Martina Stapf uses the self-image as a critical artistic practice to explore identity concepts. In her staged photographs – captured on analogue film – she deals with the body as a medium. The movements in the photographs are imaging and intuitive. Together with different fabrics nestled around the female body, they create a symbiosis of material and substance. The body becomes a projection surface, opening up certain association that want to hide the female body as a potential source of pleasure, but also leaves space for interpretation. The artist addresses the problematic relationship between appearance and identity, as well as the body codes that are firmly anchored in the cultural space in which we are embedded. [text Sophie Haslinger]

Artist Statement

An examination of oneself and one‘s own body: it functions as a projection surface from inside and outside, dealing with all areas of social relations and finally, coming to an agreement as a product of them. We move in different patterns, identify ourselves through diverse relationships, actions and spaces, where a steady process of identification takes place.

In the foreground there is the preoccupation with a whole network of overlapping categories and topics such as body (images), self-staging, representation, constructions of identity and last but not least art history. One‘s own body becomes a material that is processed in a performative act through the technique of photographic and cinematic fixation.

I actively work with the structures that we encounter in everyday life, especially the reactions to our environment and interpersonal reactions are questioned: Which automatisms have evolved over time? How do they change or do we seek to change this? What relationships and relationships do we find in our physical and social behavior?
I am interested in the relationship between human, material and space. Which dynamics are visible, which reactions do we have to others and the surrounding architecture? Consciously and unconsciously, what moves us all the time?

born in Eisenstadt, lives and works in Vienna
Academy of Fine Arts, class of Video & Videoinstallation, Dorit Margreiter; Vienna
International Summer Academy of Fine Arts; Salzburg
Schule Friedl Kubelka, class for artistic photography, Anja Manfredi; Vienna
University of Vienna, art history; Vienna

fotoschule.at, digital photography class; Vienna

ArtStart_Studio, studio grant, Academy of Fine Arts; Vienna
grant for fine art; Land Burgenland
artist in residence, Paliano/Italy; Land Burgenland
Merit Scholarship, Academy of Fine Arts; Vienna
Youth Culture Prize; Land Burgenland