Nordico, Linz, 2013
OK offenes Kulturhaus OÖ/ Energie AG Linz, 2013
Studiogalerie der Kunstsammlung OÖ, 2011
für Klangforum Wien, 2011
Nexus Kunsthalle Saalfelden/ Austria, 2008/09
Gallery MAM Contemporary Art Vienna, 2007
Balcony Session text by Gustav Schörghofer
The legs are Judith Huemer’s. The city in the background is New York. The skyscraper is the Empire State Building. Then there is also the railing of the balcony and the seam of the skirt. There is not a whole lot to see. The colors are a bit loud. The pinkness of the tights, the blue of the sky, the gold of the skirt. A trace of light skims the legs, also the seam of the skirt. The skyscraper is light. It is also light around the building. The legs extend up into the deep blue sky, into the heights never reached by the skyscraper. Buildings and legs have clearly been positioned so that they relate to each other. Then the verticality of the legs rests solidly on the horizontal line of the skirt’s seam. The skyscraper has been stuck in the jumble of buildings. The two levels of the picture are separated by the landing of the balcony.
There’s something amusing about it. Skyscrapers can be read as symbols of male power. They recall cigars and other male requisites. They stand there proudly. As always the towers. But here the world has been turned upside down and the legs steal the show from the proud building. Is this what the woman’s world looks like?
With this small piece Judith Huemer has discovered an idea that she has further explored in a series of large-format photo works. The individual’s corporeality finds its correspondence in the corporeality of a building or an entire city. This correspondence is established reflexively, associatively by means of the photograph. Yet by linking distance with proximity, the specificity of distance can be recognized in proximity, the height of the building in the height of the extended legs. The large-format photographs now only depict legs, bundled and extending upwards like the skyscrapers no longer depicted. The legs emulate something. They defuse the power game that is represented in the “Cathedrals of Capitalism” (Wolfgang Braunfels). Even in terms of coloring, this photograph takes up symbolism linked to sexuality. Pink is the color of a girl. Blue is a boy’s color. The skyscraper reaches up into the blue expanses. Yet the gesture of the legs triumphing over all the splendid background is lacking in the pink radiating over the stringency of the building and its humorless seriousness. Here a completely different approach to the world comes to bear. It is one that is able to link the irony with respect for the other, distance to things with the intimate proximity. This picture does not coopt the visible for alien purposes. It appears as a distilled version. Distilled from incidentals it offers something highly concentrated – the disarming openness of the focused gaze.
© Judith Huemer 2020