State Gallery of Lower Austria

Reading the Earth

12.03.2022 - 01.05.2022


Galerie Jünger

Foto Wien - Gegend Versus Idyll

12.März bis 24. April 2022

Elisabeth von Samsonow

The Elder Poem

Grazer Kunstverein
25. Juni – 12. September 2021

elisabeth von samsonow kleiner2

What if the alphabet was invented by the trees? What if the alphabet was invented by the trees? In her project The Elder Poem Elisabeth von Samsonow explores and stages convergencies  between art and ecology, namely poetry and botanical systems. Starting from the Old Irish Alphabet of Trees Beth-Luis-Nion as explored by Robert von Ranke-Graves in his voluminous book ”The White Goddess“ Samsonow maps the Land of the Goddesses, which she co-founded with agroup of artists and supporters (among them the Grazer Kunstverein) in 2020 in Lower Austria.This land is a highly diverse territory with wine, wood, field and bushland. Using a system of association between letter, tree, place, quality, historical and mythical narratives (which is also the case in the Alphabet of Trees), von Samsonow reads the landscape of this biodiverse habitat, and in doing so creates a journey into the core of imagination, a poem written by the land itself.

Von Samsonow‘s project aims at giving space to gestures of attention and mutual recognition,expanding the zone of transhuman communication. The project seeks to offer new dimensions to ”thinking Gaias“ or ”reading Gaia“, the autopoetic planetary force, and to support the creation of ”trigger points“ which serve as nodes for building a complex architecture of coexistence.

The Elder, giving name to the project, is a bush or tree that features frequently in fairy tales, folkmedicine and mythology, as a healing plant offering flower, berry and bark for therapeutical use. Technically it is a pioneering plant able to grow even under difficult conditions. The Goddesses‘Land is located in the region of Hollabrunn referring to the connection between the Elder and the ”fountain of Holla“ which is the Goddess, more precisely: the White Goddess or her Winter aspect.The project engages with local village residents, hunters and farmers in order to retrace the manifold imaginaire of Elder in the region.

Ringel, Ringel, Reihe,

sind der Kinder dreie,

wir sitzen unterm Hollerbusch

Smolka Contemporary

Studierende der Akademie der bildenden Künste


21.06. – 17.07.2021 / Soon
curated by Elisabeth von Samsonow and Kate Strain


Land of the Goddess (Photo David Sanderson)

Elisabeth von Samsonow

Die Erfindung der Vogelstimmen

Forum Schloss Wolkersdorf
Sa, 19 Juni 14:00 - So, 18 Juli 18:00


Vienna Biennale
For Change 2021

Climate Care in the digital Age

The Dissident Goddesses’ Land

In summer 2020, a group of artists and culture workers founded the four-hectare “Land of the Goddesses” in the Pulkau Valley (Lower Austria). This is biodiverse land covered with vineyards, forests, overgrown scrubland, wasteland, and fallow. The land will be used for THE DISSIDENT GODDESSES’ NETWORK—a research project at the Academy of Fine Arts—as a laboratory for an investigation in the sense of contemporary Eco Art and deep ecology practice. A Mongolian yurt on a Palaeolithic site near Alberndorf serves as an in-situ parliament for encounters, projects, storytelling, and community teaching. The aim is to facilitate measures against climate change: targeted planting, water detection, improvement of humus.

 csm 6.4 Jurt of the Dissident Godesses Copyrigth Elisabeth Samsonow web 01 1e82b52783

GPL Contemporary


Group exhibition
curated by Christian Stock


IMG 20210429 153711 resized 20210429 034318878 2048x1511

Frauenmuseum Bonn

Langeweile im Paradies

Group exhibition
07.3.- 31.10.2021 

Eva teilt den Apfel nicht

eine digitale collage von biggi slongo mit apfel flieder und fliegendem teppich Kopie

"Fata Morgana" - Biggi Slongo

Film premiere

film samsonow

Image: A Visit, A Ceremony, A Gift, production still from HD video, Elisabeth Von Samsonow, 2021


TULCA Festival of Visual Arts and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture with support from the French Embassy in Ireland present:

A Visit, A Ceremony, A Gift

Film premiere
16 April 2021, 9pm


A Visit, A Ceremony, A Gift is a new film commission curated by Kate Strain. Evolving through many iterations, A Visit, A Ceremony, A Gift is a collaborative film by Austrian artist and philosopher Elisabeth von Samsonow and commissioned artists Ruby Wallis and Michaele Cutaya, Michelle Doyle, Ruth Le Gear, Marielle MacLeman, Naïmé Perrette, Liliane Puthod, Sara Sadik.

