THE VIENNA PILLOWS

If Francis Bacon created paintings with the brutality of slaughterhouses, Bernd Fasching has succeeded in further expanding this dimension. Instead of canvas he used imploded fuel containers – found material from various military training sites. Because of their shape it is only at third sight that we discover their original function. Their appearance is that of dark pillows, left behind by their owner who has just risen from bed three seconds ago. The guiding idea is the documentation of authenticity and the accomplishment of transformation, invariably linked to a certain measure of destruction and force. However, similar to classical panel painting the actual artistic process lies in the creation of something new which could not come into being without prior destruction.
While the form is a breathtaking, non-repetitive invention, the content seems to have its origins in a world of its own. It is the world of naked fear, the kind of horror that drives the victim of a nightmare out of bed. However, it is not the phenomena related to the interpretation of dreams that Bernd Fasching is concerned with. If he were, he could have used actual pillows. The material for his "Pillows" is metal. One of the fundamental elements of our planet, metal more than other materials embodies a special power. In former times, the person who could work metal was deemed a magician. Bernd Fasching uses metal for the purpose of documentation as it appears predestined to record the transformation of energy because of its materiality. Dream, nightmare, reality: viewing the Pillows, the critical onlooker is rapidly brought back to the latter. In the Vienna Pillows, Bernd Fasching has created an unmistakable atmosphere in which the tragedy of being human makes a substantial contribution to the mood of the content of the painting as a whole.
Karl A. Irsigler - is curator of the Museum of Modern Art, Stiftung Ludwig Foundation, Vienna.

The Vienna pillows originated from the remains of dreams. For material realization, wrecked fuel containers were used; the traces of a deformation no longer to be entirely reconstructed form the basis of these works.
Bernd Fasching