Artist Focus: Christina Burger -

Christina Burger, born in 1983, is an interdisciplinary artist based in Innsbruck, Austria. Currently a student at Mozarteum University’s Department of Fine Arts & Design, Burger's work spans painting, new media, sculpture, and photography. Her primary artistic project, initiated in 2019 and titled “is this the end?”, explores themes of impending apocalypse and catharsis through a blend of paintings, digital collages, videos, and sculptures. These elements create interconnected universes filled with melancholy, existential musings, and moments of happiness. Burger’s work is deeply personal, often referencing her extensive archive of photographs, digitalized video footage, and early childhood drawings. She has exhibited her work in group shows and participated in international art courses, continually evolving her practice through various mediums and techniques. 



J: What’s the first thought that came to your mind today?
CB: Awake or asleep, I constantly develop ideas in my head and plan how to manifest them. The first thought that came to my mind today revolved around sounds of my everyday life and how they shape my art. Sound has always played an important part in my video art.

J: Describe your perfect day, start to finish.
CB: Waking up with a creative idea on my mind which I then manifest throughout the day and the day after. Its realization may take forever. I have always been working in the form of series, so I am not sure if a work of art will ever be completely finished, but that is what motivates me to keep going. The 24 hours of a day might be over but the moments of struggle and joy I feel when creating art never are.

J: How do you decompress and get inspired?
CB: The thing about the flow when creating art is real. While in the state of flow I feel decompressed, but it is mainly my struggles or the struggles of people and situations I observe that get me thinking. Colours, patterns, textures, sounds or close ups also inspire me on an aesthetic level. 

J: What is an idea of yours that failed?
CB: It is actually those imperfect moments of so-called failure that inspire me the most. There are for example lots of blurry photos I have saved over the years, photos some people wouldn’t have saved and might call failures that I use in my art though. Also when painting I think it is best not to get too much in your head but to see where it is going. It is usual those so-called failures that turn into the most interesting art.  

J: Any regrets in life?
CB: For a while I didn‘t produce a lot of art, I didn't study art right away after high school, so that was a regret of mine for a while. As soon as I started my art studies those regrets have faded. As long as I don’t stop producing art, there won’t be any regrets.  



J: Could you share more about your journey into the world of fine arts and what inspired you to pursue studies at Mozarteum University?
CB: Studying at art university has always been a dream of mine. For several reasons I first got a master‘s degree in English and Psychology/Philosophy. But then I decided to apply at the Department of Fine Arts & Design of Mozarteum University in Innsbruck and got accepted. So I pursued this dream of mine.   

J: How has living and working in Innsbruck influenced your artistic practice and themes in your work?
CB: Innsbruck is the location of my everyday life. And it is my everyday life that shapes my thoughts and art. Apart from living in Innsbruck I also live in my microcosmos though. When navigating through the city I am either consciously observing it or drifting off into my inner world. As I have lived abroad as well and am also travelling a lot I might be in Innsbruck at a certain moment but still think of another place or travel back to a memory.

J: What drew you to an interdisciplinary approach in your art, combining painting, new media, and sculpture?
CB: Throughout my studies at Mozarteum University I have done courses in all these fields of art. Painting has officially become the focus in my studies, but I have always combined my paintings with sculpture or photography. I am drawn to tell a story from different points of views at the same time to tell the whole story instead of getting stuck in one storyline.


J: Your series "is this the end?" explores themes of apocalypse and catharsis. What initially sparked your interest in these themes, and how have they evolved over time?
CB: My series “is this the end?”, initiated in 2019, revolves around thoughts of a looming apocalypse triggered by the climate catastrophe. Since then I have been creating spaces in which thoughts of endzeit are mixed with moments of catharsis. Paintings, photography, digital collages, videos as well as sculptures are presented as parallel universes of one galaxy that presents itself as ebb and flow of melancholy and hope.  

J: Can you elaborate on the process and significance of using upcycled materials, such as cardboard and plastic, in your paintings?
CB: As waste of any kind contributes to the pollution of our environment I try to upcycle whenever possible. Instead of throwing away plastic which doesn’t decompose for a really long time I decide to pick it up and make it art. Cardboard should not be thrown away either. It is a versatile type of material which I like using as a canvas.


