The topic of migration has become a defining phenomenon in the public debate within the last decade. As presented in the media, migration is often used by right-wing populists for their benefit. At this juncture many ignore the fact that displacement, escape and migration always were and still are formative processes within Europe. The film "Inđija" (documentary/video, 20’, 2020) addresses these topics from an individual and subjective perspective. It furthermore tries to capture a certain aspect of migration: the state of being unwanted. The persons in the film are so called "Donauschwaben" (a German minority in Yugoslavia). Since they are considered collectively guilty for the crimes of the Nazi regime, they must leave their hometown Inđija, which is near Belgrade, in 1944 and seek refuge in Austria. The interviewees are furthermore reporting on their childhood in Yugoslavia and their relationship with people from Serbia before and after the Germans invaded the Balkans.
Untitled (gobelin - tapestry, 46 x 3,5 cm, 2021)
This artwork was created in 2020 and thematizes the phenomenon of “guest” workers (Gastarbeiters), who left Yugoslavia in several migration waves after the war, most often to Germany and Austria. The Yugoslavs mostly worked in factories and were well paid. Their intention was to save money by temporarily working abroad, with a plan to use it to buy farm machinery, cars, renovate their houses or start a business. The story of the inviolable paradise of socialism languished with each return to homeland, so the workers often decided to stay abroad for good. They embodied the structural shortcomings of the Yugoslav economy, especially its inability to provide enough jobs. The “Gastarbeiters” achieved national self-affirmation through megalomania, a spectacle of kitsch and aesthetics of turbo-folk. As a concrete example, the weddings of returnees were used as a field where the lowest feelings of belonging would develop. This gobelin is the result of cooperation with my grandmother Rajka Stanic as part of the master project - ,,Zeitgeist".
Sculpture Study: for Bretteldorf (video, 00’22’’, 2019 - not exhibited)
Bretteldorf (cardboard village) was an informal settlement towards the end of the 19th century near Vienna. It was a landfill site, and the first inhabitants of this cardboard village lived on the sale of the recyclable materials they found on the site. Bretteldorf was at the core of a long conflict between the city administration and the inhabitants of Bretteldorf. Although the Bretteldorf community contributed with their agricultural products and significantly helped the food supply of Vienna after the WWI, the city administration tried to dissolve them in the so-called "Bretteldorfer war" in 1926. The Nazi regime used it for parade ground, and it also became a notorious site of executions. The Bretteldorf community was relocated under the auspices of the Vienna International Garden Show in 1964 (WIG 64) and a generous park area (today Donau Park) was created on the site. It represented the most important major event of the post-war period. Today, many of the features of the WIG64 have been dismantled or adapted for other uses. The ephemeral cardboard flower monuments for the lost Bretteldorf community was made from the photographic documentation of the WIG64, taken from the archives of the Österreichisches Gartenbaumuseum and the Wiener Stadtgärten.
Utopian Technique (Ready-made object (passport), 12,5 x 9 cm, 2021)
The idea is to encourage the viewer to think about the possibility of overcoming the imposed overall boundaries, both physical and mental. My utopian vision and desire is to eliminate all borders, having in mind that many countries are closed at this moment, passport itself became "excessive". That is why I have detached the state symbols from it. This idea occurred when I have realized that Austrian and Serbian passports have very similar colors. By removing the state symbols from the cover page, we have the option not to know which passport it is. With this act, an illusionary equalization occurs.
Rag rug (handsewn wall-rug out of unpicked camouflage-clothings, 530 x 380 cm, 2017-2020)
Unsewn camouflage-fashion and military clothings were sewn together again to resemble hills or mountains, still using their patterns. They are combined to a huge landscape-picture, which due to the reduction by means of masking shows an abstract and simplified landscape. Camouflage-clothing enables to visually integrate oneself into a landscape by incorporating the surfaces. In combination with the concepts of identity and affiliation, it's also conveying a scenario of threat and defence. Being a trend in fashion, the military-connoted patterns entered public spaces of daily use and encounter. By showing a landscape, the piece opens the theme of identification with and "ownership" of a land as an aspect of the concept of national states.
And in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath (four-channel sound-video installation, 06’20″, 2016)
The title of the video-sound installation takes the phrase from John Steinbeck's “The Grapes of Wrath'' (1939). The epic novel about the distress, exodus, exploitation, and social exclusion of a family of Midwest farmers during the Great Depression of the 1930s provides the point of reference of Doplgenger's view of economically caused, historical and contemporary migration movements. Doplgenger intervened into the footage of Yugoslav television, which had been recording the processes of temporary economic migration to the Western European countries in the 1960s.
