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Chrischa Oswald Main Profile Image

Chrischa Oswald

Chrischa Oswald

Berlin, Germany/Lisbon, Portugal

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Installation, Performance, Photography, Text, Video • Born in Pfarrkirchen, Germany • Studied at Linz, Austria
 4

We have that life that never fits under our skin. That´s why we have coats.

I ́m utterly curious. I ́m utterly interested in the world, in people, in things. I never stopped asking questions. I ́m looking at things closely. I ́m intensely aware of things around me, the things I hear, I see, I smell, I feel. Sometimes I would like to grab people at their shoulders and shout at them: Look at this! Can you see that? Doesn ́t it do anything to you?

This is, what my work is about, about focussing on,...

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I ́m utterly curious. I ́m utterly interested in the world, in people, in things. I never stopped asking questions. I ́m looking at things closely. I ́m intensely aware of things around me, the things I hear, I see, I smell, I feel. Sometimes I would like to grab people at their shoulders and shout at them: Look at this! Can you see that? Doesn ́t it do anything to you?

This is, what my work is about, about focussing on, sharing and conveying these moments that can change how we see and perceive things.

My work is inspired by and therefore about life. Humans. Their longings and imperfections. Identity. Transformation. Relationships. As in a society we ́re connected. Intimacy. What makes us vulnerable. Spaces. Social and other environments. As they shape us. Society. And what it means, how it affects the individual trough codes of behaviour. Communication. If through gestures or phrases. Life in all its hues. Thresholds of emotions and behaviour.

It ́s crucial for me to switch between two contrasting positions: the one of the performer/actor and the one of the observer. Meaning quite some of my work is based on performative approaches, often also featuring myself. Another important approach is a rather (semi)documentary one, however, where I explore the other side. I ́m not only interested in the here and now, however, but also inspired by mythological, ancient or popular stories and motifs that are vehicles for topics of deeply human interest and have always been fascinating, me and others.

Writing, mostly poems, has always been one of my earliest ways to express myself and „create pictures“. I feel a deep connection to language and more and more it finds its way into my artwork, too.

Though working a lot with lens based/time based media I believe in working with the medium that feels right for a certain idea and I don´t want to limit my means of expression.

Currently I´m interested in developing projects with more installative, spatial character as I want to allow my ideas to unfold even more and in a range of media to extend the layers of sensual perception.

Artist & Poet, currently mainly living and working in Berlin and Lisbon.

M(O)USE, 2015

M(O)USE is questioning the role of subject/object, reflecting affection/relationships (to others/ to art) in our digital age. It's about surfaces & superficial satisfaction and inspired by iconic video-works like “Art must be beautiful” (Abramovic) and “Fly” (Y. Ono). The title refers to a muse which can either be the digital male torso or myself as the performer but also to the technical device, the computer mouse, that serves as an almost prosthetic extension of our body, to perform everything: even the intimate, the touch. There is an interdependency between the screen that mirrors the movement of the performer (in the form of the computer hand symbol). The work is also hinting at art and the artist as economic objects rather than someone/thing to love (and in this way to economically perform). The power relations between object-subject can be looked at from diverse angles. It's constantly in flux who has what role, who is in control of whom, in this game of virtual and real. Even more, when an observing public is becoming part of that intimate correspondence.

Mother Tongue, 2013

MOTHER TONGUE is about the very special relationship between mother and daughter and about reclaiming our animal heritage. It is also about exploring our senses in a different way and (re)discovering actions beyond their societal interpretation. Eventually in its simple form it is a complex nexus of performance, mother-daughter-relationship, society's expectations, fears and affection.

Angel Wings, 2005/11

The videoperformance “Angel Wings” is a metaphor for our eternal longing for ultimate freedom, for the desire to fly away like a bird. The try to sew feathers on my skin to resemble a bird and become an aerial creature is foredoomed to fail. Fatal pathos. A modern Icarus. Meditation of physical and emotional pain. The sound is based on a German children's song whose actual lyrics and sound got altered a bit and adapted to the video's message. The easy melody is contrasting the rough picture. In its endless repetition the sound gets a mantra-like quality and the picture and endless torture that is nevertheless poetic.

