alternative biography

courtesy of Mr M R Webber

Helen Skhoney is a goat.  She was made by Patti Smith in 1959 in order to trim the grass around Patti’s new climbing frame.  However, she was universally regarded as so incredibly witty, funny and beautiful that she was quickly put on display at the MOMA.  Spending long periods on a pedestal, bleating softly and looking at the pieces around her, Helen quickly learned how to be a phenomenal contemporary artist.

 Her work deals with hair, other hairs and sometimes hair, trout pears and the essence of cat.  Negotiating between the worlds of human and lemur, she seeks to explore the impossibility of potato.

She lives and works between her ears.  She is temporarily disguised as a human.

Helen Skhoney at MOMA bleating softly – picture: Benjamin Schoene

How she boogalooed it

The opening of Helen Schoene’s exhibition, Unpicking through repetition, at the Galerie Eboran in Salzburg on Thursday, was a performance in more ways than one. She “performed” the introduction, playing the role of Matthew Webber, whose talk considered notions of “partition” and “repetition” in historical, etymological and philosophical modes. The performance itself was self-repeating, playing with the audiences’ concepts of original and imitation. Every art work, is a “representation” or a “repetition”, as the “reality is always receding into the past”. But this also highlights the absurdity of the very notion of originality, resulting in “a hundred million different version of reality, all of which are real”.

Schoene’s work examines concepts of repetition and imitation, representation and inspiration. Her art includes drawing, paintings, prints and photocopies. By its very nature it is hard to define. One wall presented the viewer with numerous copies of an image of a vegetable, each coloured differently, and each accompanied by a seemingly random text. But the texts were not so random: they were song lyrics, taken from such classic masters as Dion, the Shangri-Las, and the Beach Boys. And they carried a resonance which belied the simplicity of the images. As Al Jardine sang, “Oh my, how she boogalooed it to me”.



M R Webberresearcher, writer, artist, collaborator

Lynn Schoene – mixed media, sculpture, installation

The McCarricks – Martin McCarrick (cello), Kimberlee McCarrick (violin)

Ahmad Habash – animation, film, drawing

Tom Feritsch – sculpture, installation

Benjamin Schoene – this website, technical communication: print&online media

Ernst Grünwald  - photography, graphic design

Giulio Vaccaro – painting, tattoo

Things & Places

IIAL – The Institute for the Interpretation of Abyssal Life (and other guises) – Salzburg International Summeracademy of Fine Art

Cobalt Studios – exhibition/project space, Chicago

Raw Matters – showcase for experiments in Dance and Performance, Schikaneder, Vienna

Tanz*Hotel – training, rehearsal, workshops… Artist at Resort residency and mentoring, Vienna

KKuK – Institut für Kunst-, Kultur-, und Konfliktforschung

Yogawerkstatt - Ashtanga Yoga in Vienna