Lost authenticity, photo print on 3mm alu composite plate, 800 x 1200, felted human hair, 2014-2015
Bald heads, symbols of rights, hooligans, agitators. But bald heads are also the symbol of prisoners, oppressed people in camps. Shaving off someone’s hair is still considered as a political instrument of degradation, used by all institutions that seek the total loss of personality - from concentration camps to the army. Bald heads are also indications of diseases. Therefore, bald heads can also cause a sense of pity or hatred and fear. Revolutions have already taken place due to hair. The hair as a symbol of freedom and equality.
Eva Maria Schartmüller's artwork LOST AUTHENTICITY works through the various approaches and leaves us with a reduced, sober black and white photo of a bald female skull from behind. Like a fetish, a rolled-up rug, a mat felted from human hair, lies next to the photo, as if fallen out of the picture. Head and hair have been isolated from each other. What originally belongs together falls apart. The combination testifies loss, suppression, deindividualization. With the loss of authenticity, the human being loses both dignity and roots. A trauma emerges. Standardization becomes legitimate under the guise of globalization. Individualization gives way to a twisted idea of nationalism. (Denise Parizek / Curator 2021)
Everything possible: Serbin Österreicherin (installation/index cards mounted on paper, dimensions variable, 2020-21)
Offers for services, offers that are self-descriptions. Starting in 2005, I have been collecting job advertisements for years now. By adopting the exact wording, I am taking stock of reality, what can be found and what has been formulated, unify the form and print it on index cards. For the narrow scope of this project, I focus on advertisements from Serbian and Austrian women. This is more than a mere accumulation of material. It is a presentation of everyday suffering in society. My work eludes sensation. I notice everyday life and its abysses which have nothing sensational. These abysses are dreary, unimportant, stale. The advertisements, appearing daily in newspapers and on the internet, speak of normality, a supposedly safe level where consensus prevails. A closer look reveals the structural violence in the mass of advertisements: They are offers of self-exploitation. Statements that seem just factual aim at prejudices and clichés. There is a life story behind each of these advertisements, with all uncertainties and shifts in identities.
A longer text by Nora Sternfeld & Ljubomir Bratic can be found at http://hannahstippl.net/2006
When I was young and wild (C-print, 20 x 30 cm, 10 x 15 cm, 2019)
When a fellow student from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna found out that I am from Serbia, she asked me how do I feel as a war criminal. To find a proper reply, I dug through my family history and found a photo that explains the complexity of my political background. I paired this photo with the following text: "This photo was taken four years before the war in Croatia and five before the one in Bosnia. I have my father's Yugoslavian army-hat with the star of the Communist party that he proudly attached to it. My grandfather's hunting rifle, his only possession after the Communist government took all of his land after WWII. Binoculars, belt and a dagger that my other grandfather took off a German Wehrmacht officer he captured while fighting as a partisan in WWII. "
Stímmung (video installation, variable dimensions; 2021) tells a story about Branka, a folk singer, and Vladica, an artist and owner of a bar where Branka performs. Branka is a well-known star in eclectic, edgy places in which she sings in front of a widest audience: from working-class to academics, nationalists to leftists, homophobs to LGBT and queer population. Her shows not only gather people with irreconcilable differences, but also provide a platform for mutual understanding. During Branka’s cathartic performances, all prejudices are being annulled. Vladica is a young, progressive woman who grew up in Sweden and breaks through the taboos of the local communities, often targeted by prejudices, both in Serbia and Europe, from imposed political correctness of those who consider themselves progressive to insults of those confused by society novelties and changes. These two seemingly completely different women perform together on stage, leaving the impression of a strong sisterhood that empowers not only women but all the others. The narrative is following Branka's plan to travel to Vienna where she would perform in local bars, for existential reasons and ambition. In the form of a peculiar cabaret, Branka performs highlights from folk songs that she chose for the Viennese audience together with Vladica who helps her in realization of this goal.
Julian Turner's installation "House of Flowers" (dimensions variable, min 5 x 5 m, 2019) shows a selection of the stylistic highlights of the former residence and now mausoleum of Josip Broz Tito. Quotation, self-quotation and material quotation shake hands. The representative columns of the installation are tiled with photographs of chewing gums. There are replicas and interpretations of batons that were once carried through the whole of Yugoslavia on the Day of Youth by children who gave their honors to their leader on a sideboard made of canvases. Some of them are also bottles. And the model of the president's personal luxury train - in this case, an Austrian version - serves as a bar. In a quirky, sensitive manner, spleeny aesthetics are continued and released, which only seem to reveal their underlying charm in their re-interpretation.
