Margherita Spiluttini, born in Schwarzach in 1947, lives and works in Vienna.
Selected exhibitions: 2011 ALPINE DESIRE, Austrian Cultural Forum New York; Die fünfte Säule, Secession, Vienna; 2010 Unbewegliche Ziele. Fotografische Ermittlungen zur Architektur, Castle Goldegg, Austria; Nach der Natur. Konstruktionen der Landschaft II, Technologiezentrum Güssing, Austria; Margherita Spiluttini. Beyond Nature - Constructions of Landscape, Fotografins Hus, Stockholm; Zeichnung und Fotografie I, Zeitgenössische Kunst im Parlament, Vienna; 2009 Museum der Moderne, Rupertinum, Salzburg; Fifty Fifty, Wien Museum Karlsplatz, Vienna; 2008 Kunst Dokumente, Christine König Galerie, Vienna; 2007 Atlas Austria, Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna; Blicke, Passanten - 1930 bis heute. Aus der Fotosammlung der Albertina, Albertina, Vienna; 2006 Herzog & de Meuron. No.50. Eine Ausstellung, Haus der Kunst, Munich; 2005 Nach Rokytník, Die Sammlung der EVN, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Simultan, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; 2004 Architectural Association, London; In the Praise of Shadows and The Nature of Artifice, 9th Architecture Biennale, Venice.
Initially it was medical photography that interested Margherita Spiluttini from a professional standpoint. From the mid-1970s on, she then began capturing moments of her life with a camera. At the time she shot 107 individual portraits of workers and employees working in her parents’ construction firm. The men look openly into the camera, reflecting the nonchalance and delight of the portraitist. Time and again she would also seek out her father through the photographic lens, focusing mainly on his expressive mimics, accompanying the last years of his life with the camera.
It was the architect Adolf Krischanitz who led Spiluttini to architectural photography. Her shots of the 300 buildings featured in Vienna’s first architecture guide in a book format are the best-known works here. In these photographs she first consistently developed her extraordinary pictorial aesthetics, this atmospheric gaze that anchors the buildings in real life. She only photographs in natural light, refraining from intervening in the motif, not adding or removing anything. “I have always sought out the personal photograph, but what is it?” the artist asks. Her pictures are shot using a plate camera, that is to say with the picture shown upside down and covered by a black cloth. “It is an intimate space in which I am alone with this segment of the world and see everything that comes together here.”
One of her favorite motifs are transitional places. Stairwells, bridges, passageways. With her photographs she tries to seek out stylistic changes in the spaces where people briefly come together, where a special, informal mode of communication evolves - a mode that given its fragmentary nature resembles the exchange of the camera with life, for which Spiluttini already opted for in her early, diary-like photographs. These places reflect life in its condensed fleetingness and contingency. Here Spiluttini also finds her answer to the search for the “personal” in photography. Through the selected picture detail the artist adds something to the central pictorial motif only seen by the eye of the camera. This way we see a world that does not seek to be objective but is rather compressed in an emotional moment. For this reason this imagery does not just have to do with architecture but much rather with existence. (Sabine B. Vogel, 2011)