Jasmina Cibic bei Significant Other, Wien

Ort
Kunstszene
Künstler
Jasmina Cibic, Everything We Do Today Will Look Heroic in The Future, 2018, iron, 177 x 158 x 6 cm

Significant Other

Burggasse 24, 1070 Wien
Österreich

KünstlerIn: Jasmina Cibic

Titel: Everything We Do Today Will Look Heroic in The Future

Datum: 30. Juni - 13. Oktober 2018 

Fotografie: All images Courtesy Significant Other | Foto: kunst-dokumentation.com

Pressetext:

The legal decorator, the Rose Garden as a battlefield and the looming extinction of the Hitler bug.

‘I don’t want you to be surprised when you see that we redecorated.’

says lawyer Johnnie Cochran to his infamous client O.J. Simpson before a scheduled house visit by the jury in a double homicide trial that became all about race and status and kept at least half a continent in a state of anticipation and tension for the better part of 1995.

Originally, Simpson’s house had mostly featured photographs of him with his white golf-buddies as well as images of his naked, white girlfriend Paula Barbieri, among many other status symbols on display at his luxurious villa situated in an affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles.

‘This won’t do at all.’

Simpson’s legal defense team decides to go for something that ‘projects the right image’. So the country golfers and nude, white women have to go and are replaced by images of unrelated black children and families, a blow-up of Simpson’s mother, carefully placed African art and Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting of Ruby Bridges walking to class escorted by US Marshals from 1963, tellingly titled The Problem We All Live With.

‘It’s on loan from the Cochran collection’ the lawyer jokes.

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Rumour has it that all rose breeds named after Democrat presidents have been removed from the White House Rose Garden. After all, it was Reagan who in 1986 signed the proclamation that made the rose the official floral emblem of the United States of America. Nonetheless, the current design of the Rose garden actually dates back to the Kennedy era. Melania Trump on the other hand, has decided to keep Michelle Obama’s layout of the Vegetable and Rose garden.

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Being generally accustomed to view roses as positively connotated symbols, be it as a representation of purity, an expression of love and romanticism or in the function of national flower it comes with no surprise that roses are also typically used to commemorate or honour distinguished characters of public life such as politicians, giving rise to varieties such as ‘General Washington’ or ‘Mister Lincoln’.

Similarly, in 1933 German collector Oscar Scheibel, decides to dedicate a then undocumented species of a Slovene blind cave beetle to the new Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler. Anophtalmus Hitleri. ‘The eyeless one of Hitler’ does not go unnoticed by the Führer, who sends Scheibel a letter showing his gratitude. And while it is not not possible, it is apparently not in line with taxonomic tradition to change the binomial name of an organism. It is said that the Hitleri beetle is on the brink of extinction due to trading amongst collectors of Hitler memorabilia or as the Telegraph put it ‘Nazi fanatics killing off Hitler’s special beetle’. As a result Anophtalmus Hitleri is now under protection of Slovenian law.

In Everything We Do Today Will Look Heroic in The Future Jasmina Cibic constructs a spatial setting consisting of three elements, employed to bring our attention to the application and distribution of Soft Power in such unsuspected areas of our lives as zoological and botanical taxonomy. The Hitleri bug spreads in form of a wallpaper from a boudoir-like environment into the space, creating an ‘ornamental rash’ as Cibic calls it but also hosting the artists newest publication NADA, dedicated to her eponymous film-trilogy, which scrutinised the political exploitation of successful and failed national icons as well as our complicity as cultural workers in a system where art, architecture and science become in more or less subtle forms persistent tools for political power-play. Taking a next step Cibic invited a selected group of scientific botanical illustrators to imagine how a rose named ‘Nigger Boy’ or ‘Gypsy Rose’ (both existing breeds from 1931) could possibly look like to inspire such a name and in doing so continues not only to highlight widespread offensive and racist remnants in culture but possibly also their easy resurrection in our current climate, because as the welcoming (or is it protecting?) grate proclaims ‘Everything We Do Today Will Look Heroic in The Future’.