Bernd Eischeid & Dutzi Ijsenhower's
Royal Ancestry of a Modern Day Drag Queen
photos by Gregor Hofbauer, curated by Ewa Stern
What to do when you, by accident, discover that you have royal ancestry? How do you react to famous emperors demanding to be recognized in your own personal history? Dutzi Ijsenhower, to whom it happened, channeled his feelings of royal grandeur, surprising entitlement, and pure bafflement into the portrait series the Faux Kings – by becoming versions of his forbearers he created the ancestral portrait gallery of a Drag Queen
Bernd Eischeid is an artist, drag queen, and performer whose work constantly challenges perceptions of gender and identity. Since 2005, Eischeid has come to prominence in Vienna under his drag name Dutzi Ijsenhower, known especially for his performances and queer events. In art performances, whether on stage or in front of the camera, Eischeid uses a variety of visual and cultural sources. Since many years, the medium of photography has been an integral part of his artistic expression.
In the five-part series FAUX KINGS Eischeid writes his newly found royal lineage on his body. Questions of origin and (family) identity are reflected through the assertive presentation of five important characters of European history as his ancestors rather than himself as their descendant. Eischeid thus expands the hegemonic narratives of those in power through a queer, marginalized lens. These portraits, together with other objects, form the Faux Kings exhibition curated by Ewa Stern.
With hanging depictions of European rulers and corresponding objects in antique display cases, the Improper Walls gallery becomes the pastiche of an exhibition room in a well-established museum such as the Louvre, Rijksmuseum or the KHM in Vienna. The hand-drawn pedigree of the artist and a coat of arms banner complete the picture of a museum treasury and give an impression that the high culture of the city center is being transplanted to the working-class district. <- This is a really weird sentence.
Eischeid puts his chosen family in flesh and blood face-to-face with the representations of his ancestors on the walls. A selection of artistic positions from Eischeid's queer circles - Tiefe Kümmernis' drag guide tour, a workshop from the Rhinoplasty collective and a stand-up performance from PCCC, the Politically Correct Comedy Club - accompanies the exhibition throughout the week.
17:30 – Exklusice Pre-Show
19:00 Uhr – VERNISSAGE – Eine Hammer-Eröffnung
Eröffnungsrede von Gerhard Butter (Kunsthalle Wien)
– An evening in honor of Karl Martell –
17:00 – 20:00
18:00 Uhr – Drag-Führung mit Tiefe Kümmernis (limitierte Plätze)
19:00 Uhr – Artist-Talk mit Bernd Eischeid/Dutzi Ijsenhower moderiert von Tiefe Kümmernis
– An evening in honor of Bernhard von Italien –
19:00 Uhr – PCCC- the Politically Correct Comedy Club: My Family is crazier than your family
– An evening in honor of Arnulf von Metz –
15:00 Uhr – Crap to Crowns Workshop
Building Crowns with the Rhnoplasty collective
– A workshop in honor of Karl the Großen –
17:00 FINISSAGE & High Tea
– High Tea in honor of Ludwig der Fromme –