1. Egon Schiele Symposium im Leopold Museum

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1. Egon Schiele Symposium im Leopold Museum | Hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger. Wien: Museum Leopold-Privatstiftung, 2017.
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 Übersetzung: Agnes Vukovich

Seite im Original: 143

All visual effect is pornographic | Abstract in English

If we do our rounds in a museum, we examine, if necessary in a correcting or reprograming manner, our reaction to the cues provided by the exhibits. This is particularly effective as the visitor guidelines of a museum cause specific intrapsychic reactions. This means that faced with the pictures we are unable to play out the actions and behavior initiable through perception, even though the effect of pictures as cue configurations resides precisely in the realization of perception in action and behavior.

The house rules of a museum act in a civilizing manner by prohibiting immediacy and inevitability in terms of perception and action. If the immediacy is deliberately enforced, this is called a pornographic pictorial reception. The naked immediacy of stimulus and reaction, called pornography, does not only apply to sexual stimulation but to all manner of cues. Thus, we speak of pornography of power, of violence, of acquisition (for instance when consuming products), as well as of eco- and religious fundamentalism and the fundamentalism of algorithms in the finance industry. This is elucidated by my current definition of pornography, which is fundamentalism. Anyone who believes that they have to react to a text, an image or a piece of music in an immediate, literal or monosensory manner and to set in motion corresponding cascades of actions, is acting pornographically in an Old European sense or, in today's terms, fundamentalistically.

Many of Egon Schiele's paintings are perceived in a monosensory manner, as the motifs of his works seem to suggest pornographic reactions. Our image rounds, however, open up a different canon of exposure —that of the theater of attitudes of the arms, legs and the torso. If we equate the exhibition of the genitals with that of the extremities, and primarily the hands, in Schiele's paintings, we achieve a shift in visual effects. For then, his works are no longer about the general theme of genitality but about addressing genius and intrapsychic potential. With Schiele it is particularly the hands that mediate between genitality and genius. Rather than expressing feelings, they exhibit them. This is a Mannerist program whose effectiveness is founded today in neurophysiology — if we run through the theater of attitudes long enough, we will indeed develop intrapsychic correlates to the exposed attitudes.