Doplgenger – Bernhard Hosa | The Grammar of the Image


Opening and artist talk: Nov 15th 2016, 7 p.m.
Exhibition until January 13th, 2017

Gumpendorfer Straße 10-12, 1060, Vienna

A joint project by AIR–ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Niederösterreich and IG BILDENDE KUNST
Curated by Verena Gamper and Vasilena Gankovska

How do we read images? How does a (moving) image have to be constructed to convey a certain meaning? How transparent are the media of photography and film, and to what extent do we consider their content to be the truth? How is it possible to show incongruities between images and the stories they tell? In The Grammar of the Image, Vienna-based artist Bernhard Hosa meets the Belgrade artist duo Doplgenger, Isidora Ilić and Boško Prostran, who focus on media-political issues and a critical view of the visual regime.

Doplgenger pursue a critical take on the visual regime in their work as they deconstruct film and extract from the fragments new meanings that are only potentially inherent to the original material. Most of their sources are documentary recordings of political events or fictional, superficially non-political material like television series, all having in common that they are pertinent to the history of the former Yugoslavia. Doplgenger use various metamorphic techniques in their media analysis to reveal the artificial nature of the film documentary and expose the grammar of the film image. In analyzing the devices of film dramaturgy they bring out the fictional in the allegedly documentary and vice versa, unmasking the original intention as a media-encoded and frequently manipulative scenario.

Bernhard Hosa applies a similar method in his portrait series In Search of the Correct Image. He breaks with the visual logic of mugshots, that is, with the frontal and profile images of alleged criminals that are supposed to be neutral and scientific, in that he physically removes the very elements that make up a portrait. In his photographs, he eliminates eyes, noses, cheeks and mouths and pieces together the remaining, framing features of the face with staples. This brutal processing of the image is, however, not so much a reflection of evil’s hideous face laughing within the photographs, but rather a way of unveiling the seductive, pseudo-scientific and deceptive promise of the photographic image.

In the exhibition, Bernhard Hosa’s portraits are contrapuntally set to Doplgenger’s and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath video installation, in which the artist duo explores the complex relationship between labor, war and the economy as a central theme throughout Yugoslavia’s history, using archival film footage to reveal the effects of economically caused migration. Both Bernhard Hosa’s and Doplgenger’s works connect criticism of the visual regime to that of the viewing regime and demonstrate the need for a reflective and critical analysis of media images.

D o p l g e n g e r is an artist duo Isidora Ilić and Boško Prostran, film/video artists from Belgrade (ex-Yugoslavia). The work of Doplgenger deals with relation between art and politics through exploring the regimes of moving images and modes of its reception. They deconstruct the film medium, language, structure and notions of text in order to discover the ways in which art/moving images participate in creating political reality. In 2016 they won Politika Award for the best exhibition.
Isidora Ilić (Novi Sad, 1978) is a film/video artist, based in Belgrade. She studied Comparative literature and literary theory at University of Belgrade, and Women and gender studies at Belgrade Women`s Studies and Gender Research Center. Ilic occasionally works interdisciplinary across performance, installation and text.
Boško Prostran (Belgrade, 1979) is an independent filmmaker, based in Belgrade. He graduated from Faculty of Political Sciences at Belgrade University and received a MA degree in Media and Communications. Prostran works as video editor and teaches as assistant professor at Faculty of Media and Communication in Belgrade.

Bernhard Hosa

Born 1979 in Amstetten, Lower Austria. He studied at the University of Applied Arts Vienna from 1999 to 2004. His work complies collages of simple forms, constructive elements and everyday life materials situated among the logic of conceptual and representational strategies while in the same time dismantling the grammar of the image. In 2007 he was awarded with the Recognition Prize for Fine Art by the Province of Lower Austria.
His works are part of private and public collections and have been shown in various exhibitions in Austria and abroad as such as in Galerie Raum mit Licht, Vienna (2104), Galerie 5020, Salzburg (2013), Kunstraum NOE, Vienna (2012), CSULA Fine Arts Gallery, Los Angeles (2013), Salzburger Kunstverein (2012), Gallery for Contemporary Art of Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu (2007), im RCM Art Museum, Nanjing (2006) and The Collection of Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg (2005).

Contact for further information:
Vasilena Gankovska (