Xenia Hausner – “This will have been another happy day!”

 

The new production of Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier staged by André Heller is the occasion for the first cooperation between Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Deutsche Bank’s PalaisPopulaire. Visual art and music theater enter into dialogue, and the works of the Austrian painter Xenia Hausner, who designed the stage set for Der Rosenkavalier, create a contemporary commentary on the complexity of human feelings.

The title of the exhibition “This will have been another happy day!” is taken from Samuel Beckett’s drama Happy Days. With this headline, Hausner, who lives and works in Vienna and Berlin, anticipates the future and thereby conveys an optimistic present, setting in motion the human apparatus of dreams and hopes. By choosing Beckett’s depiction of existential absurdity as a reference, the artist does not let the hope for a successful life fade and shows in her pictures fragments of a larger story that tell of our present world yet elude a clear reading. At the center of Hausner’s colorful works, in which women always play the leading role as well as “all roles in general,” according to the artist, and the so-called Odd Shapes pictorial works—which leave the picture square behind and find an organic form—are couple relationships that refer to the emotional chaos in Der Rosenkavalier. Self-determined, thoughtful women create a female cosmos in which conventional attributes such as young and old, female and male are lost in the face of the modern worldview of Der Rosenkavalier, so that gender-specific behavior and conventional orders become fragile. What we see are seductive snapshots that leave everything open and confront the audience with their imaginary wishes.

In addition to ten large-format paintings by Xenia Hausner, the show features her stage design sketches, objects, associative material, and model parts as well as figurines by Arthur Arbesser.

A cooperation between Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the PalaisPopulaire supported by Egon Zehnder

Premiere of Der Rosenkavalier: February 9, 2020

Xenia Hausner: Pure Cool, 2016, Acryl and oil on Dibond, 149 x 180 cm © Xenia Hausner