The book Obstinacy of Things brings together twenty-six contemporary artists, none of whom see themselves as a “still life photographer” or would describe themselves in that way. Today, the traditionalist idea of the genre no longer seems suitable. Yet, there is a key constant in the still life tradition that has persisted into the present: on the one hand, the denial of narrative and, on the other, the establishment of a semiotic system in the picture. What does this mean for visual culture and how can we think collectively about the twenty-six positions that are brought together in the exhibition and the book? Without bidding farewell to the still life as a pictorial form, it is a matter not only of the everyday cultural connection to the present, which has been a dominant factor in the still life from the start, but also of reasserting the autonomy or even obstinacy of artistic activity. The book appears in conjunction with the exhibition Stillleben: Eigensinn der Dinge at the Kunst Haus Wien
from 13 September 2018 to 17 February 2019.
Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili (GE), Dirk Braeckman (BE), Moyra Davey (CAN), Tacita Dean (GB), Gerald Domenig (AT), Harun Farocki (DE), Hans-Peter Feldmann (DE), Manuel Gorkiewicz (AT), Jan Groover (US), Matthias Herrmann (DE), David Hockney (GB), Leo Kandl (AT), Annette Kelm (DE), Elad Lassry (IL), Zoe Leonard (US), Laura Letinsky (CA), Sharon Lockhart (US), Anja Manfredi (AT), Barbara Probst (DE), Ugo Rondinone (CH), Lucie Stahl (DE), Andrzej Steinbach (DE/PL), Ingeborg Strobl (AT), James Welling (US), Christopher Williams (US), Andrea Witzmann (AT)