Hutter takes the borderline between the real and the virtual medium of art. Electronic images are part of spaciously positioned installations in sculpturally structured performance areas. His digital picture world is metaphoric, this means it transforms the actual course of performance into virtual signlike picture-story. In many of his installations and performances up to now, Hutter has concerned himself with the broad topic of violence in our society.

It is always a poetically coded dialogue of self-discovery of the artist in his social surroundings that seems to be unaware of its global threats and increasing loss of perception. It is always an attempt to get a reaction and feed-back from the audience.

In this work of art, Robert Hutter reflects on the wild frenzy of our mass-touristic art reception, shows the rapid moving picture of swarming ”night insects” in the dazzling light of the world-renowned Mona Lisa. This splendid super-icon of art history has long outgrown the museum limits and the context of art in our T-shirt culture. As a reproduction, she outshines the original; protected behind re-enforced glass, she dazzles the audience and reflects their consumer- orientated behaviour rituals. In this scene of mass hysteria, the artist inserts himself as an old ego into the art icon Mona Lisa - his head covered by a plastic bag, changing sculpturally through constant breathing.

He represents the picture standing in for the creator of this admired painting and dissolves it with ambiguous symbols. On the one hand, it is the representation of the artist as terrorist and anonymous culprit; on the other hand, it shows the artist as the likewise anonymous victim of society.

The insertion and fading out of the head, disguising action, additionally points to the aesthetic act of a sculptural action form, to  the  plastic character of a virtual transmission of pictures into a spatial  and temporal dimension. The reproduced and - during the live performance - actual presence of the artist in the virtual enlarged performance area crosses the time and place of the recording with the time and the place of the presentation. In the middle of an electronic action sequence, the artist faces the challenge of the audience and is at their mercy in all his vulnerability and anger. It is a kind of aggression exchange. Using his art, every artist is trying to see the light behind, to illuminate the outer appearance and to let the audience be aware of this. ”What they want is to be like her”(like Mona Lisa or like the artist?) Hutter says in his own text: ”to achieve this, one has to work hard on oneself.” The superficial art audience is generally easily dazzled and follows the beautiful, outward appearance - without searching for the source. Robert Hutter wants to bring this across.

© Horst Gerhard Haberl, 1997


About Deceptions. Robert Hutters Installation/Performance                

The Wild Audience

by Horst Gerhard Haberl