The film gathers contributions from each artist, through film, sculpture, music, sound and design, and uses collaged footage to investigate our access to nature through poetry. The codes that we as humans attempt to decipher - trees / alphabet / place, the inherent wisdom of the open air, and how to share it between practices and disparate geographic locations is a central theme of the film. Elisabeth von Samsonow is interested in the role of the White Goddess, and the Deep Ecology movement. Seeking to create poetry from the forest, she created an alphabet based on trees native to both Ireland and Austria.

"How to do an art project with people involved in different countries during a pandemic? The lockdown can also be taken as another word for territorialisation as everybody had to stay right in their place. Territorialisation, unintentional or intentional, means coming-backto-one’s world, to reattach oneself to a segment of the world. Instead of all meeting together in the region of Galway, we started to rethink Ireland, where we did not go, in Lower Austria. We had wanted to give shape to our project through the old Irish alphabet of trees, Beth-Luis-Nion [also known as Ogham], which was widely commented on by Robert von Ranke-Graves in his voluminous book The White Goddess (1948). To this end we remapped the Land of the Goddesses, a highly diverse territory with vineyards, wood, field and bushland in Lower Austria. Filming in this context became a process of self-reflexion and awareness in relation to the perception of the land. Via the performances, the documentation of the land was freed from the historical stereotypes of ‘landscape’. The performative gaze on the land is more of a guerrilla type of solidarisation and reterritorialisation that can also be seen in the footage that was produced by the collaborating artists. A Visit, A Ceremony, A Gift turned out to be a model of how to do journeys without moving.” Elisabeth von Samsonow

A Visit, A Ceremony, A Gift is an example of total field operation - exploring the relationships between diverse spaces and places at a time when physical contact and travel has become impossible. Curated by Kate Strain, edited by Eavan Aiken and produced by Anne Mullee, the film will premiere online on Friday 16th April at 9pm.

Register for tickets here

Commissioned by TULCA Festival of Visual Arts and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

Elisabeth von Samsonow 

La Femme Habitable
How to squat on a woman

jurte 400(12‘, A 2020)

Produced by THE DISSIDENT GODDESSES‘ NETWORK (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) in cooperation with THE LAND OF THE GODDESSES (Alberndorf and Haugsdorf, Lower Austria) for the Collateral Project INFINITE VILLAGES/ MANIFESTA 13

curated by Francisca Viudes

The performance video LA FEMME HABITABLE unfolds the registers of dwelling, on a site within the LAND OF THE GODDESSES (Alberndorf im Pulkautal, Lower Austria) which was purchased and founded by a group of artists and cultural workers in 2020.

Founding the LAND OF THE GODDESSES was motivated by the large number of prehistoric Venuses which were discovered in Lower Austria, among them the reknowned Venus of Willendorf. A Mongolian yurt designed as the in-situ-parliament of THE LAND OF THE GODDESSSES provides the stage set for a series of gestures by which the performer and co-performers scan ecologically relevant intertwinements of bodies: the large body of Gaia, mother earth, the landscape, the surrounding horizons, the woods, the humans and other beings, plants and fruits.

The mongolian tent, built upon a paleolithic mammouth hunterer site from the time of he Venus of Willendorf, acts like a hot spot or trigger point in this setting, like a portal for entering the fairy tale dimensions of the land. The agencement of mother earth, the milieu and the bodies of the performers unveil to which extent the „body producing body“, namely the female body, serves as an origin to all forms of habitat..

script and set design: Elisabeth von Samsonow
performer: Elisabeth von Samsonow, Evelyn Plaschg and Florian Holzer, Karl Koran, Elisabeth Koran, Gerda Schaludek, Luna
camera: Mira Kluge
postproduction: Elisabeth von Samsonow and Mira Kluge
sound and vocals: David Sanderson Austria

Austria, 2020, 13‘10

Photo Credit: Elisabeth von Samsonow 

Elisabeth von Samsonow 

Loess. A Woman in the Landscape


Elisabeth von Samsonow works focus on the material loess in which the Venus figurines had been well packed until the were excavated. Her approach is characterized by a highly attentive form of encounter and sensitive mapping of the loess landscape of Lower Austria. It is this attitude that Deborah Bird Rose defines as ecological humanity. 

