THE POSTER SUJETS OF THE VIENNALE 2017
A carving on the façade of the Romanesque church in the village of Moings in Saintonge region in the west of France served as a model for this year’s Viennale poster. The artwork cannot be dated precisely – it probably stems from the 15th century. It seems to be a depiction of Harlequin (French: Arlequin), although the figure is wearing a pointed hat instead of the traditional horned hat and the characteristic patched costume is not recognizable because of the coarse line-work. Harlequin, who became a central stage character of the Commedia dell’Arte, is a multifaceted, mythical figure combining contradictions in an irritating way: he is both a crook and a healer, a shaman and a buffoon, a priest and a devil. Emphatically pointing upwards with his outstretched arm, the demonic jester seems to be preparing for his ritualized performance, the Harlequin leap: “Eccomi!” – Here I am. The game can begin.
The poster for the retrospective “Utopia and Correction” features a photo from Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1960 film NEOTPRACLENNOE PIS'MO (THE UNSENT LETTER).