Petra Lupe | tabula rasa
6 - 11 Sept 
Semmelweisklinik, Wien
Haus A, 3. Stock, Raumnummer A302
"Probably the emptiness contains a maximum of fullness"
(Lupe 2022)
When we talk about tabula rasa (scraped panel) in this case, we don’t mean the soul of a newborn that the old philosophers imagined, which sees the light of day like a blank page, rather we are talking about an emptiness, which has a certain undertone. Today we know about a collective unconscious, genetic or systemic dispositions that impose a certain imprint on everyone who comes in this world right from the start. In this sense, tabula rasa resembles a paradox insofar as its emptiness has already been slightly filled.
Petra Lupe cannot help but to include the location - the Semmelweis Women's Clinic as a former place of birth - in her presentation. To take on its basic tone, its character and to pick it up thematically in what is shown.
When you enter the room, two symbols immediately catch the eye of the spectator. On the one hand is the circle, whereby Lupe's open circles are characterized by their open circular shape, which indicates permeability both to the outside and the inside. On the other hand, there is the color pink, reminiscent of the purity of a newborn.
At first glance, the works on paper only reveal their form. If one comes closer, the different imprints become apparent, which finally unfold their full power in colored acrylic glass objects. The color continues in the schematic nude photographs, reminiscent of the vulnerability of being human.
Finally, this wall is dominated by two large canvas works IN UTERO, which indicate on the inside of an uterus in their toning and layering. In the end, Lupe understands the artistic process itself as an act of giving birth, located between fullness and emptiness. The real feat is to give a personal stamp on it, but only to the extent that a collective truth can still be found, in which the spectator can reflect him*herself.