A Woman in the Landscape

Curator: Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein

Photo credit: Leo Pluschkowitz 

In cooperation with THE DISSIDENT GODDESSES‘ NETWORK logo tdgn mobile

and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
ak wien


Landesgalerie Niederösterreich Krems

The Parents' Bedroom Show


IMG 3995
The video installation addresses the relationship between the parents and the (art)proles, in an intertwinement of media such as video, objets, drawings and a photograph.  
Photo (c) Landesgalerie Krems

The Parents' Bedroom Show, a film by Elisabeth von Samsonow, performance photography by Juergen Teller, Spazio Ridotto Venice.
A project paralleling the Venice Biennale 2019

The Parents' Bedroom Show

Parents Bedroom

The project THE PARENTS‘ BEDROOM SHOW deals with an architecture of time gravitating around „intensive time“ that is claimed by performance as its specific time quality. Elisabeth von Samsonow’s performance „The Parents‘ Bedroom Show“ adresses the Freudian fantasy of a „primal scene“ ever sought after. The parents‘ bedroom appears as a crossroad for individual and collective histories/ biographies.

Under the auspice of „infantile“ (preoedipal) curiosity as will for knowledge this project correlates performance, photography and video as forms of investigation. Juergen Teller in this project is not a photographer archiving the performance but a partner in crime employing chronomanipulations as a means inverting the life-death-vector.

Elisabeth von Samsonow
Galerie Andrea Jünger Wien

Euphoric Presence/ Collective Blessings

Euphoric en


In her performance project „Euphoric Presence“ Elisabeth von Samsonow engages intensive time in order to make it explode in EU ontology – i.e. in the proper meaning of the greek prefix EU// VERY GOOD. This surrection in being is directly connected to intensive time and matching space, i.e. with high time and truth. The search für truth ends up at the beginning which is nothing but NOW, like an explosion. The New Vienna Actionism comes out as a firework of the Goddess. The Goddess‘ epiphany takes place as a shower of blessing allover, as an optimistically automatized feast.  


Photo credit: Theres Cassini

Penn Book Center Philadelphia, Penn State University
Institute für Contemporary Art Philadelphia

The Alien Ally

Anti Electra . The Radical Totem of the Girl

alien allyIn this lecture-performance Elisabeth von Samsonow presents the key ideas of her eponymous book in a self-commenting hysterical attack. She shows how the figure of the girl represents not just the left-out, ephemeral, powerless neutrum in the family romance but turns out to be the core player in totemic transavantgarde. Mirroring and critizing concepts from the Deleuzian/ Guattarian Anti-Oedipus, Elisabeth von Samsonow's book Anti Electra unfolds how the substance of the girl - far beyond the reality of girlisms - fires contemporary  media culture, gender concepts and today’s revisions of ontological positionalities.

Photo credit: Jeff Bark

PARALLEL 2019/ artist statement



pretzel2The Brezel Goddess’ Lounge by Elisabeth von Samsonow shows two sculptures and drawings. The pretzel is present as an overarching mathematical form by which its inner relationships of forces become tangible. The Brezel Goddess herself proves to be a liminal figure between a banal everyday world (having pretzels every day) and a radical metaphysics of the production of bodies. The pretzel is the primary signature (a double helix in a crescent moon) of the kind of plasticity that must be taken as a requisite when dealing with the body. The pretzel is the favorite object of sculptors and theorists who explore bodies producing bodies (also: mother, the future of bodies). The exercise machine repurposed as a Doe Bride (created for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich) serves as a contemporary meditation machine in this context. A little prayer book with pretzel mantras will be published in conjunction with this event.

The Brezel Goddess, linden wood, varnish, wheels, height: 230, 2019

Wild Ride, material collage, height: 180, width: 165, depth: 190, 2019

Drawings 45 × 70

Hemp, dried



Thors Hans Hansson receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in Stockholm 2016