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

Special Edition available at Galerie Jünger, Vienna

sam editionA special edition is brought out by Gallery Andrea Juenger Vienna on the occasion of the exhibition „Th Parents‘ Bedroom Show“ by Elisabeth von Samsonow and Juergen Teller at Spazio Ridotto/ Zuecca Project Space Venice 2019.

The edition comprises a number of seventeen photographs by Elisabeth von Samsonow. The photographs show the still lifes Samsonow has arranged for her film „The Parents‘ Bedroom Show“. She uses footage of exactly these still lifes for the „psycho slots“ that open up in the film introducing another narrative. These photographs form a sentimental album, an infantile eroticist table theater, written in hieroglyphic, in a psychic esperanto.

  • Edition 40/ 30 for sale
  • 17 high end digital prints on Munken Polar rough paper format A4 plus cover
  • Each portfolio has a original drawing/ water color by Elisabeth Samsonow
  • Signed, stamped, numbered



ARTIST TALK about new tendencies in feminist art and the iconography in Elisabeth von Samsonows’ work

+ 43 664 1114771
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

sam parents1

The Parents' Bedroom Show


Taxispalais - Kunsthalle Tirol


Sarah Decristoforo, Fabiana Faleiros, Alex Martinis Roe, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Ashley Hans Scheirl

5.10.2018 - 27.1.2019 - Thursday, 4th of October 2018, 7pm

Sex coincides with our being. The sex act is regarded as intimate, but causes the public sphere to culminate in personal space at the same time – as a singular expression and actualization of politics, as communication, as an arena of pleasure and fantasy, reproduction and violence. Just like sex, art is also paradoxical; both act within contradictions, in in-between-zones and opposites. They are accomplices of knowledge and at once producers of a sensual surplus that is resistant to the categories of knowledge.
Does the alliance of art and sex allow us to re-weave the customary infrastructures of excitement, withdrawal, pleasure and its discharge? Can we fantasize a grammar of future sex in which the aggression of pleasure does not serve to consolidate power relationships? 

The works by Sarah Decristoforo, Fabiana Faleiros, Alex Martinis Roe, Elisabeth von Samsonow and Ashley Hans Scheirl, most of which were realized specifically for this exhibition, generate non-normative experiments of sex in drawing, sculpture, video, sound and installation. What kind of visualizations, embodiments, apparatuses, settings, texts and tutorials permit us to anticipate a sexual economy that is based on excessive exchange and radical solidarity? How could we effectively edit the scripts of our sexual identities? What roles are played by prosthetic devices and hormones, citations and yoga, over-expenditure and waste, the clitoris and digital interfaces in this process?

Curated by Nina Tabassomi

Sketch "Staatsdildo", basswood, sockets, base, perspex, 195cm high, 2018

Leopold Museum, Vienna

Schiele reloaded

Louise Bourgeois, Tadaski Kawamata, Jürgen Klauke, Sarah Lucas, Chloe Piene, Rudolf Polanszky, Maximilian Prüfer, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Fiona Tan


Friday, 28th of September 2018, 7pm

Idol III, basswood, Lacquer, marker, tulle,
base, wheels, 205cm high, 2018

Vienna Contemporary 27.-30. September 2018


Marx Halle, Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna

Galerie Lisi Haemmerle, booth G2

PARALLEL VIENNA 25.-30. September 2018

Lassallstraße 1, 1020 Vienna

fAN Archive

Elisabeth von Samsonow shows a picture from her Performance


by Juergen Teller, 2018


Galerie Lisi Haemmerle

Marvels of Everyday Life 

14.7. – 19.8.2018

The exhibition at Galerie Lisi Hämmerle (opening on Saturday, 14 July 2018) presents sculptures, paintings, drawings, and photographs. Connecting these works is the theme of the "everyday marvels"—those things that have grown inconspicuous through (practical) use, though they contain plenty that is incendiary. Take the pretzel, for example. Artfully looped, it is not only a welcome snack, it also represents a mathematically highly sophisticated topos that could well serve as a model world. The same applies to braids. Or to wood, which is the real everyday mystery, at least for the sculptor, who prefers to work in basswood.

This exhibition is guided by the hypothesis that the household is the camouflage archive of  metaphysical objects that discretely inspire speculation about the world (such as clotheslines, clothespins, washcloths, bread in the form of rolls or pretzels or loaves, sausages, electric mixers and kettles, knives, forks, tongs and scissors, brooms, sweepers and vacuum cleaners, linens and other cloths, carpet beaters and plates, etc.). It may be suggested that the (female) knowledge achieved by being exiled to the household—going against the grain— represents intimacy with the basic elements of the world, since the household  manifests cosmology and solid state physics (disguised in banal functions, which applies above all to the furniture) at every turn. Meaning emerges from bodies like sound, light, voice.

Smolka Contemporary


Gilbert Bretterbauer / Stefan Lenhart / Frenzi Rigling / Elisabeth von Samsonow / Michael Sailstorfer / Stefanie Ullmann / Claudia Wieser / Martin Wöhrl

4.5. – 30.5.2018

Donnerstag, 3. Mai 2018
19:00 Uhr

In cooperation with the Maximiliansforum Munich

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Wien

The History of Psyche

17th of March 2018 Opening


Belvedere Museum WIEN


17. November 2017 bis 04. März 2018

Anti-aging is heard more often in our society than the wisdom of age, it would seem. Bowing to the cult of youth, images of age are often dictated by the cosmetics industry. Countering this are the many historical and contemporary works by artists pursuing a completely different idea of age. For the first time these are being showcased in a comprehensive exhibition at the Belvedere.

Social Sculpture Model I

marriage, installation, various materials, 2017

shown at PARALLEL VIENNA (19.-24.09.2017)

curated by Stefan Bidner at ALTE SIGMUND FREUD UNIVERSITÄT,

Schnirchgasse 9A, 1030 Vienna


Elisabeth von Samsonow's film LABORATORY OF THE EXO/ ENDO CORPUS (12'40, A 2017) is screened in the framework of the VIENNALE 2017 on the 23rd of October at 8.30 pm in the Stadtkino/ Künstlerhaus (Karlsplatz 5 in Vienna) and on the 30th of October 2017 in the Metro Kino/ Historical Hall.




FEMINICITIES curated by Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
15th of June until 9th of July 2017

(performance days: 28.-30th of June)

Elisabeth von Samsonow’s piece is a threefold performative work on the subject of Electra, a character that has played a key role in Vienna at the turn of the century. The figure was engaged in order to unfold feminine psychic structures not only by Sigmund Freud, but was also staged in the play by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1903) and in Richard Strauss‘ Opera orchestrating Hofmannsthal’s Libretto (1909). I relate the „hysterical“ figure of Electra to the girl character of Strawinksy’s ballet für Les Ballets Russes Le sacre du printemps which was first staged at nearly the same time, 1913 in Paris. Both plays, Electra and Le sacre du printemps show the girl in a key role as „victim“ – in the case of Hofmannsthal/Strauss as the victim of a family tragedy, in the play by Les Ballets Russes as a victim of spring, meaning that she is elected to die in a tribal rite for the revival oft he season.  

Elisabeth von Samsonow’s work analyzes, comments, re-enacts and remembers the features oft he character of the girl in ordert o ward it off its negative position as a „victim“.