She Only Likes Violence
            curated by Sam Mackiewicz

11-17th of September
Galerie D.

21ème Rue

Sam Well, it’s your first exhibition. So a big question is why? I’m not trying to pressure you but why choose a collection you’ve already shown in a different setting?

Konstanze When I was studying fashion, the context in which I wanted to show my garments was not really given. I tried to do my best in pursuing what I wanted to pursue with fashion, but there is too great of an ideological gap, I guess.

Sam Yes.

Konstanze It’s…I think it was really important to me to exhibit the collection again on my own terms.
At the beginning, we were really unsure whether to exhibit any of the pieces [garments] in general.

Sam Yeah.

Konstanze And in comparison to how many pieces [garments] there are that can be exhibited, and how many things we brought just for the general selection, we didn’t actually end up exhibiting a lot of them. I do feel the main focus of the exhibition itself for me are still the paintings. Not even so much the objects, just the paintings and the atmosphere surrounding them.

Sam Or you could say there, I don’t mean this in a derogatory term, but you could see them as maybe props…

Konstanze Yeah. Maybe.

Sam In a play or cinema…

Konstanze Yeah.

Sam props can have this really important impact on the storyline…

Konstanze That’s true.

Sam a certain shot would establish that prop is going to be important later on in the movie or not.

Konstanze I do feel we have put as much detail and orientation into this show as someone would put into a movie or play.

Sam Yeah.

Konstanze In regard to, oh, what did the actors eat? What do people wear? What is this scenography? What is the lighting? 
Every single detail was overviewed by us. As opposed to a huge team that is responsible for each of these aspects. So in a lot of ways it was like props, but as opposed to props, they’re not empty inside and they do not get thrown away. I understand props as something that has a one time usage and is then thrown out and these aspects don’t exist within our realm. The elements exhibited exist to me like pillars or statues, real objects of value and objects that I love and respect.
There was a time when I was at home and I thought I had lost the egg that my father found at the house where my neighbor used to live. My dad found it on the stairs and told me about it so I wanted to keep it and raise the bird inside. He told me it’s no use; the egg falls out of the nest, you can’t raise it because it’s already dead.

Sam They have to be incubated for a certain amount of time.

Konstanze Once the warmth is away it’s away. So when I thought that I misplaced that egg I got really upset and thought, what is this show gonna be without this specific egg? It is very bizarre. I almost had this feeling of, if this egg is not there none of my work in itself really matters. It’s just scattered all around and it’s incomplete. The egg acts like a shelf that stores everything else. Once that shelf is gone, it’s just things lying and scattered on the floor and the other elements become incomplete and utterly insignificant.

Sam So the egg is one of those pivotal objects in the show.

Konstanze 100%. Yes. I would say the other one is the semi-translucent prayer card that has a depiction of the lamb collaged on top of it. Its surface has this haptic sense that almost looks like very small forms of braille pattern. The edges are scalloped. That prayer card also falls into that realm in regards to the egg and its importance to me.

Sam I had some idea of what things you wanted to show, but… I mean, I chose out of the folder you had of everything, and  to someone who is not completely in your thought process, I’d like to think I am, but I’m not, and no one is; you have this understanding that when you looked into what was in the folder, I seemed convinced that certain objects you would have chosen and needed to be shown and be somewhere because that’s all that can be handled with context.

Konstanze I do feel like it’s implied as well.

Sam Because belongings from the same person, there’s some kind of curation already done.

Konstanze Yes. I think it… It became a little bit difficult for me to conceptually wrap my head around, combining the found objects with my paintings…

Sam Yes.

Konstanze Also, many of these things and objects were done at varying periods of time. I had this anxiety of things not fitting in. However, I don’t think that anxiety eventually got realized. It was just something that I was worried about at the time.
People walked through and then would stand in front of the large painting with the queen and the child and would ask, “oh, have you painted this?” I got asked that question 10, 15 times on the vernissage day, which I thought was odd. I couldn’t tell whether it was because it had a certain style or technique that people didn’t think I was capable of or because the contrast was strong.

Sam It was also people you didn’t know. So.

Konstanze No, that’s true.

Sam It’s kind of really strange because you were saying, and I was saying, it’s just a bunch of stuff from out of time or out of place and…

Konstanze Mm.

