Erika Landertinger

A frivolous everyman

The exhibition “Generations of Everybody” with final projects by graduates of the scenography and costume design course at the Maastricht Toneelacademie is inspired by the stage plays “Everybody” by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and “Everybody Dies” by Ferdinand Schmalz.

In addition to the diploma works of the art students, there are 60 coloured ink drawings on wrapping paper and an installation by Erika Landertinger with her interpretation of the theme in a separate room. 

Landertinger’s approach to the subject is remarkable. The drawings show a frivolous image of the protagonists of the play “Jedermann”. The Devil, Death, the Buhlschaft and Jedermann himself are depicted ironically and sexually charged, often against the backdrop of Salzburg Cathedral, the venue for the annual Jedermann performances.

Landertinger caricatures the roles of Hofmannsthal’s play and does not skimp on drastic imagery. The ladies stumble in their pumps over Jedermann, who is lying on the floor. During the sexual act, the Buhlschaft wears the mask of death. The devil is depicted with an erect, powerful penis. The drawings are not explicitly pornographic but provide food for thought on how to perceive the story of the rich man’s death.

In the audio accompaniment to the exhibition, the Landertinger room is described as the red light district of the exhibition as a whole. The figure of Jedermann is drastically exaggerated as a troll who has nothing to oppose the erotic omnipotence of women. Even in the pram, the main character of the play has to be rebuked by the overbearing mother “Jedermann is very bad to his mother again today”.

Erika Landertinger, a native of Salzburg, has been a visiting professor for costume design at the Toneelacademie Maastricht since 2003. She studied stage design in Salzburg and Vienna and has worked on numerous theatre productions in Vienna, Berlin and Zurich, among other places, since 1980. The exhibition “Generations of Everybody” runs until 18 August in the Stadtgalerie Zwergelgarten. An exciting approach to Everybody.

The exhibition “Schmutz und Schund” (Dirt and Trash) runs at the Museum der Moderne until 11.09. It also features paintings by George Grosz whose visual language is similar to Erika Landertinger’s drawings.

Published 1. August 2022Updated 2. August 2022
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