Monday, September 5, 2011

For Austrian concept artist Josef Bernhardt, the "bird" is the word

"Waiting for Birds" installation by Josef Bernhardt

“Something should die to give way to a new creation.” –Josef Bernhardt (2007)

Josef Bernhardt´s synergy of hope and eco demise merge in a successfully common installation: “Waiting for Birds.”

The same installation or prototype predecessor appeared in Budapest in 2005, with another version in the Central European capital in 2008.

The latest is a reprise titled Waiting for Birds II,” on show at the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest´s Art on Lake contemporary marine sculpture group show (22 May – 4 September) in Budapest.

Josef Bernhardt installing "Wailting for Birds II" at Art on Lake, Budapest 2011
Bernhardt, born in Eisenstadt, Austria in 1960, initiated his cry of nature calling for birds in 2001. 

Wikipedia describes him as one who practices in painting, object art, video and photography.

Try intervention and performance, too.

Bernhardt is an art eco-activist

According to one curator, he uses this genre “to highlight the fragile border between life and death.”

The artist also placed isolated bird houses in various places in Csongrad, Hungary in 2001.

Hungary´s foremost expert on contemporary art, Peter Fitz, more than enamored with Bernhardt´s concept, invited him to produce a solo bird house intervention in the vast, bombed out former church now incorporated as installation space at the Kicsilli Museum-Budapest Municipal Picture Gallery.

Fitz, director of the museum and also a co-curator of Art on Lake, hosted Bernhardt´s show in 2008.

Fitz, who wrote the synopsis of Bernhardt´s work for Art on Lake´s catalogue, said: 

“The work unveils different layers of association, starting from the link between the natural world and the artificial urban environment, through the widespread ban on feeding the birds—such as in Saint Mark´s Square in Venice—to the brutal campaign that is carried out against birds on window ledges and rooftops, and the obligations that people have to protect the living world, including birds, from mindless destruction.”
Perhaps, then, Bernhardt´s water-based collection of bird houses at City Park Lake, Budapest, symbolizes how life and death of animals and people may be distanced from urban nature.

Bernhardt lives and works in Forchtenstein, Austria.

He started exhibiting in 1990 with three solo and numerous group shows recorded in Europe, the USA, Australia and Japan, according to online information.

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™

ArtTraveler notes:

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"Spanish Life Stilled," photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)

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