Sam …No matter how hard you curate something it’s gonna control what’s there.

Konstanze I do also feel, when I was explaining things to people, which was a big challenge to me, I wanted to non-verbally transmit to them, this feeling that I always have of suffocating sorrow almost, a constant weight of sorrow.
That is present in the show a lot, in correspondence with this love of life and the sublime. The way nature interacts with our spaces and with us and our connection to that, even though I really don’t like it when people talk about our ways with nature, because it’s so worn out. But I really do mean the slightest rays of sunshine and the morning dew. And then also this extreme weight of sorrow that I somehow have carried around with me for such a long period of time. It’s hard for me to explain that to other people. That emotion was somehow transmitted, but it’s difficult to put into words to someone who doesn’t feel sorrow out of the natural state of being, not out of a circumstantial, ‘oh, this is causing me sorrow’ but just in a certain level of, not melancholy, just a weight, a constant weight that I was trying to also transmit with a lot of the pieces.

Sam Yeah. it’s a pretty heavy show if you think about it.

Konstanze Yeah. It’s not supposed to be something light.

Sam …or tender?

Konstanze No, I mean tender in its own right. People kept coming up to me and asking me about the title of the show ‘She Only Likes Violence’. I guess they were also surprised about the choice of the title. I thought that this weight and this violence of the show were implied just looking at it visually, I don’t necessarily feel like the title was needed in order to get that atmosphere from it. This sort of sorrow, this sort of violence was what I was trying to imply visually, not through the title. The title and the exhibition text themselves are completely redundant. They don’t need to be there. I don’t need to be there to explain anything. I don’t think any of these things are necessary. It’s supposed to be just an interaction with the space and that’s that.

Sam But I don’t think you want to be cryptic at all. I think you want to have most of your ideas there for the open.

Konstanze I explain some things to people because I feel an obligation as someone who is personally connected to them. I want to be able to give them a sort of access or some sort of clue to understand how the process of making this has gone on. I don’t think I wanna spell things out either. I don’t really feel like the show is cryptic at all.
But I don’t mind the idea of being cryptic either. That’s what I like when you show me a lot of exhibition views. [Krebber, Jensen, Koether] They are sort of secretive in their own right and terms but at some point there’s something leading you in. And I think that’s a quality that I am attempting to tap into in my own terms.

Sam I thought this is a good step in the direction for you and your terms. Of course you see your hand in it.

Konstanze I see your hand too.

Sam Mm. Maybe not, but that’s not my issue. Being able to separate from the gecko’s body is important.

Konstanze Why did you decide from the get go to curate and take all this time in order to do this with me? Because I don’t necessarily feel like it was just out of personal favor.

Sam Well, I was involved in the time of the collection process.

Konstanze You collaborated with me too on it, on the jewellery.

Sam So I thought maybe she’s asking me…

Konstanze …Because you were there?

Sam Yeah.

Konstanze I didn’t ask you because you were there. A lot of people were there.

Sam I know, but…

Konstanze A lot of people were involved. I asked you because I thought that you would understand what I would try to transmit with this exhibition without me having to verbalize it.

Sam Yeah. Hopefully I did okay.

Konstanze You did a wonderful job.

Sam Okay.

Konstanze You went above and beyond.

Sam I was worried about that.

Konstanze No, you shouldn’t be worried.

Sam I know. I know.

Konstanze But you still ask me whether I think it’s good even now. I don’t know how many days it’s been since the vernissage. About three days, four days.

Sam I’m always worried about this kind of stuff with the time crunch we had.

Konstanze That’s true.

Sam I think things need to be able to vibrate without interruption.

Konstanze Simmer for a little.

Sam But I think there were just lots of moments in this exhibition where things just came together really rapidly. There are points of it where I think this can support any flaws that have reared their head.

Konstanze That’s true. And there are flaws.

Sam There’s always, but I think we’ve taken care of them in a way, like give them a home.

Konstanze We’ve caressed them or put them to sleep.

Sam I don’t know why I accepted really, to be quite honest. I usually am not one to…

Konstanze Decline?

Sam No. To accept. It’s not my favorite thing to do.

