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Yours, KOW

Men Don't Play, 2015–19

Men don‘t play / Men do play investigates hyper-masculinity and basic instincts through a documentary core about authentic simulated war zones like Iraq and Afganisthan while questioning the fine line between the au- thenticity of the medium in correlation with reality.

For four years Simon Lehner photographed a male dominated subculture that simulates war – weekends with 50 hours of no sleep and straight warfare with dummy weapons and plastic bullets, up to 1500 participants, tanks, helicopters, explosive suicide belts connected to cellphones, no women, real tactics and artificial deaths to imitate warzones like Iraq or Afghanistan while being in the forests of Hungary, Czech republic, Austria and Poland.

Through incorporated 3d Images that act as real photographs the series questions the authenticity of the medium and the ability of truthful depiction. Reflecting the fine and ever blurring line between perception and reality as the events on the ground develop into their own form of social reality.

Your own masculinity is put to the test on the field and idealized in this game titled „Airsoft“ – However, under the surface of acting tough, vulnerability is noticeable. exhaustion, fear, injury and tenderness hover over the battlefield.

Simon Lehner, Men don't play/Men do play, Installation view Fotogalerie Wien, foto: Michael Michlmayr
Simon Lehner, Men don't play/Men do play, Installation view Fotogalerie Wien, foto: Michael Michlmayr
Simon Lehner, Selfportrait, Soldiers showering, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldier Portrait in mud, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldier „bleeding out“, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Shadow IV, 2017, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Universe study I / Basic instinct, Photograph with 3D Rendering, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Showering soldier, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Moonlight in camp tent, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Selfportrait, Crying 3D Animation still ,2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 50 x 40 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Crown, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Day of Jarhead, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Flare shell, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 67 x 90 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Basecamp, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Two soldiers after warfare, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, On field self portrait in emergency transporter, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 67 x 90 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldiers on battlefield, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 67 x 90 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Bullet study III, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Blue tactical smoke on battlefield, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldiers preparing in the base camp, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 67 x 90 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Nightshift 3:18 am, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldier during break, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Concrete Detail, 2019, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, VII, (Back with scars), 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 50 x 40 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldiers taking care of each other, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldier with gum, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, 3D Selfportrait study / Target study, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Bravery test with knife, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, During break II, 2019, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 50 x 40 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, After battle XII, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 50 x 40 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Drone searching for enemies, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 50 x 40 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Thermal image (potential Terrorist with explosive belt), 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Pink tactical smoke, 2017, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 67 x 90 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldiers in tactical tactical cloud, 2016, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 60 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldier during airstrike, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP
Simon Lehner, Soldier waiting for airstrike, 2018, pigment print on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth mounted on Alu-Dibond, framed, 90 x 73 cm, ed. of 5 + 2 AP

Simon Lehner

Simon Lehner's still young work - the Vienna-based artist was born in 1996 - is characterized by a recurring traumatic structure. A structure in which human emotions and memories converge with processes of artificial intelligence that reconstruct the past, the buried or the repressed, but also deform it and remove it from human control. In this way, works are created that draw on private and public image archives and work on a contemporary iconography of the psychic state of emergency. A state that not least shakes male self-images, which are in any case and rightly in question, but which Lehner also problematizes as a highly ambivalent question of identity and toxic masculinity. Lehner moves pictorially between classical photography, digital forms of production, and painting.



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