Artist Jakob Lena Knebl (born in 1970 in Baden) has no interest in thinking in predefined categories, neither in her life nor in her art. Her highly creative new arrangement of the mumok collection of modernist and contemporary art is on show from March 17, 2017, on two levels of the museum, presented together with her own new works. The artist has the courage to be eccentric.
The exhibition is entitled Oh…, as an indication of the surprises that a thorough and attentive perspective under new conditions will bring. The artist studied textual sculpture under Heimo Zobernig at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and fashion under Raf Simons at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Both her own work and her new presentation of the mumok collection are shaped by a combination of her fields of interest, with all the aesthetic and theoretical implications and their effects on the formation of identity. The exhibition presents this as atmospheric spaces of desire. In these spaces, intended to be a permanent challenge to viewers, all simple ascription is resisted. Moments of clarity alternate with ambivalence as to the function and place of the objects presented. The fields of art, design, and fashion are always changing position. Visitors might well respond to Knebl’s “Oh…” with the “Aha!” of recognition.
In her work with the mumok collection, Knebl focuses on classical modernism and on the 1970es, an epoch of utopias, visions for society, and sexual experiments. On one of the two museum levels at her disposal, the artist presents three large installations characteristic of her way of working, in which objects of interior design and landscapes for living from the period merge with her own works.