Weekly Conversations…with Antoinette Zwirchmayr

Since 2016, studio das weisse haus offers Vienna based artists and curators the possibility to spend some time abroad. These residencies are organized in cooperation with international programs, such as 1335Mabini, an Artist-in-Residency program launched in 2013 for international artists, curators, researchers and writers.

studio das weisse haus has invited Antoinette Zwirchmayr to start this cooperation and spend one month in the Philippines. After staying in Manila for two weeks, we were keen to find out more on her experiences.

Could you tell us about the project you are focusing on during your residence?
Since two years I work on a film project, which is focusing on the male body placed in seismic rock formations, e.g. volcanoes. Therefore the Philippines are a perfect place to continue this project. Outside Manila we are traveling to some islands to look for rock formations.
We have also organized a quite extensive film shooting involving 6 male models and two constrictor snakes. This was only possible due to the great assistance of 1335 Mabini. From the beginning on I had the feeling that here in Manila everything was possible.

In addition, Mabini 1335 has organized a film screening. What was it like?
Surprisingly many people attended the screening. Although the gallery was not equipped for film screenings, they gave there best by changing their white cube gallery into a black box. The audience was very shy, but asked straightforward questions and commented likewise on my work.

So far, what was the highlight of your stay in the Philippines?
Diving into the everyday street life of Manila with its jeepney-busses, bicycle and tricycle taxis.
The vibrant life happening on the streets compared to the calm and (over-) regulated Vienna streets had caught my attention and won my heart immediately.
But probably the biggest highlight I had here was working with the two snakes. It was my first time touching snakes. What calm and trusting animals they are! Moreover, their skin is a beautiful mosaic and I constantly wanted to watch it.