Excerpts from an in-depth review of Monika Weiss’ work-in-progress, Two Laments by Vanessa Gravenor in n.paradoxa – international feminist art journal:
Monika Weiss’ "Two Laments", a series of video cantos that address the event of rape in India […], questions both how one can be emancipated from the residual pain of victimhood, but also how victimhood, especially transformed by the phantom language of memory, can be a site for co-shared resistance. […] Weiss asks questions that many feminists or artists would often deem taboo. Her piece thus forms a thorough meditation upon trauma and pain [...]
Her work is what Griselda Pollock terms “post-traumatic” in that it contends with events that remain within collective psychic consciousness but are unable to be fully or properly mourned because the extremity of the trauma defies speech.[...]
Weiss addresses the colonial past of the city of Delhi. […] The city acts as a second body, and second victim to a different type of violence. This city is also representative of a female body or perceived oriental or exotic zone that the West often fetishizes and thus, abjects. [...] In Weiss’ video, these two critiques go hand in hand. The demolition of the female form is akin with the destruction and framing of the east [….] By interweaving these two critical narratives, that of feminism and that of colonialism, Weiss is claiming that the violence perpetrated to women in sex crimes carries the same gravitas as the public violence in the city, and thus, should have the same visibility, the same critical language, and the same public reminders.
Vanessa Gravenor, Monika Weiss’ Two Laments, in: n.paradoxa – international feminist art journal, KT press, London, UK, vol. 37, 2016, pp. 83-88. The full text is available through n.paradoxa