Konstanze But you have accepted it so many times for me. Since we collaborated in New York in 2020, you did a painting backdrop for me. Or some of my clothes. And then afterwards with my collection in every which way...

Sam Not really.

Konstanze …physically, emotionally

Sam I almost ruined your collection.

Konstanze How?

Sam I cut the wrong part. Remember?

Konstanze Oh, I do remember that.

Sam That was horrid. I remember that. That was one of the worst days of my life.

Konstanze I know you were crying.

Sam I felt that was probably one of the worst things.

Konstanze That’s so weird because I haven’t thought about it at all, until you just mentioned it.

Sam Oh, I think about it all the time

Konstanze It’s completely gone out of my mind. I don’t even remember which fabric it was. I don’t remember which piece it was. Don’t remember anything about it.

Sam Let’s keep it that way.

Konstanze You should try to do the same.

Sam Let’s see.

Konstanze You said you are not usually one to accept. I mean, you’re not even necessarily a cuator yourself…

Sam Obviously not.

Konstanze …you are a painter.

Sam Yeah.

Konstanze A porch painter. Or a painter and a porch painter.

Sam No.

Konstanze Just a painter or just a porch painter?

Sam I don’t know. When I accept these things from you, I always feel like I have some say, which is really rare. I think…

Konstanze You huge say. Your opinion can really sway mine too.

Sam Yeah. But that same goes to you.

Konstanze We compromise a lot. We have differentiating opinions on a lot of things and then we compromise and we try out things. There are times we get into arguments.

Sam Yeah.

Konstanze Rarely, in comparison to how much time we spend on working on projects, usually we are very good at being civil with one another and respecting each other’s ideas. Just sometimes when some pressure gets too much, and physical exhaustion, we start having arguments.
I have a question for you. What do you think about the evolution of the bird theme?
Because I, you know, I really like birds, but I was not necessarily…

Sam …aware?

Konstanze …not necessarily specifically interested in the theme of birds in my work at all. You have always been, I think you have always had an extremely intimate relationship with birds and they always have had a very strong impact on you. I’m not really sure how that rubbed off on me a little. I always say I let my work be guided by destiny. I know it sounds really cheesy in its own right. But it’s supposed to be guided by a matter of circumstances and not so much me trying to force anything. I think that’s how it was with the bird theme that is present right now in my work.

Sam I mean, it’s also just a popular thing to like, which is in itself sometimes really rewarding to like something that a lot of other people like.

Konstanze You used to tell me a lot that you would prefer to like more things that other people like.

Sam Well, it’s just more fun that way. it’s just as fun when someone dislikes something and you like something.

Konstanze Yes.

Sam I think it’s funny to play with, play with is the wrong thing to say, but the only bird things are, or bird themes that come to mind. I don’t even know. I don’t even use birds too much in my themes if you can say it like that, only with theories maybe.

Konstanze Yes. I was not necessarily speaking about depicting birds. I was talking about your inherent love for birds that you have disclosed for me from a very early time of me talking to you. When we started being friends.

Sam Yeah.

Konstanze I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from the book we got at the Claudia Andujar show [at the Fondation Cartier] …‘Des oiseaux’ by Terri Weifenbach.

Sam Just that quality of themes and images in just a very…

Konstanze I also thought I would never ever like something, again, that’s taken with an extremely sharp camera. Might be because at 13, 14, I got a really sharp camera and I used to take a bunch of pictures with it, and it was funny. Now afterwards, I just think it’s visually overstimulating, how much you can see. I hate how the quality of cameras is evolving and revolving and evolving. It creates this blurriness between what reality of sight is. I really don’t enjoy images that are too sharp.
‘Des oiseaux’ had a huge impact on me though. I think they also had a huge impact on you because of their…I’m not sure. They depict small finches flying in the dust. You almost see the wind from their wings. That’s how sharp the images are.
Not in a necessarily cheesy way…

Sam …Oh, I think it’s done in a cheesy way.

Konstanze Really?

Sam …That’s what makes it sincere to me.

