal. She dovetails the story of Anna O. further into surprise narratives, such as about saving energy and the special school holidays introduced as an energy-saving policy. She reduces this theme ad absurdum in her sculptural works by installing energysaving lampsto bizarre effectinto an ornamental luminaire in the MAK collection, deliberately and humorously suggesting idiosyncratic interpretations of multiple systems. Passing over unwieldy displays she shapes different levels of meaning, and, especially in this, creates scope again for individual approaches.
Curator Janina Falkner, MAK Contemporary Art Collection
Exhibition series New Look
The exhibition series NEW LOOK reflects on MAK as a site of contemporary artistic production and offers the occasion to reflect on the applied arts and their mediation from different and new perspectives. Verena Dengler is the fourth within this exhibition series devoted to artists of the younger generation living and working in Vienna to apply her talents in concrete form to the MAK Study Collection. Benjamin Hirte opened the series with his installation the classic mob ballet, followed by KATHI HOFER craftivism and KERSTIN VON GABAIN city of broken furniture.