Tarnsätze und Stickstoffe
June 10 – August 28, 2021
Thu, June 10, 3–8pm
We cordially invite you to the opening of the solo exhibition Tarnsätze und Stickstoffe, of the German-Austrian author, cartoonist, and artist Tex Rubinowitz in our Vienna gallery. In the works on display he combines his writing, drawing, and artistic talents with a previously hidden talent: sewing.
The source material for Rubinowitz’s new series of works is discarded textiles. He neatly sews together old tablecloths, handkerchiefs or wall covers, and then embroiders them with sentences, sayings or scraps of words. He uses an antiquarian Pfaff sewing machine for this, which, as he says, guides and drives him almost by itself.
He, the artist, simply surrenders to the act of machine sewing, almost falling into a trance and somehow letting the embroidery happen. The whirring, thumping Pfaff sewing machine takes command and provides the artist, threatened by possible doubts, with the liberating feeling he longs for deep down inside: the loss of control with simultaneous maximum productivity.
Chance had decided which word he picked up and which sentence got stuck in his head; it is now left to chance which letter he first punches in, which concept is formed from it, how thick the contours of the writing become, how one word joins the other, and where everything leads. Neither the complete sentences, nor the final executions are calculated.
“Letting the subconscious complete sentences, and letting a sewing machine embroider them on its own makes visible what we can’t control as part of who we are, and what we are made of,” Rubinowitz notes.
Thus, the embroidered textile pieces fit perfectly into Rubinowitz’s oeuvre, which so skillfully oscillates between senseless meaningfulness and meaningful senselessness. Thus, the viewer stands amused or amazed before a flood of sayings, fascinated by the aesthetics of the embroidered, dancing letters, teasing out the words and their possible meaning, sometimes picking up the thread of a possible interpretation, sometimes losing it again—only to perhaps realize that the sewing thread has more sense than oneself, and that true meaning is only in what you feel deep inside and what rhymes together.
Tex Rubinowitz was born in Hannover in 1961 and has lived in Vienna since 1984. As a cartoonist, he works for the Falter, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Titanic, and Der Kurier. As a writer, he has published numerous books and was awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2014. As a visual artist, he has only appeared periodically so far, despite brief study with Oswald Oberhuber at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst (University of Applied Arts). But thanks to his new liaison with a Pfaff sewing machine, he feels a desire for more.