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Untitled (Sacks # 2)
Wood and fabric
120 x 65 x 74 cm
Inv. Nr. 154

Born in 1973 in Salzburg, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria, and Los Angeles, California, USA

In his interdisciplinary work, encompassing video, performance, dance, theatre, painting, photography, installation, and even puppetry, Markus Schinwald creates mysterious and unsettling atmospheres that hint at their Viennese production context, through references to austere Biedermeier style or to psychoanalysis. His seminal studies in fashion left him with a wide interest in clothing and, furthermore, in the human body’s potential and limitations in both physical and psychological senses. Therefore, his works concentrate on processes of manipulation and alteration of bodies and their surroundings, echoing the transformative potential of cultural construct. He declares himself a “builder of prostheses for undefined cases,” and alters 19th-Century portraits, for instance, by painting improbable apparatus on the characters’ faces and bodies, such as little bandages, splinters or wires that seem to tie the limbs of their owners together.

Markus Schinwald has also developed a series of manipulated pieces of furniture, often using Biedermeier table or chair legs, characteristic of a 19th-Century style valued by the growing middle-class. He saws them off and rearranges them in uncanny ways that often bring out their anthropomorphic qualities. The Sacks series features such legs tied up in canvas bags, attached to the wall. The half-hidden wooden parts stretch the fabric, thus creating weird and allusive forms. Although the enveloping fabric is reminiscent of the white cloth that is used to cover and protect furniture in inhabited houses, one can easily see the sexual allusion to both male, or female genitals in Untitled (Sacks # 2) .