Va… Monika Grabuschnigg

Artis Talk and Open studio
By Va artist in residence Monika Grabuschnigg
March 9 2016
7 pm IRST
At Va Residency Space, Roudaki House, Isfahan


Opening Monika Grabuschnigg s Suitcase after arrival  at Va residency Isfahan 2016

Residency Report 

About the artist

Monika Grabuschnigg is an Austrian visual artist based in Berlin. Her works circle around questions about the meaning, identity and cultural affiliation of objects, symbols and ornaments once they have experienced a shift or de-contextualization; particularly in the form of souvenirs and other consumer products.
In her one-month stay at Va Residency she executed her project Placing echoes on facades & Interweaving void. Consisting of two parts, the project deals with the purpose of an artist travelling for short amounts of time to other countries to produce art, how meaning of art works shift in different cultural spheres and last, the dominance of western art history.

In Placing echoes on facades Grabuschnigg produced five white sculptures in her studio in Berlin, evolving around the artists own romantic, sentimental and prejudice view of Iran. Her templates were found images on the Internet, books, oriental shops in Berlin and western newscast. In Isfahan, selected local artisans and artist worked on this white objects and completed the work with traditional craft, like mirror mosaic and miniature painting.

The sculptures travelling from Berlin to Isfahan and back again, transform in their appearance, including what they embodied as object themself, due to the latitude given to the artisan concerning imagery and patterns. The works now become not only one voice of an artist, entering and imposing a prefabricated perception but an attempt of communicating through visual language.
The works are sized to fit in a suitcase and are a reference to “box in a suitcase” (Boîte en valise) from Marcel Duchamp. Additionally, the suitcase acts as a symbol of success or work for young contemporary artist and a logistic important tool in how to transport your artworks cheap and still safe.
Interweaving void is produced at the local Haghighi Isfahan carpet factory. Drawings from Grabuschnigg’s residency stay are incorporated in three standard sized prayer carpets. Many modern prayer rugs are strictly commercial pieces made in large numbers to sell on an international market or tourist trade, offering a wide range of standard symbols. Interweaving void is an attempt to constitute a breach between traditional craftsmanship and the idea of art as a sacred good and its commercial production for consumerism.

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The project was funded by the Federal Chancellery of Austria, the Art and Culture department of Vorarlberg in Austria and the Austrian culture forum in Teheran.

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