Phantom of Desire

Visions of Masochism in Art

26.04.-24.08.2003 10:00-18:00

Curated by: Peter Weibel
Co-Curator: Michael Farin, Christa Steinle, Elisabeth Fiedler

Kuratorische Assistenz: Peter Peer, Anke Orgel

Ausstellungsarchitektur: Manfred Wolff-Plottegg

Two classics from literature, “Venus in Fur” (1869) and “Psychopathia sexualis” (1886) are directly linked to Graz. The novel “Venus in Furs” is seen as a prototype for the writings of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and his wife Wanda, as well as for masochistic phantasies in general. Although Sacher-Masoch as a person has fallen almost into oblivion, his work has gained a lasting effect. Based upon Sacher-Masoch's novel Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing, the Grazer physician (1840-1902), coined the term “masochism” in his medical standard work “Psychopathia Sexualis” (1886) as the description of a sexual disposition combining pain and lust. Since then masochism has become the subject of many analysises and studies in film, literature, philosophy, music and the fine arts which reflect this phenomenon in its manifold socio-historical contexts.


On the basis of these facts, a history of sexuality in the arts has been conceived in the form of an exhibition that follows Sacher-Masoch's influence from the end of the nineteenth century till the present. The exhibition should reflect artistic acceptability, namely how the social, political and psycho-analytical implications of masochism were received in the art world: The masochistic body, the profile of the cruel woman, dominant relationships and masochism as the explicit thematisation of power in relationships, fetish and ritual as important elements of setting a masochistic scene and masochism as a psychologically-defining category of, amongst other things, femininity. Here, art is based on the visual aspect, more exactly the visual representation of masochism. The visual representation does not only mean representation of matters sexual, but rather the whole complex of punishment and resistance, controller and victim, immersion and inversion and lust and harm should be illuminated.


Co-Curators: Michael Farin, Christa Steinle, Elisabeth Fiedler
Assistance of Curator: Peter Peer, Anke Orgel
Exhibition architectur: Manfred Wolff-Plottegg


Exhibiton Catalogue
"Phantom of Desire. Visions of Masochism in Art"

Editor: Peter Weibel
2 volumes, 477, 511 pages, numerous illustrations

belleville publishers, Munich 2003
ISBN 3-936298-24-6

English supplement: essays and texts (248 pages)



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Claude Alexandre

Emmanuelle Antille

Nobuyoshi Araki

Charles Atlas

Christian Ludwig Attersee

Miroslav Balka

Franz von Bayros

Aubrey Beardsley

Fredie Beckmans

Hans Bellmer

Madeleine Berkhemer

Tobias Bernstrup

Gilles Berquet

Josef Beuys

Sylvie Blocher

Barbara Bloom

Monica Bonvicini

Katharina Bosse

Guy Bourdin

Pierre Bourgeade

Victor Brauner

Birgit Brenner

Olaf Breuning

Günter Brus

Noel Burch

Sophie Calle

Jacqueline Chanton

Larry Clark

Jordan Crandall

Guido Crepax

Salvador Dali

Heinrich Davringhausen

Vlasta Delimar

Wim Delvoye

Milena Dopitová

Marcel Duchamp

Nicole Eisenmann

Michel Fingesten

Leonor Fini

Bob Flanagan

Sylvie Fleury

Hideki Fujii

Shinya Fujiwara

Julio Galan

Willi Geiger

Nan Goldin

Greg Gorman

Franz Graf

Fergus Greer

Otto Greiner

Mona Hahn

Yoshifumi Hayashi

Georg Herold

John Hilliard

Rebecca Horn

Horst P. Horst

Eikoh Hosoe

Karl Hubbuch

Georges Hugnet

Alain Jacquet

Charles Francois Jeandel

Allen Jones

Birgit Jürgenssen

Mike Kelley

Anne-Mia Van Kerckhoven

Fernand Khnopff

Tania Kitchell

Jürgen Klauke

Pierre Klossowski

Doris Kloster

Oskar Kokoschka


Katharina Kranichfeld

Les Krims

Elke Krystufek

Alfred Kubin

Karl Kunz

Helmut Lang

Barone de Lapin

Michèle Larue

Jean-Jacques Lebel

Zoe Leonard

David Levinthal

Thomas Locher

Philipp Lorca di Corcia

Heinrich Mann

Robert Mapplethorpe

Ralf Marsault

Plinio Martelli

Olaf Martens

André Masson

Paul McCarthy

Bjarne Melgaard

Annette Messager

Chantal Michel

Mr. Pearl

Tracey Moffat

Pierre Molinier


Mark Morrisroe

David Nebreda

Helmut Newton

Cady Noland

Albert Oehlen

Catherine Opie

Gina Pane

Christian Paraschiv

Maurizio Pellegrin

Roland Penrose

Raymond Pettibon


Sigmar Polke

Milá Preslová

Arnulf Rainer

Philippe Ramette

Man Ray

Catherine Robbe-Grillet

Felicien Rops

Gerhard Rühm

Jimmy de Sana

Otto Rudolf Schatz

Julia Scher

Rudolf Schlichter

Jacques Schumacher

Rudolf Schwarzkogler

Peter Sengl

Andres Serrano

Cindy Sherman

Flora Sigismundi

Sissi Pepe Smit

Edgard de Souza

Edda Strobl

Franz von Stuck

Jindrich Styrsky

Karel Teige

Wolfgang Tilmans

Tom of Finland

Roland Topor

Nicole Tran Ba Vang

Rosemarie Trockel

Clovis Trouille

Cy Twombly

Salla Tykkä

Raoul Ubac

Tomi Ungerer

Maurice Uzelac

Chris von Wangenheim

John Waters

Joel Peter Witkin

Neue Galerie Graz

Joanneumquarter, access Kalchberggasse
, Österreich


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