Performance: 29th of June 2012 at 20.30, Gallerí Dvergur (Reykjavik)
In a live performance on the opening day at Dwarf Gallery / Gallerí Dvergur, Thomas Hörl will introduce himself as an Unnesko, a personalized world heritage.
The title of the show; „Unnesko“ is a word creation, refering to a world heritage organisation Unesco. More and more Austrian folkore groups such as the „Perchten“ of Gastein (Salzburg County) in the year 2011 or the Imst Carnival „Schemenlaufen“ (Tyrol) in 2010 were recorded to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria by the UNESCO.
Since customs always changed over the years, there are tendencies to keep them „original and traditional“, mostly refering to late 19th and early 20th century records from folklorists. In the oral history and strongly belief only males are allowed to participate in the performances. There are only few groups which are mixed genders or women only. None of that is mentioned in the official presentation of UNESCO, except for the Glöcklerlauf in Ebensee (Upper Austria). In the exhibition Thomas will show collages and two video works, as well.
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Pictures from “Medicine Mountain – Learn to Love in Seven Days I” by Thomas in Salzburg County (2010)
Photographs belong to Thomas Hörl
Thomas Hörl was born 1975 in Salzburg. He has long dealt with various aspects of “folklore” — autobiographically-regionally as well as within an international context. In terms of content, his focus is on ritualized forms of activity and threatening gestures such as the slitting open of bellies by the Perchten and the stories associated with them from the Alps. He deals with fearful elements within the tradition, but also with gender questions (hermaphroditic creatures, duality, heteronormativity, exclusion of women as performers, men in women’s dress — so-called Gesellinnen). His works start from research in libraries, museums, exhibitions, at folkloric events, and through select interviews with members of the population as a kind of seismographic field research.
— Cornelia Reinisch