* 1954

A fetish is needed: a thing, a subject, an expression, a role. Following a careful selection, the process is set in motion and slowly the transformation begins. It starts with a search for role models, references and lore, for a costume, a hairstyle, jewelry and makeup. A search for the essence. Confusion needs to be resolved, proceeding from the most simple to the most complicated, from the external to the internal. Who is the self that Irene Andessner slips into? Very slowly and carefully, she discovers it in the figure. She embraces it, celebrates it, and prepares a feast for it. She finds herself in the figure, while moving from analysis to catalysis. Now the self becomes real and true. Each portrait represents a solemn celebration, culminating in the moment of its photographic capture. The result is an afterimage, a variation, an interpretation, a repetition. Suddenly magic sets in, the pleasure of a ceremony, performed both externally and internally in a solemn manner. Attention, respect and appreciation are the means to recognize the chosen self and to let it merge with oneself into a new whole.

Irene Andessner is a painter. She found her artistic language in staged photography, usually accompanied by performance and video. The photograph is always a highlight of her interpretations; the focus is on self-portrayals. Irene Andessner “paints” herself in a role, visualizing the role model through herself. The photographic material plays an essential part: Polaroid is immediate and unambiguous, an instant image, unalterable. The portraits are created with one of the last large-format cameras and the small amount of original photographic material still available. Each photograph is subject to the randomness of the material. In the C-prints, on the other hand, the perfection of her staging is revealed in brilliant reproduction down to the last detail. The light boxes take the works into a new special sphere, lending them a sculptural character.

The comprehensive exhibition of the artist's work "Celebration_Irene Andessner" (2021) showed numerous performative photographs and video works.