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bih - astrid mania /review

bih /text

The complexity of this exhibition [Trouble with Realism] and its mental correlations might best be condensed in this short video by Ulrich Polster. For a few minutes we see, greetings from Claude Monet, a heystack. Wether we are looking at a freeze frame or a cinematic shot is hard to tell. One thinks to observe how haze scraps are slightly moving, but this might be as well an illusion. This reference to art history is broken up by the title of this work: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Han Pijesak, Republika Srpska, 07.08.2007).
Of course wether this field in fact belongs to the location close to Sarajevo that has been the scene for awful war events is hard to examine. But the innocence of this view has dissapeared. The knowledge about the abominations during the war in Yougoslavia pushes itself in front of the image and dyes it.
So what is it what we see? How strongly does our knowledge of certain facts determine what we read in an image? How is the motif we are looking at determined politically, ideologically, esthetically? And can two individuals with their completely different memories, associations, mentalities and experiences ever see one thing as the same? And if we can not be sure about what we are seeing, how can we presume to form an opinion?

Astrid Mania, artnet Magazin, 17. Nov. 2009

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