Elke Silvia Krystufek (born 1970) is an Austrian conceptual artist who lives and works in Berlin and Vienna. She works in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, video and performance art. Krystufek studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the early 1990s. Her work is informed by a history of Austrian artists – from Egon Schiele to the Vienna Actionists – who have explicitly explored sexuality in art.
Krystufek is a visual artist and writer who has dedicated her life’s work to overstepping the boundaries between private and public life. She uses her image and body as the subject of her often provocative art work, which emphasizes the female body and its position within context of gendered identities. Since her first big solo presentation at the Secession in Vienna in 1997, she is working on the subject of the “Archive”. Her collection of images in the form of postcard-size photographs, titled “I am your mirror”, took inspiration of the documentary work of photographer Nan Goldin and the “Atlas” by the German Painter Gerhard Richter. With the exhibition “Liquid Logic”, then direction of Peter Noever gave Krystufek access to all storages of the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna and the MAK. She drew comparisons between a thematically arranged selection of objects from the museum collections that are rarely shown or on display. She also found connections between the museum collections, her work, and the biography of the Dutch-American artist Bas Jan Ader. Selections of a film, that she shot in connection with the exhibition on Easter Island can be viewed on YouTube in parts as the background of a talk she gave in 2009 at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
In 2009, she represented Austria at the 53rd Biennale of Venice in the Austrian Pavilion along with Dorit Margreiter, Franziska and Lois Weinberger. In this show she dealt with the rare art-historical phenomenon of a nude male model painted by a heterosexual woman and the last film by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Tabu.
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