Art Immitating Life? Suicide-Jumper Art Alarms – Don’t Jump!

September 5, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Onlookers in Vienna, Australia were shocked recently to see a well dressed businessman, with briefcase in hand, perched on the narrow ledge of a four-story office building housing an investment firm, wondering if the man would jump to his death.

On closer inspection, onlookers soon realized that the “suicide jumper” was actually a life-size plastic statue and is the ghoulish work of the well-known Austrian avant garde artist, Austrian Ronald Kodritsch.

In light of the global economic recession, with many in dire straits, is Ronald Kodritsch’s suicide-jumper artwork: Art imitating life or life imitating art? Is the artwork really about ending it all in an increasingly pessimistic and complex 21st century or is it more of a contemplative piece?

Those are the questions “media-pluralistic” artist Kodritsch wants people to ask when viewing his artwork entitled, “Reason to Believe.” Kodritsch claims he began thinking about his current artwork long before the banking crisis set off a severe economic downturn.

The colorful artist told Reuters that his artwork transcends the outward reality of a suicide-jumper into something else and is meant to provoke extreme reactions, as does all of his art.

“It’s not interesting whether he will jump or not. It’s all about having a different perspective on things and about what might cross his mind,” explained Kodritsch to Reuters. “Hyperrealism is boring!”

This isn’t the first time Ronald Kodritsch has raised eyebrows with his art. According to his Web site, he is self-described as an artist who makes “…sarcastic statements on current affairs and society – with a penchant for exaggeration.” To say he has a flair for the dramatic and exaggeration is an understatement.

In 1998, he created a series of ski jumpers; he called miniature “Goldbergers,” which jumped into an “endless void.” More recently, Kodritsch put on a sarcastic and over-the-top exhibition in the 2001 Emerging Artists show for the Essl collection, where he engaged in performance art, casting himself as a jet setting celebrity with famous friends, like Kate Moss and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kodritsch’s current piece, “Reason to Believe” will grace the ledge of the downtown Vienna office building for one year, as a monument to the boredom of “hyperrealism” or perhaps a morbid dark visage to the times we live in.


Photo Source: REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader


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