Matthias Herrmann

Galerie Steinek

For many years, Matthias Herrmann was able to keep his two jobs entirely separate: He is an artist who specializes in self-portraits as well as president of the artists’ association the Vienna Secession. But when Eva Schlegel invited him to photograph her exhibition in the main hall of the Secession in 2005, he saw an opportunity to mix things up a little. The figure Herrmann cut on the stage of this first white cube of modernism is that of a conceptual photo artist undaunted by even the most extravagant corporality. Schlegel had covered the walls with lead, adding circular mirror units on the floor designed to reflect architectural features such as the grid of the glass ceiling. Posing within this architecturally indeterminate chamber, which alluded to precursors ranging from Casanova’s Venetian prison cell to installations by Joseph Beuys, Herrmann’s body seems to literally become

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