Konstanze I don’t know.
One of the things that happened to me in that house was when I went to the attic for the first time. Everywhere on the floor of the attic there were feathers from these little tits that had flown into the open windows and just couldn’t find their way out. They were flying around and then eventually ended up suffocating, dying and resting on the floor. You could see the energy of their struggle from how dispersed their feathers were and their tiny beautiful bodies in various states of decay. It was so bizarre.
The person who lived there was so adamant about keeping every single detail of his garden in good condition. Not in an over the top French garden way. The grass had a softness to it that I had never experienced before, very beautiful and approachable. His son told us that he asked him whether he should remove the birds or whether he should close the window. His father said no. I just thought it was strange, the idea of a person sitting in a house and this extremely violent commotion going on two floors above him. I wonder whether he didn’t hear their little bones breaking or their screams and it was a very emotional and strange moment to me that has remained with me throughout these past two years since I last saw them.
The birds were removed by my father and I’m never going to see them again. It almost had this power on me too, because I didn’t want to go up to the attic anymore. I was so scared of it. I was scared of being alone in the house. It had a very palpable extreme to me that I was not able to get over. And now everything is masked, you know, things are renovated.

Sam You know, it hasn’t changed, the space…

Konstanze No.

Sam .…It’s just this matte paint finish over it.

Konstanze You can put as much modern furniture as you want in a place that has extreme moments like that. But you can always kind of see the former inhabitants weeping. I would say.

Sam Hard to say…

Konstanze On the other hand, I do feel like bad things happen in every household, scary things happen in every household. So I do wonder about that balance of past inhabitants and what impact that has on us. If such varying…

Sam Even the objects themselves turned the space into one of those places.

Konstanze Yeah, that is true.

Sam It’s turned it into very domesticated living quarters.

Konstanze When we went through the selection process of the prayer cards, they exerted an obsessive look for some sort of higher power to grant you what you are asking for. One that gives you forgiveness and frees you from your sins. I always wondered what was going on. What’s the story behind that obsessive nature? I mean, there’s tradition and there’s a level of being, having piety. When people are very religious in that sort of way, it has this next level connotation. It makes me wonder what inside you draws you to have to do that. What inside you brings you so much fear, distress or joy about this experience that you so obsessively engage with it in your objects? Or through that cross that we found they got at a convention of John Paul II, the Polish pope.
I wish that I had an organized religion that I was drawn to.

Sam Holy habits.

Konstanze Yes, I Would really enjoy that. My upbringing has been the complete opposite of that, which is neither better nor worse. It is a question of feeling less lonely or less fearful or more grounded. You can’t really measure or compare these elements, but there does seem to be some sort of stability if so many people are doing it, still doing it, even in, at least in Austrian society, where you’re not obliged to be religious by the state. We are trying to be secular…trying…with a big focus on trying.

Sam Maybe even sometimes ignoring. They’re bringing back some religious traditions making it less secular.

Konstanze I do also feel there’s a certain hypocrisy when you are trying to make yourself out to be as secular as France is. Saying ‘oh, I’m extremely, extremely secular, and this has no impact on our society anymore’. I think it’s unachievable. That level of secularization is completely unachievable. You could never be that. You can say perhaps ‘oh, we have a history of this that has been long standing. We are trying to be more secular’. There’s still a lot of ways in which these things affect the ideological pillars in our society. People trying to make a point of something, I really don’t like it.

Sam I don’t know much about you, I believe that you and I are struggling with the idea of things being so gray washed.

Konstanze I feel good about being gray when I’m by myself. I feel good about being able to say I’m not sure. Then when I’m with other people, it’s difficult for me. I make an argument and then I go against my own argument in the next sentence. Also people in an argument shift your opinion, so you end up thinking, ‘actually you are correct - I am going to take that into consideration and try to formulate something new in my mind’. That’s extremely challenging because people take more to opinions when they are more on extreme sides. I do also take to it when people stand there and say, this is the right way to do things.

Sam No, I just think it’s about switching.

Konstanze Yeah.

Sam I think switching is dynamic. It’s this always going back and forth and that’s appealing to people. The middle flickering is an annoyance. You’d rather have it on or off.

Konstanze So you think the both of us are flickering now?

Sam I don’t know. I think I definitely flicker too much.

Konstanze I don’t really see you as flickering. I think there’s an untrustworthy quality in having opinions be too solid. There is little possibility of being truthful.


She Only Likes Violence was accompanied with a soundtrack which can be listened to here.