Mario Terzic

Artist (1945)

Any installation, performance and circuit organized by the Austrian artist Mario Terzic can be conceived above all as the vehicle of an inner journey “to the center of the ego”, and consequently represents a “system of extension” of human innerness. The first works, produced in the 1970s, often involving a direct presentation of the body, indicated a fascination for the Baroque, Antiquity and mythology. Bedecked with a mask (Masks, 1972), a silk outfit (Visit to the Renaissance, 1972) or endowed with wings (My Wings, 1970), the artist’s body was the instrument which made it possible not only to experience space but also to rethink the classical heritage resulting from the Renaissance. In these performances, the theatricalized body is the go-between of this “extension”, an experience that is at once sensual, spiritual and cultural. There is also a whole line of thinking about Western culture as revealed in particular by the series of drawn or repaired chairs and armchairs: Chair in Empty Room; Completed Fragments; Traces in the Room. These relations of adjacency between different elements and this work which we might describe as montage, also permeates the banquet installations which the artist devises for numerous guests, as well as the fictitious and real circuits which he organizes (Travels). Works such as Bacchanal (1975), Arkadien (1979), Buffet in Honor of Hans Makart and Paolo Veronese (1979), Pompei-retour (1982) and AutoMobil (1984) intermingle graphic representations and real objects; they compare the conceived and the experienced, memory and presence; they introduce temporal and cultural overlaps. Situated beyond any strict referential approach, for Mario Terzic they form a space of thought and experience, leading up to his garden projects which he has been involved with at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna with his students since 1992 (Stocznia Gdanska Landscape Park, Gdansk, 2006; Erneuerung des Gartens, Vienna, 2007).

Mario Terzic was born in Feldkirch in Austria, and graduated in Industrial Design from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he studied between 1964 and 1968. In the early 1970s, Alessandro Mendini published his projects in the magazine Casabella, thus helping to include his conceptual approach within the radical European movement. Since then he has had many exhibitions, produced many garden projects, and undertaken many “journeys”. In 1982-83 he taught at the Hochschule für Gestaltung at Offenbach in Germany, then, from 1991 on, at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2000, he set up the Department of Landscape Design in the same school, which he still heads today.

Nadine Labedade

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