It is a wide-spread opinion that the occupation with “the body” – and here especially with the artist's own body – is typical for the Austrian art of the 20th century. We could go back to the very beginnings when protagonists like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele or Richard Gerstl exploited their own or their models' body. Their approach often is interpreted to be the “artistic side” of the “Viennese” coin – the other the scientific side to be the then newly defined psycho-analysis, explored and developed by Sigmund Freud, at exactly the same time.
Karin Mack’s photographs lead us into spaces of the self. These spaces are opened up not just in her self-portraits, but also in the landscapes, i.e. photographs in which references to the self are not necessarily provided by the subject depicted. True, these image spaces often capture the artist’s self, for instance in the many self-portraits; yet the landscape details in particular invite the observer to access their own archives of sensory experiences. There are many different spaces of the self in Mack’s oeuvre: the self in private, the self as a stage from which to deconstruct socially attributed roles, the self as a reflection within the space, the self as a shadow in nature.
In the early 1990's many theoreticians predicted the death of photography caused by the uprise of new digital and networking media. Quite the contrary has been the case. The very use of these new media has led to a tremendous increase in photographic production. Today we are facing a spring tide of images taken and published in a continuous endless stream. Photography is more alive than ever. Nevertheless attentive observers have noted substantial changes in photography, which have come along with the use of new technologies. The fact that photographs are produced is not the main point of interest, but the ways in which they are used. Besides the – still ongoing – "traditional use of photography" (creating a stand-alone image or a series), photographs have become, more and more, a part of complex artistic manifestations.