*1972 in Kitzbühel, lives in Vienna
Ruth Kaaserer studied sculpture under Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. From 2005 to 2008 she lived in Chicago and York. During her time in the United States she also made her first feature film, Tough Cookies. Her film Gwendolyn, about the weightlifter and retired assyriologist Gwendolyn Leick from London, received several awards, including the Franz Grabner Award. In 2019 she received the Austrian Outstanding Artist Award for documentary film.
“What Matters” was the question andtatement of 2022 presentation of works by the JUNGE AKADEMIE, the interdisciplinary and international artist-in-residence programme of the Akademie der Künste. In an exhibition and a multifaceted programme including screenings, concerts and readings, 29 fellows from all of the Akademie’s art sections presented sound and video installations, photographs, sculptures, paintings and performances they developed during their studio residencies in the Hansaviertel in Berlin and at Villa Serpentara in Olevano, Italy.
“What Matters” is not to be understood as the title of a thematic exhibition but rather indicates the diversity of questions, perspectives and realities that are interlaced in an artist residency, while emphasising their urgency. The exhibition focused on the artists’ individual approaches that encompass a broad spectrum of themes: from questions about the transformation of societies and their expression in relation to the urban space and landscape, to interrelations between the individual and social systems such as state, religion and the economy, to reflections on body images and conceptions of history, personal archives and the intertwining of nature, technology and culture.
What matters is artistic testimony, poetic resistance and the imagining of sustainable futures in the face of global tipping points – whether climatic or political in nature. Two years into the pandemic and the associated restrictions, “What Matters” was the most comprehensive presentation of works to date by the JUNGE AKADEMIE.
To quote one of the fellows: “What matters? Make them see…”
Olevano in inverno (2022)
2 slide carousels, 80 colour slides, sound
Olevano in inverno (Olevano in winter) shows the Italian mountain village of Olevano Romano and its inhabitants. It focuses on their individual living situations within the village community. As with film, the images and sounds relate to each other. In this installation, conversations, ambient noises and pictures rhythmically overlap and offer insight into the village, whose origins date back more than 2500 years. Many of those who grew up here have a close relationship to their home where their families have lived for generations. Perhaps the magical interplay of light, sky and landscape is the reason for this deep connection. Time seems to stand still at the “Picocco”, the highest point in the village. In the morning and evening the surrounding mountain ranges look like multi-layered silhouettes, giving Olevano a majestic tranquility that has attracted artists from all over Europe for many centuries.