?Where Have All the Young Men Gone?? is a line taken from a song by folk singer legend Pete Seeger.
This rhetorical question is used by artist Lucas Zallmann in the form of an acronym as the title for his current exhibition.
He uses the anti-war song from the 1950s as a point of departure to broach the subject of the transformation of sexes.
Zallmann, born in Vienna in 1979, understands the loss of youth, reminiscent in the song, above all as a loss of a natural, uninhibited relation to our own body and gender.
One feels somewhat reminded of the topos of the eviction from paradise.
Zallmann ponders a state avant la lettre, prior to the dawn of the age of self-reflection: before the menacing thorn of doubt dug itself deeply into the flesh – and conscience – of mankind.
His illusory, acrylic cloud paintings invite a view into a blue summer sky and evoke – to say it with Milan Kundera – the unbearable lightness of being. They are too beautiful to be true.