In the Baroque chambers of the Lower Belvedere, Donna Huanca creates an artistic parallel world using sculpture, large-format painting, video works, and soundscapes. Nude models, whose bodies are transformed with colours and textiles, meditatively move about the space in deep concentration. They are dynamic components of a cosmos, in which visitors embark on a journey from artificial light to mythical darkness, much like superficial perception can lead to insight and recognition. Huanca’s ‘models’ interact with their own environment and the room on their own accord. The artist makes reference not only to the architecture of the palace, but to the exhibition Egon Schiele. Pathways to a Collection, which will take place simultaneously. The gaze upon the naked body, questions of ‘forbidden’ curiosity and sensual pleasure, as well as the relationships between artist, model, and public become as relevant in the face of Egon Schiele’s works as they are in the experience of Donna Huanca’s stagings.
Continuous engagement with the human body, its presence in space as well as its use as material and medium of art, is a central aspect of Huanca’s multidisciplinary work. Based on music, fashion, and painting, the artist has developed her own aesthetic language over the last ten years, with references to Viennese Actionism, Yves Klein, Cindy Sherman, and Ana Mendieta. Born in Chicago in 1980, Donna Huanca studied painting at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and the University of Houston in Texas. In 2016, she presented a solo show at the Zabludowicz Collection in London. The artist lives and works in Berlin and New York.