The idea of ‘The Other’ is a sort of black box into which every era projects its collective angst and desire. Feeding on the mysticism of blood and our longing for an afterlife, the vampire, along with the alien, is one of the contemporary popular myths giving this darkness a face (with fangs). He, she or it is simultaneously appealing and appalling, which is symbolised by the trinity of pieces in this exhibit.
The first is one of the numerous merchandises of the 20th century which uses the cheap sex appeal of the vamp(ire). In this case, an energy drink. Accompanying this is an impalement kit bought on the internet. It stands for the measures against the evil influences the vampire evokes and the gestures to defend the fragile ‘Self’ against ‘The Other’. And finally, the greatest suckers of all: books and films that feed on each other, conjuring up one of the most prominent undead of literary history, Dracula, represented by a facsimile of the first edition of Bram’s Stoker novel of 1897.
Clemens Ruthner was born and studied in Vienna. He is a literary and cultural scholar who has lived and taught in Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Canada and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since 2008 he has been Assistant Professor of German and European Studies at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests include otherness and cultural teratology, sexuality studies and cultural theory.