Here and There/Ecstasy (3 pencil drawings, 33 x 35cm)
How shall we look for the new shapes, symbols, new words or communication forms between the two nations? These drawings represent my intention to introduce the matrix of similarity in its dissimilarity, the new recognition at second glance by the usage of elements and principles of composition in messages and elements and symbols of the country identity. How to bypass the all-encompassing self-love of nations which, when mirrored, slows down the recognition of similarities in the way they behave and in the way they display prejudices towards 'the other'. Hedy Lamarr - At the first glance, she is a movie-star; the most beautiful woman on the planet and on a second glance, she is a serious inventor. At the first glance, she is Austrian and American. On a second glance, she is stateless. Contrary to the words that indicate opposites in a society, the hidden meanings in similar words-pronouns that we also see here and recognize in our daily lives are always universal topics that are painful or joyful, propel or cradle in a very same way and that actually connect us in every meaning of the word.
Like a House, a drawing, ink on canvas, 2019, animated for this exhibition
The initial work for this proposal was presented at the Salon Muzeja savremene umetnosti gallery in Belgrade, within the “Conquistador” exhibition. The drawing “Like a House” was made according to the drawing of Richard Neutra, an Austrian architect who stayed in Trebinje in 1915. In 1898, Freud stayed in Dubrovnik and made a one-day trip to Trebinje to see the remains of Beg's house (and possibly a harem). The important Freud's texts were written after this visit, but the visit itself was fabulous and with unclear dating. The drawing is/will be animated as shown on Frojd.mp4 like the words are written „Herr, was ist da zu sagen? Ich weiß, wenn er zu retten wäre, hättest du ihn gerettet." ("Sir, what can I say? I know that if he could be saved you would save him.") words that show full confidence of locals in the physician, eg. destiny. From the image of drawing there are links to postcards of Trebinje and a house in the 19th century and academic texts which - in an attempt to explain Neutral's drawing - make mistakes about the site. Also, link to Freud's sentence on the topic.
Budget Rebellion, video, Intervention, 6’30’’, 2017
Men waiting for odd-jobs like hustlers in the streets for punters gathering on Triesterstraße in Vienna every morning are the starting point of this film. In every larger city there are these places where people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work in a legal way can put their service on the labor market. These are modern day-labourers who are not employed on a permanent basis and who are prepared to carry out any small craft activity for any very low hourly rate. Being in this precarious and risky situation, they stand outside society. In my examination of the workers, I asked myself how great their potential to become active as a collective and to rebel against their working and living conditions is? What could the resistance of these men look like? What forms could it take and by what means could it be realised?
The connections and mutual influences of two, or in this case three nations: the Germans, the Austrians and the Serbs, are most clearly reflected in the language. These mutual lexical influences are the result of political, social and cultural relationships between nations that changed under different historical frames of reference. The 30-minute video "Emigrated / Immigrated Words" (2019) is a personal reflection on a long study on the subject of contact between two languages, German and Serbian. It is an animation of words / dictionaries of Germanisms, Slavisms and Serbisms. The starting point for this work was the book German influences in our language by the Germanist Miloš Trivunac (1876-1944) from 1937, a respected Germanist, professor and co-founder of the chair for German language and literature at Belgrade University. If you look at the video or read the dictionary, then you can't deny an influence in all areas, from technology to gastronomy, the military, politics ... to culture. The language is characterized by the alphabet, whose visual recognizability was strengthened with the awareness of national identity. Taking that into account, Zentenar Fraktur OsF and Miroslav were chosen. The video “Emigrated / Immigrated Words” was shown in 2019 at the exhibition / installation of the same name at the Goethe Institute in Belgrade. The installation Emigrated / Immigrated Words forms the basis for the animated GIF Latin vs Cyrillic (Latinica vs Ćirilica / Latin vs Cyrillic / Latin vs Cyrillic), which was developed for the online exhibition Na drugi // At second glance // At Second Glance was conceived.
