Jakob Lena Knebl
Ich bin die Anderen; Austrian Psycho-Portrait of a Lady; Titta von Tesa; Fettecke  
Document media photographs  | Issue date 2009; 2010; 2010; 2011  | To be seen in re.act.feminism #3 – polyphonies. interferences. drifts; re.act.feminism #2 – a performing archive, 2022-2023, 2011-2014  | Relations selected by Giulia Essyad for re.act.feminism #3  | Tags laughter/humorous, roleplay, stereotypes, trash
Jakob Lena Knebl (*1970, Austria) works in the field of performance art and photography utilizing her own body as her primary medium. “The idea of a binary gender system started to become an ever-growing theme in my work while I was searching for structures that created my own self. I started to place my own transformation into the centre of my work. I consider my photos to be an acquisition, or even a ‘conquest’ of what is ‘ugly.’ My self-portraits make the boundaries of gender become hazy.” (Knebl) In 2022, Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl will jointly represent Austria at the Venice Biennale. Knebl is the director of Transmedia Art at the University of Applied Art in Vienna.

Jakob Lena Knebl’s photographs are abundant with cheeky and anarchic humour. They show processes of metamorphosis in which the artist reinterprets various roles and figures of an imaginary collective. In Ich bin die Anderen (“I am the others”), the distorted faces of dolls address the narrow structures imposed by the definition of gender. Similarly, in Fettecke (“Fat Corner”), the artist examines the notion of female beauty expressed in the iconography of a reclining Venus throughout art history and at the same time ironically re-enacts Joseph Beuys’s infamous work of the same title. Knebl destroys the conventions of art history by creating an unsettling self-ironic image between monstrosity, beauty and sensuality. Titta von Tesa and Austrian Psycho-Portrait of a Lady directly address the media and literary icons anchored in popular culture. Photography: Georg Petermichl

Courtesy Jakob Lena Knebl