Asylum, 2016

Exercises For Restoring

We all live in our own kind of asylums (that we were put in or built ourselves)... We all know certain kind of walls and struggles, the desire to connect, the unability, the necessarity to restore something in our "houses" and I think it all starts with restoring hope and learning to trust that we can find beauty within something that is worn down.

As the video is titled Asylum it is also about this question, if I`m the doctor or the patient (also when making art of course, but also in general)... or both... or... However, when we fight for that, to restore, some might not understand why we put a piece of art inside first, before covering the walls or decorating the house, some might think it's mental. For others it's the kind of soul that brings it back to life, a reason to hope (while it's also important to acknowledge things that are broken, to experience this, with a kind of tenderness...getting close, touching it, not be afraid of that..). And then, in general, where do you draw the line between sanity, insanity, between those who are seen as sane or normal or whatever and crazy... who erected these walls...

The house becomes as a metaphor for ourselves and the "houses" we live in, in a psychological sense, the narration is oscillating between physical and mental/psychological body/architecture.

Mercy, 2014

A shuttered room, somewhere. There is the air of an arena. The chairs on the tables suggest a ghostly audience. It's not so clear what's dream and what's real, what's memory and what's actually happening. In the middle of the room sits a man. He's the antagonist in a game that is about power – physically but also psychologically. It's about the fine threshold where things get uncomfortable, where the game becomes fight, where joy becomes pain. He is trying to catch a young man and a young woman, who are crawling around him like big cats. The relationships are not exactly clear, one can only guess. Alternating with sounds from outside a whistling tune supports the strange atmosphere that has different layers. The division in 3 channels supports the spatial aspect as well as the relationship of 3 people.

Bed, 2014

It's a farewell. A farewell to a life, a farewell to a fear, a farewell to mourning.
My granny who died in March 2014 has always loved her garden, it was a part of her. Now she is part of a bigger garden. The memory of her is the seed that I'm planting in her bed with this performance.

I'm not planting any seeds then but I'm bedding myself in the earth, thinking of her and her bed in the earth. I'm joining her in spirit, I'm joining her sleep – with her old linen that I've filled with earth. The white sheets get dirty, they get transformed, they become part of the bed, of the garden, of nature.

Polish, 2012

The videoperformance „Polish“ deals with our desire for optimization and perfectioning. Appearances are deceiving and rather poisonous polish than real improvement or value. The expectation of a god-like human-being is a conceited deception and its polish will spall at some time. Our desperate urge to improve things is quite often destroying their actual quality.

The apple is not only symbol of seduction but also symbol of our lost innocence in many ways.

THE WORLD, 2013

The World is a video-loop humorously reflecting on the dichotomy of man & nature as well as dealing with the restrictions of the nature of human beings that man wants to overcome while knowing that in some way we're puppets on a string regarding physical restraints. A landscape of trees is the stage and backdrop for this drama of lights and darks that is only revealed in its body of fun.

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

Space, light

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

The sky, the changing light on the ceiling, freshly roasted coffee sometimes, fresh air every once in a while, (the smell of) books, too many cables

What themes do you pursue?

Existential topics/experiences. My work is inspired by and therefore about life. Humans. Their longings and imperfections. Identity. Transformation. Relationships. As in a society we ́re connected. Intimacy. What makes us vulnerable. Spaces. Social and other environments. As they shape us. Society. And what it means, how it affects the individual through codes of behaviour. Communication. If through gestures or phrases. Life in all its hues. Thresholds of emotions and behaviour.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

Do your work.

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

The sea. Where water is in general. Outside. At people I love.


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

WHITE/OUT/SIDE, Kunsthalle Linz, Linz/Austria, in collaboration with Botanischer Garten Linz

ONE – AN/OTHER, Muratcentoventidue, Bari/Italy

GROUP

2017

Mountains, Muratcentoventidue Artecontemporanea, Bari/Italy

DAS ERNSTE ZELT

2016

Video Stripping, CENTRUM, Berlin (D)

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WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Videocollection, Manuel de Santaren (private), Boston/Washington

PUBLICATIONS

EDUCATION (detailed)

2005-2011 Fine Arts, University of Art & Design, Linz/Austria


For more information and inquiries about this artist, please contact Artitious by emailing to artist@artitious.com

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