Objects and Photographs
Ilse Haider, who was born in Salzburg in 1965, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the master class of Arnulf Rainer and at the Royal College of Art in London. She was trained as photographer by Franz Hubmann, the
doyen of Austrian photography. She completely re-defined the photographic techniques she had learned and used them in her spatially conceived objects and installations in an innovative manner.
Ilse Haider questions the fundamental qualities of the photographic image: surface, image carrier, mediality, contents. Her photographic works assume a sculpture-like character; she no longer uses paper as substrate, as in
classical photography, but wood panels, wickerwork and uneven surfaces made of cotton swabs. She transposes the stereotype image of women from a demonstratively feminine context into a sphere of irritation: Cosmetics and
cooking as female domains, iconic portraits and ideals of beauty are unmasked as clichés; the macho image of man as virile beau is questioned and dismantled by her – the overall image is subdivided into partial aspects and minuscule components, fragmented and faceted. The viewer must reassemble the picture from its original integrity and re-create it.
The exhibition, which comprises works from the MdM SALZBURG own collection, works on loan from other museums and private collections, is organized in conjunction with the award of this year‘s Otto Breicha Prize for Photographic Art to Ilse Haider. This award was established with the foundation of the Rupertinum in 1983 and has been endowed by the family of the museum’s founding director Otto Breicha for some years. The prize is awarded every other year to a photographer/photographic artist
born or living in Austria for his/her outstanding photographic oeuvre.