See more at:
The print "Malo morgen" (silkprint on pieces of an Austrian map (printed with support of Matrijaršija in Belgrade), 12 x 21,5 cm, 2020) addresses the cultural interweavings between Serbia and Austria, made visible through language. A lot can be told with language, indeed. Serbian and (Austrian-)German share a lot of words – reminiscences of history, references of intercultural exchange. Some of these linguistic blendings originate in the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, some are indicators to immigration movements due to economic factors or flight from war in Ex-Yugoslavia. I've had many surprising moments during my stays in Serbia discovering those shared words. The phrase "malo morgen'' caught my interest as it is like a linguistic remix: the word "malo" is Serbian, meaning "small" or "a little"; the word "morgen" is German, meaning "tomorrow". Those words combined are a figure of speech used to express that something is very unrealistic to happen or not going to happen – mostly translated with "yeah right", "in your dreams”. On one of my drifts through Belgrade, in the Deponija neighbourhood, I found a crumpled map on the ground. I was excited to pick it up, imagining to have found something exotic. However, I felt like coincidence had prepared a joke for me: it was a map of Austria. What a suitable surface to print "malo morgen" on!
Another Europe (single-channel installation (HD video), 54’47 ’’, 2020) is an essay film in the tradition of feminist experimental film. The film is divided into 3 sections and shaped by the time before and after Corona (or rather during it): I. Summer 2019, II. Winter 2020 and finally III. Spring 2020: the break from COVID-19 / the long journey home. A female voice (artist colleague Kathi Hofer) reproduces impressions and perceptions, personal and historical, blurring the boundaries between documentation and memory. Associative thought spaces are created. Keyword: queer storytelling. At the beginning, the connection between place and identity is reflected on. How does personal history connect with geography (Place is integral to personal identity). Keyword: Her story and space. The second part is more about longing for the distance? How is that about feeling out of place? Where is home actually? How do these feelings connect with your own identity? Then, all of a sudden, in the middle of this Europe, in the middle of the film that I had actually thought through to the end, the crisis that nobody expected happens and changes everything in one fell swoop. The journey across Europe suddenly turns into a journey back to Vienna, through a completely changed Europe, very different than at the beginning of the film. Now it's all about arriving, at home and with yourself. The visual structure of the work opens up another level and offers alternative readings. You can see pictures in motion. Landscape photographs that were taken during the long journeys show a picture of another Europe, beyond tourist routes. The sound compositions by Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) underline the atmospheric character of the work. (Pictures of the Another Europe project (selection) - Photo documentation: Travel summer 2019 and winter 2020)
Wien Wien (video, 7' 48")
This video shows relations to Austria and oneself. The most dominant opinion is the one of grandma Milka, who has been to Vienna and whose experiences are intertwined with the idea of an ideal Other. Other opinions are shown through comments from grandma Milena, who has never been to Austria, and through other siblings' laughter listening to grandma Milka’s experiences with a pinch of caution. Prejudices that appear concern both Serbs and Austrians. Prejudices about Austrians are positive and utterly idealistic. Austria appears as a utopia, while Serbia is presented as a negative example. However, cracks appear in the story. Through grandma Milka's speech, it becomes apparent that she does not fit into that utopia, as well as that she belongs to the Serbian rural discourse. This work is about an identity gap that everyone can identify with. Grandma Milka is torn between two cultures. On the one hand, she wants to be a part of an urban environment of Vienna, but on the other, she confirms some ideas about Serbs and their culture with her own presentation.
The video work “BGTX” (video, HD, 19’, 2018) offers a glance of reality transformed by digitalisation. Labour environments are changing rapidly with the use of technologies like big data or machine learning. Following protests of taxi drivers against the influence of ride-hailing services in Belgrade and their perspectives of the city, a generated fictional character leads us through the city on imaginary paths commenting on the subject matter.
The triptych "The Flaw" (Digital, Graphite, Oil on Paper, 40 x 30 cm each) is about police identification photos which have been retouched by Walter Kratner with graphite and oil and which emphasize particularly oppressive socio-political aspects. The images show how we see "others". Which cliches and prejudices we use in order to classify "others"? Are those portrayed murderers, innocents, rapists or are they guilty of a petty crime? The viewer has to admit that nationality or cultural background cannot even be guessed at second glance. The mug shots show the suspect person in a standardized position, which is well known to the viewer from passport photos. The individual facial expression is still authentically preserved and cannot be standardized or labeled. Reworking the photo-documents with the pencil in a very sensitive way the artist forces us to take a closer look. The viewer can ask himself: what crime could the person depicted have committed? What offense could the person depicted have been guilty of? What tragedies are often behind a criminal act? Despair? Hate? Love? Violence? Alcohol or drugs? Human error? Or even a mistake?