Elisabeth Schweeger: Fact as Fate
A train window: people crowded behind it, tugging, begging, curious, torn between letting go and a new… unknown.
Xenia Hausner’s pictures fill a transit zone between yearning and fear, between hope and abandonment. Expelled or saved? Alienation captured briefly as it passes by. As if based on fact, suggesting a snapshot in time, the painter guides the viewer into a personal world of memory, into memories that call to mind the horrors of persecution, of exclusion, of hate, of war and death, but which also imply a glimpse into the distance. An adaptation of reality or an intentional staging of it do not change the facts at all: no place nowhere where these people belong, neither here nor there. They are without nexus, they begin a journey into the future, undetermined – a journey with no return.
What remains of this passing by is much amazement about the power of painting to express an all too well-known state of exclusion: the feeling of helplessness while gazing at it is comparable to the painted, timeless and indeed so contemporary view of alienation.
Her name is Xenia, this realm is embedded in her. We see the puzzling images of an alien woman.