The (im)perfect Men

15.03 - 08.04.24

In the ever-evolving social media landscape, the concept of beauty has undergone a transformative shift and has become a diverse and dynamic phenomenon. The platforms that dominate our digital lives, like Instagram, TikTok and others, have become powerful players in shaping and redefining societal beauty standards.


Beauty is subjective and manifests itself solely in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, ideas about what a beautiful body is are primarily shaped by society. The definition of beauty is constantly changing, cultural principles, beliefs and fashions constantly give rise to new interests and ideas.

Visual artists play a key role in illustrating and reinforcing such values. People have been creating images of the body for centuries. This topic has proven to be interesting beyond time, but is now experiencing new, radical interpretations and perspectives in contemporary art.

People have always invented tools to compensate for deficiencies and to perfect themselves and fit themselves into the social "norm". But what does the term “normality”, perfect beauty, mean today? The group exhibition “The (Im)perfect Man” would like to take a closer look at this phenomenon of our time.

Today, people are caught up in a complex web of societal expectations, driven by the relentless influence of various media and social platforms. The ubiquitous nature of these media has increased the pressure to present an idealized version of oneself. These platforms offer curated glimpses into the lives of others and often showcase a flawless existence. Comparisons become inevitable, and the pursuit of perfection is fuelled by the desire to compete with these carefully crafted digital personalities.

The quote by Pablo Picasso “Among people there are many more copies than originals” confirms the unconscious tendency of humans to appropriate.

The pressure to embody the image of the perfect human being has reached unprecedented levels, resulting in a multitude of challenges. A prominent aspect of beauty in the social media space is the emphasis on visual aesthetics. Users use a variety of filters, editing tools, and photo enhancements to curate their online presence. This trend blurs the boundaries between reality and the digital world, resulting in a visually altered version of beauty.

The unattainable pursuit of perfection takes a toll on mental health and mental well-being. Fears, depression and self-doubt lead to a distorted self-image and emotional alienation from oneself. The gap between perceived and actual self-esteem widens, creating a challenging psychological landscape.

The ideal of the perfect human being no longer seems to have to remain a utopia for long: targeted interventions are increasingly making it possible to compensate for functional deficits in the human body and bring it into line with norms. The line between sensible measures that improve individual quality of life and the loss of the culture of human difference is becoming dangerously thin.

In this modern scenario, it is crucial to foster a culture that celebrates authenticity, individuality, diversity, and self-acceptance. It is important to recognize the different definitions of beauty and accept human imperfections. In this regard, the group exhibition aims to question social, collective ideas and challenge the standardization of society.

Artists: Julia Runggaldier, Marlies Baumgartner, Max Brenner, Paola Grott, Stefan Perathoner, Klaus Rungger, Valeria Stuflesserm Leo Ferdinando Demetz, Josef Kostner and Marko Kostner.

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