A conversation with an East African Songye mask that has been in the possession of Kunsthalle Emden for several years. The provenance of the mask is unclear.
This conversation took place with an anonymous woman sitting on the grave of Johann Jakob Bachofen. Bachofen is the author of The Mother‘s Right a controversial book about how an early matriarchy evolved into a culturally superior patriarchy. Our conversation is not only about Bachofen, but mostly about the appearance and use of allegories within statutes.
Bust Talk–Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven is known as a great composer. But he also had a keen interest in economics and was concerned a fair payment. The conversation with Beethoven not only revolves around these economic questions, but also leads to the idealistic value of artistic work to society.
Pietro is the name of a nude by the German sculptor Emil Sutors, who gained notoriety with his monuments to war heroes. The conversation leads through idealized bodies to the question of nudes and nudity and the discussion of whether a representation is sexist or rather the gate of the viewer.
Bust Talk–Hans Klöpfer
Hans Kloepfer was a doctor and local poet and is still an important identity figure in Styria today. But he was also a convinced National Socialist and that from the first hour. Nevertheless, a bust of him stands on the Schlossberg in Graz, among other places.
Bust Talk–Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
The social reform of Friedrich W. Raiffeisen were a response to industrialization and the rampant capitalism of his time. Raiffeisen appealed for a “good capitalism” and a society based on solidarity, because “growing inequality is one of the greatest dangers to society.”
Bust Talk–Ernst Späth
Ernst Späth was an exceptional chemist, but also the doctoral supervisor of Percy Julian, who was the first African-American student in Vienna. Julian came from the U.S. with the experience of racial discrimination and, contrary to his expectations, became a vibrant and popular part of Viennese society - at a time when anti-Semitism and exclusion were already part of the daily picture.
*In 1953 Marcel Duchamp proposed a witty equation: A Guest + A Host = A Ghost indicating a somewhat magical merging of the two figures of hospitality into an entity between the self and other.