Maria Lassnig, who passed away last May, seems to have been used to pain. In her retrospective at PS1, paintings portray “body awareness”, with fears, anguish, suffocation, and limbs dissolving existentially into space. In her famous portrait “You or Me?”, Lassnig holds a gun to her head while aiming another at the viewer, a gesture which reads as being your own worst enemy.
This is what makes her video “Kantate,” or “Cantata”, so special. Lassnig sings the song of her life’s ups and downs, which we’ve read about in the wall texts– bad luck with men, isolation, and self-deprecation. But for all of the loneliness that comes through in the painting, we finally get to see the love of her life: art.
Click through to watch the video on YouTube. Unfortunately this doesn’t come with subtitles, but scroll to the “about” section for the English translation.