Larger than life, she kneels on a tabletop with her blouse pushed up. The only sign of her divinity is the frankincense emanating from an opening in her body. Unfazed by the viewer’s gaze, in an all too human manner she plucks a hair from her chin. The intimate nature of this representation is in diametrical opposition to typical depictions of Olympian gods. This is Hera by Ines Doujak. It is with this piece that the 2018 cycle of contemporary positions will begin in the Upper Belvedere.

The ancient goddess Hera is commonly known as the wife of Zeus, guardian of hearth and family, as well as a betrayed spouse. At the Upper Belvedere, however, she will be observed from another point of view. She grants the viewer a glimpse into an intimate, human moment. Hera by Ines Doujak represents the first in a series of positions that will accompany the collection’s revival in the Upper Belvedere starting in 2018. These works will be shown on the ground floor of the Carlone Hall and will play off the mythological frescoes within the space. In a six-month rotation format, artists will develop their perspectives in harmony with the frescoed hall’s Baroque aesthetic, bridging the world of gods like Apollo and Diana from antiquity with the present day.

Doujak’s work addresses socio-critical questions regarding standards of gender, social norms, and stereotypes. With pointed political accuracy, it also leaves room for irony and a subtle sense of humour. The artist, who participated in documenta 12 in 2007 with her piece entitled Siegesgarten [Victory Garden], works mainly in the realms of photography, installation, and conceptual art. Born 1959 in Klagenfurt, Ines Doujak lives and works in Vienna.

The position entitled Hera by Ines Doujak will be opened on 1 March 2018 in the Upper Belvedere alongside the new presentation of the collection. The second position for the year 2018 will be designed by David Zink Yi.