Susanne Breuss, collage artist and museum curator, born 1963, based in Vienna/Austria.
My collage work is heavily influenced by my childhood and my background in history, ethnography and museology with a focus on everyday culture as well as in sociology, philosophy and art history.
Making art is for me another way to reflect everyday life and to work with historical pieces. Working as a curator in a museum means to save and to contextualize historic artifacts; making collages with vintage paper and ephemera means to save, to de-contextualize and to transform throw-away materials that represent former everyday culture.
I use found paper and everyday materials from different decades and centuries. As a conceptual approach I did not only learn this from art movements like Dadaism, surrealism, outsider art or Arte Povera, but also from my mother who was a typical post-war housewife with a lot of skills in re-using and recycling old and disused materials. Since I was a very young child dealing with the past meant dealing with material culture and to use and transform old things for several current aims – this is what I still do as a museum curator and as a collagist, but each art forms in a quite different way.
Many of my collages are dealing with the relationship between the past and the present and are focusing on cultural memory. Furthermore I like to visualize, comment, irritate and deconstruct proverbs and phrases, social conventions, gender roles, and typical scenes from everyday life.
For this series I used a mix of paper from the 19th and 20th century including office paper, file jackets, packaging, printed forms, postcards, and magazine clippings. The title “Out of office” refers both to the vision of the paper-free office in the modern digital world and the re-use of worthless former office things in a new (artistic) context. I think it’s an intriguing phenomena that de-contextualized materials often reveal their aesthetic and tangible qualities more lucid or in an unexpected way.
Courtesy of the Artist