Weekly Conversations… with Sarah Pichlkostner

© Evita Vasiljeva / 21er Haus Vienna

Meet former studio artist Sarah Pichlkostner. Born in Salzburg, she has also resided in Amsterdam and Vienna. She has had numerous group and solo exhibitions.

In June 2016 you have moved into studio #7 at Untere Augartenstrasse. What project will you be working on next?

I will try to get in touch with the so called ”promise of self optimization“. New technologies like mobile phone apps or smart systems for your home can make your life much more productive in many situations, help to improve and categorize yourself compared to others, or – for the most part – the unknown public. Based on these premises my work addresses some aspects that I find particulary interesting. Firstly, all these tools impicate that your are constantly in interaction with others who are also craving to enhance their self. This situation is very ambivalent because you are part of a social and public realm, where on the surface we all like each other and constantly share our most intimate stuff and at the same time it’s all about competition and thus you’re alone. This strain is intensified by the increasing human-like interaction with apps, gadgets and objects in general. I’m interested in where and how the ”private“ and ”public“ interfere with one another nowadays and wether this division still is a stressable concept. I think in general since a while we experience the dissolution of dichotomous concepts in various fields e.g. labour, artificial intelligence and the conflation of art and research. Therefore I think art especially has the potential to scrutinize these issues.dwh

However to me posing questions is more interesting than pretending to have answers – questions that seem to orbit my pieces: Does an object or installation have to be productive or can it be productive? Does the interaction with an object or the experience of an installation transform the spectator’s subjectivity and if so in which way? Can we encounter objects without querying preset concepts of shape and materiality?


Does the atmosphere of your new studio space have an impact on your work?

So far not. But I look forward to having the opportunity of a dialogue with the other participants of the program and to work in this studio where due to the large front window I constantly feel onstage! I am really curious how the latter will affect my work!

Do you have any upcoming projects in the future, that you would like talk about?

For the next six months I will work on several shows, for which I made sketches but until now they’re too cloudy to talk about.