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PRINT November 2012

SOCIAL REALISM: THE ART OF JANA EULER

Jana Euler, Ruth Suckale, 2009, oil on canvas, 44 7/8 x 36 5/8".

YOU ARE YOUR NETWORK. This aphorism, freely adapted from theater director René Pollesch’s 2012 play Kill Your Darlings, trenchantly captures the new worth of connections and friendships in contemporary life. Of course, it is a well-known fact that social interactions have changed in the age of network capitalism (to use Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello’s term). We communicate more, assiduously accumulate the contacts that are now of such unprecedented value, and seize every opportunity to network that presents itself. And yet however well known or familiar this scenario is, it takes on a slightly unexpected, even exaggerated form as it plays out in the paintings and objects of Brussels-based artist Jana Euler. Visitors to her 2009 exhibition at the Vienna gallery Pro Choice encountered a signal example: a group of portraits vividly illustrating the growing pressure on artists (

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