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H13 2022: Metal Heads by Elisabeth Kihlström and Alexander Martinz


Let's start with a tough question: What connects the Bauhaus pioneer Oskar Schlemmer with the metal band Judas Priest? Well, do you know? Okay, never mind: What Schlemmer’s avant-garde ballet choreographies have to do with the martial rock performances is not necessarily obvious. One clue, perhaps: "Metal Heads" play a role in both.

Metal masks and headgear – in other words, metal heads in the broadest sense – form a core element in the aesthetics of Oskar Schlemmer, where they stand for the utopia of a "new human", between ethereal light being and steely cyborg. Well yes, the not quite so ethereal, head-banging fans of heavy metal and hard rock also describe themselves as "metalheads". Starting from this associative link, Elisabeth Kihlström and Alexander Martinz, the winners of this year's H13 Lower Austria Prize for Performance, set out on a foray through both the universes of metal and historical avant-garde – and came across some astonishing que(e)r connections.

Accompanying their eponymous performance, which will be shown at the H13 award ceremony on 01 09 2022 from 7:00 pm, Kihlström and Martinz will present the findings of their research in the exhibition Metal Heads. What to expect: a trip through the intertwined histories of heavy metal, Bauhaus, and queer subversion that is as playful as it is enlightening.


Elisabeth Kihlström (*1988, Sundborn, SE) studied fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Umeå (SE) and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna under Julian Göthe. Her artistic works have been shown extensively at home and abroad. Recently, Elisabeth Kihlström was selected for the BKA residency in Tokyo and awarded for a state-sponsored studio by the Austrian Ministry of Culture.

Alexander Martinz (*1979, Klagenfurt, AT) studied Electroacoustic Composition at the mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna under Germán Toro-Pérez and Transmedia Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna under Brigitte Kowanz. Artistic works by Alexander Martinz were shown at Steirischer Herbst or Diagonale and can be found in the Lenikus Collection and the Ursula Blickle Video Archive.




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