The Austrian-American artist Florian Raditsch addresses cultural and socio-political issues, including questions of identity, especially those that arise in border regions. His murals and spatial installations, pastel works and above all his large-format drawings, which he creates using a unique technique employing charcoal pencils, have been exhibited in both the USA and Europe.
In “With a halo of smoke and flame behind” Raditsch links two regions that are renowned for their rich natural landscape: Tyrol and Central California. The unique narrative that develops out of the artist’s interweaving of different cultural worlds and relates to the spirit of the Beat Generation is based on the perceived dissonance between people’s longing for “untouched” landscapes and the threat to them posed by the cultural colonisation ongoing since the 1920s for nationalist or tourist purposes. Through drawings, spatial and sound installations, and digital performances, Raditsch explores the origins of constructed, idealised notions of the two regions, juxtaposing them with traditional narratives and legends as a catalyst for a discourse on the complex relationship between humans and nature.