oil paintings and video works
curated by Christine Bruckbauer and Aline Lenzhofer
Mo – Sa 2–9 pm
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna
With my very best regards, For the eternal memory, Congratulations, I Love You!
You may find this or similar phrases on many Egyptian banknotes as engraved memories of significance, in order to express birthday wishes, write a romantic memory for a lover.
During the political repression in Egypt it became a way to manifest resilience and solidarity. When in March 2019 the Egyptian Central Bank banned the circulation of banknotes that carry any kind of text on it, the population tried to find solutions to get rid of these inscriptions.
March 2019 was also the time that Soukaina Joual (*1990 in Fez) went for a residency to Egypt. In her video piece HOW TO REMOVE WRITINGS FROM BILLS USING NAIL POLISH REMOVER she refers to the process of removing writings from Egyptian pounds. Through the repetitive act of cleaning the bills, each one gets slowly damaged and loses its function and value. During her performance written traces of human interactions simply disappear.
In Lisa Großkopf’s (* 1989 in Vienna) work WHAT IS LEFT not only the traces of human interactions disappear but the human body itself. By using the paintings of Yôḥānān Sîmôn, Lisa Großkopf deals with the utopian idea of “Kibbutz”. In bucolic landscape pictures, Sîmôn once portrayed the life in kibbutzim as carefree and unencumbered. However, a number of indicators imply that his paintings rather express Zionist visions of the yet to be founded State of Israel than realistically depicting the harsh everyday realities of the time.
Großkopf digitally removes all the figures – kibbutz inhabitants* at work in the fields or at the picnic on Shabbat – from the paintings and later to have the desolate landscapes reproduced in oil by Chinese painters, questions the narrative of the earthly paradise “kibbutz” with regard to its validity today. Zionism’s flagship project, which for numerous reasons has repeatedly been declared dead, thus becomes a projection screen for visions of the future.