J: How does referencing your personal archive, including childhood drawings and family video footage, contribute to the narrative of your work?
CB: Working with my personal archive has shaped my art significantly in the last few years. Exploring themes from within my time capsule consisting of memories has been my main focus since 2019. The story of my art started with me, but has eventually evolved into a universal story that the world around me is invited to relate to.  


J: Could you describe the role and impact of your focus on film and photography within your overall art practice?
CB: My focus on film and photography is essential to my art practice, images and videos are used as tools for referencing my past as well as layering memories. Many of my photographs exist in conjunction with other artistic output, often in the form of close-ups of my paintings. The close-up photography of my art has become a channel of expression. The pixelated quality, especially of the photos of screenshots of my paintings, has introduced a multi layered aesthetic to my work. My analogue photography and its often grainy resolution underline my art‘s constant connection to the past. As for my video art, it is usually part of installations, but recently “rocks floating through space and time“ has been shown on the big screen at a screening hosted by my university Bildnerische Innsbruck at the “Cinematograph“ cinema in Innsbruck.

J: In your exhibitions, how do you decide on the presentation and positioning of your photographic and video art to create the desired impact?
CB: One aspect of my video art and photography is how I eventually decide to present and position it in spaces, like for example as part of an exhibition. The sizes of prints of my photography depend on the constellation of each installation. Photographic and video art are flexible forms of art in my mind, because you can try out various scenarios, like I did with “rocks floating through space and time“, which has been exhibited via a tablet, but was also shown on the big screen in a cinema.

J: What has been the impact of having your work featured in publications like Unipress Innsbruck and Komplexkulturmagazin on your career and artistic development?
CB: Before starting my studies at Mozarteum University several of my drawings have been published in Unipress Innsbruck as well as in Komplexkulturmagazin. I have also published texts about music and culture, and I have been to many gigs and festivals to interview bands. These experiences have given me the chance to develop an understanding of culture on a deeper level and to reflect on various types of people in the Arts. The opportunity of publishing my art has also opened doors and the publications became part of my portfolio.  


J: Looking ahead, are there any specific themes or new mediums you are excited to explore in your future projects?
CB: My plan is to keep exploring the field of sound art. At the moment my focus is on beauty routines, beauty masks etc. My most recent work “I was here“ is a painting and sculpture, the work being a soft relief, for which I took various steps of a skincare beauty routine. The beauty mask as well as eye pads I used have found their final pedestal in the painting. The moment of stitching the mask onto the canvas also revolves around the topic of beauty routines and which feelings they evoke in me. I am excited to keep developing this theme. Another theme I am drawn to is that of crumbling in the context of construction sites. The dust, the rocks, the machines, all these elements make for a great tool box for creating art.  

J: How do you see your interdisciplinary approach evolving as you continue your studies and artistic career?
CB: The art I produce is ideally received as various manifestations of one artist. Therefore the storylines, as different in materiality and technique as they might be, should all keep circulating within the same cosmos.


J: Lastly, what advice would you give to emerging artists who are interested in integrating multiple disciplines into their work?
CB: Telling a story from different points of views at the same time makes your art interesting, because then you choose to tell the whole story. It should always be one’s goal as an artist to be as multi-facetted as possible. And it is important to not be afraid to try something new. As soon as you stop experimenting you stop evolving and won’t come up with anything of depth.


You can find out more about Christina Burger and her work here.

Credits: All images by Christina Burger.


(1) Behind the scenes at the atelier at International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg 2023
(2) Open Studios, final presentation of “rocks floating through space and time“ at International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, 2023
(3) My space at the atelier at Bildnerische Innsbruck, 2023
(4) is this the end? 2023. c-print, 171 x 112 cm
(5) is this the end? (detail), 2023. acrylic and spraypaint on plastic, 27 x 30 cm
(6) flow 2022. acrylic und stone pigment on c-print und cardboard, 52 x 36 x 16 cm, BA-exhibition view
(7) galaxy, 2023. acrylic and stone pigment on plastic box (content:
bottle made of glass and plastic), 19 x 5 x 4 cm
(8) rocks floating through space and time 2022. video 8 (digitalised), HD, colour, sound, 2 min 18, loop (video still)
(9,10) I was here, 2024. mixed media on plastic, 61 x 51 cm
(11) Britta, 2022. analogue photograph, 45 x 30 cm