Monika Weiss' "Sustenazo (Lament II)" in "The Poetics of Absence" curated by Cristiana de Marchi at the 1x1 Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE
Gallery Hours: Sat-Thu, 11-7
Opening: Sunday, January 15, 2017, 6-9 PM
ARTISTS: Afra Bin Dhaher, Alia Lootah, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, John Clang, Lamia Joreige, Mohammed - Said Baalbaki, Monika Weiss, Nedim Kufi, Reza Aramesh, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Tomoko Hayashi, Wafaa Bilal and Youssef Nabil
"Absence is a topos of literary relevance, based on the roots of European culture and civilisation. The theme of travel is strictly connected to that of separation, of disruption and of the inevitability of making the farewells. The reverse of these feelings is of course the attempt to neutralize or even annihilate the evidence of severance through a series of stratagems, which are methods that voyagers, travellers, and migrants have perfected over the millennial history of humanity or, individually, during the course of one’s experience”. – writes the exhibition curator
Commissioned by CCA Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, Monika Weiss’ Sustenazo (2010) was inspired by the forced expulsion of patients of the Ujazdowski Hospital into the streets of Warsaw by the German army during 1944 Warsaw Uprising. The artist’s elaboration on the concept of Lament as an art form, the video includes music composed by the artist from hundreds of operatic laments, a chorus of voices reading passages from Goethe’s and Celan's poetry in German, and the voice of a surviving nurse speaking in Polish. Evoking complex relationship between two seemingly irreconcilable phenomena – high culture and genocide, both belonging to European modernity, the work was shown at the Center for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, Poland; Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile; and Frost Art Museum, Miami, USA, and is now in the collection of these museums. It was also presented at the Goethe Institut, New Delhi, India, and TAZ, Potsdam, Germany.
“Weiss recalls the horror of the event resorting to literary texts, direct testimonies of survivors, and images of the time. She does so using a cinematographic language and fragmented and suggestive elements which do not pretend to evoke a historical event but an emotion, a feeling. A feeling that is logically not experienced in the same way in different countries. An image which is as clear as it is necessary. All the more so at present, when history is a murmur”.
– Juan José Santos, Sustenazo (Lament II) - Monika Weiss, Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile, Arte al Dia International, Miami, FL, May 16, 2013