berg19 space for photography


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Bernhard Moosbauer
September 19 - October 17, 2009

Friday, September 18, 7-10pm

Their names are Ono, Happyness or Black Star Danilo von der Zwergrose. Winner certificates and cups decorate the living spaces of their predominantly female owners. They are champions – the most noble representatives of their kind, award-winning because of their beauty, posture and charisma.

In his work Bernhard Moosbauer concerns himself with exemplary situations, ostensibly perfect modes of being, and mannerisms. His  most recent series Champions is about the world of poodle beauty contests. These contests already have a long tradition. Yet, it remains a world of its own.

To the viewer the poodles might appear unnatural or mannered, although the classic poodle clip has an almost mundane background. Poodles used to be utilized as hunting dogs in cold water. To protect heart and lungs, while facilitating adequate legroom for swimming, poodles were shorn from the middle of their backs on downward. Since high society liked the look, the clip was refined and variegated. Next to the classic clip, more naturally looking clips have meanwhile been established in contests as well as the fitting of various accessories.

In his photographic series Bernhard Moosbauer focuses on the poodle champions themselves, thereby creating animal portraits, that appear almost human-like. Emotional states of mind, such as pride, shyness, aggression or lascivity can be clearly made out. In comparison to the high gloss aesthetics of advertising and magazines, Moosbauer’s photographs are black&white and lackluster matte. That makes them more timeless, more dignified. In the end the photographer manages to accomplish a humorous examination of a facet of a social ideal of beauty, without being ironic or judgemental.

In conjunction with the exhibition a work brochure is being published (DIN A5, 12pages)