Space Junk.

A Lecture by Sonia Leimer

Saturday 10.09.22, 7.30pm, Mattiellistraße 2-4, Karlsplatz, Vienna

The space junk from past research expeditions and old satellites that accumulates in orbit is my interest in the ongoing series of works Space Junk. It focuses on these functionless fragments, remnants of utopian stories that fall back to earth and then mostly burn up. The metal objects clearly show the traces of their journey and blur the boundaries between fiction and science in their appearance. Their fragmentary character is reminiscent of the utopian ideas and belief in progress of modernity, and thus simultaneously points to infrastructural, social and ethical issues that we are currently confronted with. Based on this work, my lecture will take up the ideas of space-age design of the 1960s and 70s and tell of the video "Eden Antarktika", a semi-fictional story about a research project in Antarctica.

Space is a key theme of Sonia Leimer’s works, which concentrate on two fields of interest: urban space and outer space. Leimer explores our perceptual foundations, which are formed on the basis of individual, historical, and media-related patterns of experience. As products of concrete historical contexts, rooms and objects undergo a transformation in which history and societal changes become palpable. Urban spaces and hypothetical territories are key themes in Sonia Leimer’s work. Her sculptures, videos and installations find expression somewhere between real locations (transformed into the imaginary contexts of the cinema industry) and undefined dimensions – like the dimensions of cosmic galaxies that are so far away, they seem almost virtual. Sonia Leimer’s works leave scattered clues and traces without ever forming a complete identity, to the point of becoming visual enigmas requiring constant interpretation.